Retail Banking

Revolut Raise Set to Value Business at $5 Billion

UK-based Revolut is on course to achieve a $5 billion valuation during an upcoming funding round, according to documents from lead investor Technology Crossover ventures (TCV) Financial News, which has viewed the prospectus, says the round is expected to close later this month. Silicon Valley TCV, an early investor in the likes of Spotify, Airbnb and Netflix, closed a $3 billion fund in January 2019 to back fast-growing new economy companies. Read more »

Australian Lender Wisr Raises $35 Million

ASX-listed marketplace lender Wisr has raised $35 million via a placement of approximately 181 million ordinary shares. Wisr offers small to medium loans to help consumers pay down debt at rates based on borrowers’ individual risk profile. The five-year old company also operates a credit score comparison service. The firm says it will use the proceeds of the placement to grow its credit product offerings and strengthen the balance sheet. Read more »

Metro Bank Launches Cash Delivery Services for SMEs

Metro Bank has begun accepting registrations for its on-demand cash collection and delivery service for SMEs across the UK. ‘MCash’ will operate through the bank’s mobile app, where business customers can log on and select a pick-up/drop-off time from 24 hours to a week in advance. Read more »

Starling Adds Legal Services to Its Digital Offering

Starling Bank has announced a partnership with legal services provider Sparqa, the latest addition to their Marketplace. Providing Starling’s 88,000 small business customers with customisable and affordable legal services, the lawtech partnership will allow the Starling customer base to access a wealth of legal information tailored to their specific commercial needs. Read more »

UniCredit to Axe 8000 Jobs

Italy's UniCredit says it will cut 8000 jobs and close 500 branches over the next three years as part of a programme to boost shareholder value. The bank's 'Team 23' programme aims to increase net profit to EUR5 billion by 2023 and enable it to return EUR8 billion to shareholders through buybacks. To help achieve this, there will be major job cuts and branch closures in Italy, as well as some in Germany and Austria. Meanwhile UniCredit has set a... more Read more »

Deloitte Predicts 'Japanification' of Banking in 2020s

Leaders of banks need to look beyond banking in anticipation of disruption to their industry in the next decade, according to Deloitte. In its '2020 banking and capital markets outlook' report, the Big Four firm highlights its forecasts for financial services in the next year and beyond. Deloitte's broad prediction for the next decade is that of a consolidated industry with fewer banks existing in ten years' time. Fintechs will become mainstream... more Read more »

Zopa Closes in on £130m Capital Injection for Bank Push

UK peer-to-peer lending outfit Zopa is set to secure £130 million in funding, enabling it to meet regulatory capital requirements for its foray into banking. As first reported by Sky News, an entity linked to IAG Capital Partners, a US-based fund, and its UK investment vehicle Silverstripe is on the verge of taking a majority stake in Zopa. The expected funding comes just days before Zopa's banking license-with-restrictions expires a year after... more Read more »

NatWest's Bó Forced to Fend off Fraudsters in Early Days

Bó, NatWest's new app-based bank has been actively targeted by fraudsters within weeks of its public launch. The Times reports that around 30% of applications since the product went live two weeks ago have been fraudulent.  Read more »

Equiduct Launches First Commission-free, on-exchange Trading Service for Retail Brokers in Europe

The service, named Apex, was developed to ensure that private investors can benefit from guaranteed best execution on a European regulated market.   Apex will be available for the most liquid and fragmented equities and ETFs across the major European markets and guarantees a multilateral and MiFID II compliant trading environment. The new service is backed by Equiduct's pool of liquidity providers and active brokers.   Read more »

Co-operative Bank Opens Loans Marketplace

The UK's Co-operative Bank has launched a loans marketplace, enabling users to sift through a panel of alternative lenders to find the best deals. The bank is using proprietary technology and machine learning from fintech Freedom Finance for consumers to carry out a single ‘soft search’ of unsecured personal loan options which will not negatively affect their credit profile. Read more »

RBC Backs University Programme on Ethics in AI and Data Analytics

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is joining forces with Western University on a programme exploring the ethical and social aspects of data analysis and AI. The bank is pumping $3 million into the RBC Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence project at the Ontario university as part of what it calls its commitment to Canada's technology talent ecosystem and preparing future leaders for the AI and data-centric future. Read more »

CaixaBank Joins the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud Design Partner Programme

CaixaBank and Salesforce, the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), have reached an agreement for the joint development of technological innovation for financial services. Keith Block, the co-CEO of Salesforce, met Jordi Nicolau, Executive President of CaixaBank Digital Business, and Pere Nebot, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of CaixaBank, to sign the alliance between both organisations at a meeting held in San Francisco at... more Read more »

Pay.UK Knocks Back Faster Payments Fees to Cover APP Fraud

Proposals by seven UK banks to levy a per transaction fee for for certain Faster Payment transactions as a means to provide a long-term, sustainable funding arrangement for the reimbursement of APP scam victims, have been knocked back by governing body Pay.UK following an industry-wide consultation. Read more »

Google Partners Citi on Checking Account

Big tech's long march on financial services continues, with Google partnering Citi and a small Stanford University-affiliated credit union to launch a checking account. Code-named Cache, the account is slated to launch early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more »

OCBC Bank to Introduce account-to-account Transfers with Google Pay

OCBC Bank has entered into a partnership with Google to bring a refreshed Google Pay app to Singapore in January 2020. The partnership will enable OCBC Bank customers to be the first in Singapore to make account-to-account PayNow fund transfers using the enhanced features of Google Pay. The service is currently in beta-testing phase and select OCBC Bank customers will be able to link their bank accounts to make digital payments. Read more »

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