On Tuesday, the FCA and PRA announced* that, since their inception in April 2013, they have seen a number of positive developments in the UK retail banking sector including: the authorisation of five new banks by the PRA, 25 new banking applications, the introduction of a new ‘mobilisation’ option, and a reduction in the minimum amount of initial capital required by small credit institutions from £5m to £1m.
A week ago, Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, and Anthony Thomson, co-founder and former Chairman of Metro Bank and founder of Atom Bank, launched Agiliti™, a state-of-the-art technology and services solution that enables speed-to-market for new entrants into the UK banking sector.
Anthony Thomson, Non-executive Director of Agiliti and founder of Atom Bank, commented: “Technology is the last major barrier for new entrants to financial services, and Agiliti is offering them a way to overcome that. A technology solution would have previously taken new entrants two to three years to build but, with Agiliti, this could now take as little as six months. Agiliti’s innovative ‘pay as you grow’ model’ also markedly reduces the financial investment required. As a result, we should see more entrants, and therefore competition, in the sector and the number of applications for new banks increasing drastically.”
Travers Clarke-Walker, Managing Director EMEA at Fiserv, commented: “These changes represent a tangible reduction in the barriers to entry for new players. The fact that the regulators have already received 25 new banking applications is proof that these measures are working.
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“However, one of the biggest barriers that still exists is IT. Historically, new entrants have had to rely on agency banks to deliver their IT – an option that can be incredibly expensive – or invest a huge amount of time and capital into developing their own technology infrastructure. The launch of Agiliti one week ago means that this is no longer an issue for new entrants and the final barrier has been removed.”