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Cambridge to get new 'boring' bank

01 February 2010  |  11982 views  |  0 Savings house in hands

A group of Cambridge businessmen, including former HSBC head of technology and innovation David Gill, are setting up their own 'boring' bank.

Brainchild of Nigel Brown, former chairman of financial services boutique NW Brown, the Cambridge Commercial Lending Company is currently trying to raise £50 million for the venture.

Former boss of Coutts private bank Peregrine Banbury has been installed as chief executive while Gill, who is now the managing director of Cambridge-based St John's Innovation Centre, has joined the board.

The new firm, which is applying to the FSA for a banking license, will concentrate on lending to small local businesses. The area has a reputation for attracting high-tech start-ups, earning it the sobriquet Silicon Fen.

Brown told the Independent newspaper that the venture will be called Cambridge Boring Bank or the Boring Bank of Cambridge, reflecting the risk-averse attitude of people after the financial collapse.

Separately, department store retailer John Lewis is the latest non-bank player considering a move into the financial services sector, according to the Daily Mail.

The retailer - which enjoys a reputation for fair play and trust on the high street - is exploring the possibility of applying for a banking license and launching a savings account, says the tabloid. It would not look to buy a branch network, instead operating through its stores and online.

Tesco, Virgin Money, US investment group Blackstone, Vernon Hill's Metro Bank and Sandy Chen's Walton & Co are all making moves to take advantage of public disillusionment with the UK's high street players by establishing their own presence.

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