Branchless CivilisedBank has received a licence from the Bank of England ahead of a planned launch early next year.
Focused on the UK SME market and funded by retail savings, CivilisedBank will serve businesses through savings and loans, transaction banking, overdrafts, current accounts with deposits and foreign exchange.
The new bank will not have branches but will operate through a network of 'Local Bankers' that will work to build up one-to-one relationships with SMEs. Within five years, it plans to have one of these bankers in every major town and city on the UK.
The venture is being led by chairman Chris Jolly, a former MD with Merrill Lynch, and CEO Gordon Dow, who has worked for Santander and RBS.
Says Dow: "What makes CivilisedBank different is that we are offering a genuinely new service that isn’t currently offered by either traditional or online-only banks. Our customers will benefit from an innovative, yet secure digital platform, as well as being able to build an open and transparent relationship with a Local Banker."