German neobank Fidor is to withdraw from the UK market, shutting down its online presence and all social media channels, as the bank struggles to keep an even keel three years on from its fast-souring acquisition by France's BPCE.
Fidor was one of the first breed of new digital banks, establishing a reputation in European circles as a disruptive innovator, utilising a full range of social media, crowdfunding and P2P lending techniques and digital currency services to build its business.
In the summer of 2016, eager to buy some technological savviness for its own digital transformation, the 200-year-old BPCE agreed to pay around EUR140 million for Fidor.
But two years down the line, talk emerged of a culture clash between Fidor management and BPCE. Despite injecting a further EUR89 million into Fidor in 2018, BPCE appeared to be losing faith in its acquisition, abandoning plans to roll out Fidor in France and instead pumping all of its digital investments into its existing brands.
In a letter to customers, Fidor says it will de-activate all accounts and cancel debit cards from 15 September, citing "uncertainties surrounding the UK market". Log-in Internet access will remain online for a further 15 days, allowing access only to personal documents, including account statements and interest certificates.
Fidor management has yet to make any formal statement on the matter.