Jim Spowart, the former chief executive of Intelligent Finance and a serial remote banking entrepeneur, is in talks with prospective partners about creating a new telephone and Internet bank for the business market, according to a report in the Scotsman.
Spowart, who unexpectedly stepped down as chief executive of IF earlier this year, is reportedly preparing for a quick return to the UK financial services arena after completing an agreed six months restricted covenant agreement with HBOS, IF's parent company.
He told the Scotsman his new venture could be off the ground as early as Christmas.
A former managing director of telephone insurer Direct Line, Spowart created a greenfield Internet savings and mortgage bank for Standard Life before moving to HBOS to oversee the launch of standalone telenet bank IF in 2000. He quit IF earlier this year as HBOS reined in plans for international expansion due to the global economic downturn.
For his return, Spowart is reportedly plotting to enter the as-yet untapped market for online and telephone business banking services.
"There is now scope for the banks to tackle the business market in terms of tele-net banking," Spowart told the Scotsman. "That's the next big area to take off, as long as it can be shown that margins will not be adversely affected."