RBS is reportedly planning to move up to a million NatWest customers to a new greenfield online only banking offshoot, as it faces up to competition from app-based startups like Monzo and Starling.
Sketchy details about the project, which is being led by the Bank's former chief operating officer Mark Bailie, first emerged in March.
Citing an anonymous insider, Forbes says the new bank is being built by a lean team of just 80 developers and bankers — "purposefully based in Piccadilly away from the corporate London headquarters of RBS in Bishopsgate, for reasons of secrecy and culture".
The report suggests a beta launch of the new bank - which will ape the approach of challenger banks with the development of a marketplace model - is on target for Q3.
Responding to the report, RBS regurgitated the same boiler plate statement issued when news of the development first leaked in March: "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."