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Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised ClearBank, the largest next generation clearing and embedded banking platform in the UK, on its latest equity investment totalling £175 million. The round was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity arm of Apax, a leading global private equity advisory firm. Existing investors, CFFI UK Ventures (Barbados) Ltd and PPF Financial Holdings BV, also participated.

The new investment will accelerate ClearBank’s global expansion of its clearing and embedded banking offering, initially in Europe before moving into North America and Asia Pacific.

ClearBank was launched in 2017, as the first new clearing bank in the UK in over 250 years, assisted by a cross-practice team at Herbert Smith Freehills. ClearBank is the only next generation payments provider with direct access to all banking payment schemes in the UK. As a regulated bank, it manages transactions end-to-end from order transmission to settlement, liquidity management and clearing.

ClearBank has seen tremendous growth and has been recognised as the #1 fastest growing tech company in Deloitte’s 2021 UK Technology Fast 50 awards together with the 2021 Card & Payments Award for Best Service. It has a customer base of over 200 financial institutions and fintechs, including Tide, Coinbase, Chip and Oaknorth Bank.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by corporate partner Greg Mulley and senior associate Shaun Williamson, with support from corporate partner Caroline Rae and associates Tim Coorey and Henry Sharp. The team also included partners Andrew Procter (financial services regulatory), Clive Cunningham (financial services regulatory), Mark Ife (remuneration and employee incentives) and Isaac Zailer (tax), and associates Niall Crean and Jed Wilsher. 

Greg Mulley commented:

"We are incredibly proud to be ClearBank's trusted adviser, and to be supporting the team on its latest strategic investment. We started the exciting journey together with ClearBank in 2016, the first new clearing bank in the UK for over 250 years, and we have worked closely together since. We look forward to continuing to work with this innovative, fast-growing company and its talented team."

Philip House, ClearBank’s Chief Governance and Legal Officer, shares that: “While we usher in a new phase of growth for the bank, we remain steadfast in our trust and appreciation for support by Herbert Smith Freehills. HSF is ClearBank’s go-to partner for this type of work precisely because of the firm’s deep cross-practice experience and their intimate knowledge of ClearBank’s world. They are a tried-and-true partner and we’re thrilled to have them advise on this exciting new investment into the next generation of clearing and embedded banking.”

About ClearBank

ClearBank is a purpose-built clearing and embedded banking platform. Through its banking licence and intelligent, robust technology solutions, ClearBank enables its partners to offer real-time payment and innovative banking services to their customers.

ClearBank provides over 13 million accounts to the customers of leading financial brands. ClearBank is the only platform providing bank accounts, with FSCS deposit protection, at scale, bringing embedded banking services to the mass market. This product offering is complimented by a range of related value-added services, including FX and multi-currency accounts.

Unlike other providers with legacy systems, ClearBank’s end-to-end offering of regulated financial services is accessed via a single API to a powerful cloud-native software platform, which delivers greater speed, efficiency, and ease-of-use. It also enables innovation, including settling payments between customers on the ClearBank platform instantaneously, removing friction and lowering cost.

ClearBank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 754568). Visit for more information.

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Greg Mulley

Partner, London

Greg Mulley

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Lydia Lam

Head of Communications, UK, US & EMEA