City of London Group has hired PwC technology consultant Monica Velasquez-Torres as CTO of putative SME banking startup Recognise.
In 2018, SME finance house COLG acquired Echo Financial Services as a vehicle to create a new bank for the "retail and business deposits market", subject to a successful application for a banking licence. Recognise is being led by Jason Oakley, previously Metro Bank, Managing Director, Commercial.
Velasquez-Torres is tasked with sketching out a blueprint for the future bank's cloud-based core technology platform and architecture.
During her tenure at PwC, Velasquez helped shepherd more than half a dozen new entrant banks to secure their banking or payments provider licences.
If successful, the business expects to raise new capital, most likely in the form of equity, to grow its loan book.
Michael Goldstein, CEO, COLG says: “I am delighted that we have been able to bring Monica on board to support the group and particularly Jason Oakley and the Recognise team. Not only does she have a quite incredible academic and technical background, Monica has unique experience of taking new entrants through the licence application process.”