Royal Bank of Scotland planning to create a standalone digital bank, claims report
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plans to create a standalone digital bank to compete with emerging British fintech champions such as Monzo and Revolut, according to a report by Sky News.
RBS has assigned one of its top executives to the project, “which is so confidential that few people inside the company are aware of its existence”, said Sky. Sources said that the work is being led by Mark Bailie, the bank’s former chief operating officer.
As RBS’s COO since April 2016, Bailie played a pivotal role in the conclusion of its winding down of RBS Capital Resolution, the so-called ‘bad bank’ set up after its bailout. Prior to that, he was in charge of its non-core Solutions unit, and has also worked at Barclays.
Tens of millions of pounds are already understood to have been earmarked for the new digital platform, which is still in its very early stages and may not result in a viable new lender coming to market, according to one insider.
News of the project comes weeks after RBS announced its first annual profit in the decade since it was bailed out with more than £45bn of taxpayer support. RBS has already struck agreements with a number of leading fintech companies such as Funding Circle, with which it works to direct customers to peer-to-peer and other providers of alternative finance.
Bailie’s efforts to create a standalone digital bank is a tacit acknowledgement of the strides being made digital challengers such as Monzo, which announced today that it had signed up 500,000 current account customers.
The financial advantages enjoyed by digital lenders are hastening the closure of high street branches – a subject which continues to draw political opprobrium from critics of Britain’s five biggest lenders: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Santander UK.
In a statement issued to Sky News, an RBS spokeswoman said: “Our industry is changing rapidly and therefore we need to keep pace with this by launching new approaches to better serve our customers.
“We will not comment on media speculation, but we’re focussed on using automation and technology to deliver a more efficient banking experience that better reflects the changing way our customers now bank.”
Why 2022 will be a significant year for digital learning
In 2022 the impact of technology in the classroom shows no sign of abating. The ‘pandemic years’ have proved critical in providing impetus for weaving and integrating powerful digital tools…
On the cyber horizon: predictions for 2022
As 2021 draws to a close, we see a world still challenged by Covid-19, necessitating new business models, new channels and a shift (perhaps for the long term) to remote…
Jude McCorry: “Focus on cyber strategy alone is not enough”
The number of cyber attacks has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, with both international and domestic cyber criminals taking advantage of our increased reliance on…
Not a drop wasted: digital cask filling can save the whisky industry millions
Scotland’s food and drink sector is central to the country’s economy. Bringing in around £14 billion every year, it employs more than 115,000 people and accounts for one in five manufacturing…
The value of engineering in the curriculum
If you were to look back at the greatest discoveries in science and technology over the past 30 years, you would soon notice that engineering is a key catalyst for…
Glasgow Council leads the way in digital learning
In 2017, we at Glasgow City Council took the opportunity to overhaul our digital approach to education and redefine learning, keeping in mind the core aim of reducing the impact…
Why data is the new oil
In 2006, British mathematician Clive Humby coined the phrase, “Data is the new oil”. This analogy has been proven correct as data now powers entire industries and holds tremendous value…
Global Entrepreneurship Week offers chance to reset aspirations amid new innovation landscape
With the advent of Global Entrepreneurship Week, it is an opportunity for us to celebrate the innovators, the grassroots risk takers who drive the economy, and those who invest in…