British startup digital-only lender Charter Savings Bank has opened its virtual doors for business.
The new savings bank - whose parent Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS) is majority-owned by US hedge fund Elliott Associates - is offering instant access and longer term savings accounts as well as bonds, but not current accounts.
All services will be provided online and via a call centre in an effort to keep costs down and offer attractive rates.
The bank secured a license after deploying a treasury and risk platform from SunGard, which the vendor says, helped demonstrate robust systems and controls for reporting and management of liquidity and capital, stress testing, and scenario analysis.
Sebastien Maloney, CFO, Charter Savings Bank, says: "We wanted to ensure that our launch was supported by strong governance and the best technology to mitigate risk, so being able to access SunGard’s latest technology and integrated treasury and risk platform was a key driver in our reason to form the partnership."
The UK government has been aggressively encouraging new challenger banks to enter the market and take on the big four high street players, which still dominate. Last year two dozen firms approached regulators about obtaining banking licenses.
Many of the new entrants are taking the digital-only approach. Former Metro Bank chairman Anthony Thomson and ex-first direct CEO Mullen have secured significant finacial backing for their Atom Bank, while Anne Boden, previously AIB COO, is planning to launch her venture, dubbed Starling, this year.