CivilisedBank: There’s another new challenger bank on the scene with imminent UK launch plans

Lynsey Barber
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Former bank executives are behind CivilisedBank (Source: Getty)

Another challenger bank has joined the scene alongside a growing number of upstarts trying to unseat the dominant high street banking institutions in the UK.

CivilisedBank, a new online-only bank aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, is the latest to reveal its plans and expects to open its doors - albeit virtual ones - later this year.

The bank has secured initial stage funding and is in the process of applying for a banking license and will use a cloud technology which is to be used in the UK for the first time.

The banking software which has already been employed by the likes of BNP Paribas and Alpha Bank outside the UK, will allow CivilisedBank to operate without branches.

The bank will initially offer business current accounts, transaction banking, overdrafts, currency exchange, investments, savings and loans to SMEs with plans to expand into retail banking, specifically savings and investments, at a later date.

CivilisedBank chairman Chris Jolly, a former senior executive at Merrill Lynch, Commerzebank and Societe General, said the bank will be at the forefront of twenty-first-century banks “which are fair, transparent and responsible”.

“After years of turmoil, we believe that the UK deserves a more Civilised approach to banking,” he said. Jolly is joined by chief executive Gordon Dow, a former Santander, RBS and NatWest executive.

CivilisedBank joins a host of fellow challenger banks such as Aldermore, OakNorth and

Metro Bank and Shawbrook looking to take on Britain’s big banks since efforts by politicians and regulators to increase competition in the sector.

Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS currently control around 80 per cent of the market when it comes to personal current accounts and small business banking.

Metro Bank was the first new bank to launch in more than a century after gaining a full banking license in 2010. Since then another six banks have been christened with more, such as CilvilisedBank, due to follow.

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