Monday, 7 July 2014
Signs of life in the UK core banking market.....at last
Some of the banks – such as Templewood and Edmond de Rothschild Private Merchant Banking – hope to tap into merchant banking opportunities, whilst others concentrate on the SME sector, including British Business Bank, a state-backed economic development bank. Retail banking is getting attention too, with new agile entrants – e.g. OneSavings Bank and Paragon Bank – challenging the high street behemoths. The latter, in their turn, are de-consolidating, with Lloyds and TSB parting ways, and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) unbundling Williams & Glyn.
In the online banking space, next year will witness the launch of Atom Bank, the country's first digital-only bank, according to its founder, Anthony Thomson. Just a few years earlier he co-founded Metro Bank, with the completely opposite strategy focused on the ‘brick and mortar' branches and personal service. Hot on the heels is Fidor Bank, a German direct banking start-up that is eyeing international expansion. It is now waiting in the wings for a UK banking licence. BFC Exchange, a Bahrain-based money exchange and transfer operator with a network of offices in London, is queuing for a licence as well. In the meantime, it is understood to have made a decision on its core system and supplier. Meanwhile, Hampden & Co (formerly Scoban), a wealth management and private banking start-up, is aiming for its launch this summer. The bank's operations will be underpinned by a hosted version of Oracle FSS's Flexcube.
A host of lending institutions in the UK are keen to raise funds by taking deposits, but to do so they need a banking licence (and the relevant software). Clearly, there is business to be had for suppliers across the board.
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