CivilisedBank, the new branchless digital bank with a Local Banker network, today announced that it has received its banking licence from the Bank of England[1]. The licence is a significant step for the bank and paves the way for it to build its infrastructure and launch to customers in early 2018.

Focused on the UK SME market and funded by retail savings, CivilisedBank will serve businesses through savings and loans, transaction banking, overdrafts, current accounts with deposits and foreign exchange. The new relationship banking service will cater to the SME market in a way that isn’t currently offered by the incumbents or online-only banks. CivilisedBank will also address the UK retail market with a range of savings products.

CivilisedBank will reinvent traditional banking for businesses through a network of Local Bankers working in their communities and underpinned by the latest online technology. Its unique, branchless Local Banker network will help build one-to-one relationships with SMEs, without the high client volume per banker or the traditional costs associated with the existing high street banks. Within 5 years CivilisedBank aims to have a Local Banker, as opposed to a branch, in every major town and city in the UK.

Chris Jolly, Chairman, CivilisedBank said: “We are reinventing traditional banking for businesses by bringing back one-to-one relationship banking to SMEs, enabled by the very latest technology – both online and mobile. We want to return to a civilised way of banking with personal service backed by effective technology without any legacy issues. CivilisedBank represents a cultural innovation in banking and a genuinely new approach in the UK market.” 

“The majority of the funding for the build phase has come from Warwick Capital Partners, a London-based investment manager. They have developed a very good understanding of our business model and we look forward to continuing what is already an excellent working relationship with them.”

Gordon Dow, Chief Executive Officer, CivilisedBanksaid: “What makes CivilisedBank different is that we are offering a genuinely new service that isn’t currently offered by either traditional or online-only banks. Our customers will benefit from an innovative, yet secure digital platform, as well as being able to build an open and transparent relationship with a Local Banker. We will be partners with our customers, supporting and helping them grow their businesses.”

“We want to rebuild trust between customers and their bank, and our Local Bankers will visit their customers at their place of work to build supportive one-to-one personal relationships. We expect them to treat customers the way that they would like to be treated themselves.”

Mark Stevenson, Author of two books including the newly released ‘We Do Things Differently’ and the best-selling ‘An Optimist’s Tour of the Future’ said: “Banking is an industry that’s grown up in a particular way, with a particular culture that’s now out of date and no longer fit for purpose. It’s exciting to see banks like CivilisedBank challenge the existing culture and bring back an old mindset of what banking should really be.” 

CivilisedBank is led by a team1 with a proven track record in the UK financial services industry including Santander, Handelsbanken, RBS, HSBC, SocieteGenerale, Barclays, Lloyds and Bank of Scotland and includes the only person to have built and launched two new UK banks and a credit union.

[1]CivilisedBank is ‘Authorised with Restriction’ or AWR, meaning it has become an authorised firm. It is not a different form or type of authorisation: the only difference is that there will be a requirement limiting the amount of business the bank can undertake until fully operational.

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