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Challenger bank ready to get its banking licence back

CivilisedBank is reapplying for a banking licence after giving it up to focus on its technology

Cloud based CivilisedBank, which relinquished its banking licence to refocus on its customer offering, has reapplied to the Bank of England.

The bank, which plans to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with loans, savings and cash management products, originally received regulatory approval in May 2017, with a plan to launch in 2018.

But in April 2018, it gave up its licence to work on the technology platform that underpins its model.

CivilisedBank plans to use a network of local bankers to serve SME customers with a turnover of up to around £25m cloud-based technology underpinning its services.

At the time it relinquished its licence founder, Chris Jolly said: “For us, it is essential that we can deliver an optimal customer offering, so we prefer to delay this stage of our development and have more time to get it right.”

It has used this time to develop its technology platform. In an increasingly competitive fintech space, getting the technology right is vital for challenger banks to differentiate themselves.

The bank now plans to launch in the first half of 2019.

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Mark Stephens, CEO at CivilisedBank, said: “It was really important that we took the time earlier this year to make sure that, when we come to market, it is with the optimal offering to customers.”

He added that the market has changed and the additional time has also allowed the company to develop its proposition in line with customer demand: “Resubmitting our banking licence application is a key step towards a full launch next year.”

As well as offering loans, asset finance, savings and payment services to SMEs provide savings accounts to consumers.

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