Chris Jolly

Branchless SME bank granted licence

A new branchless digital bank for SMEs has secured its banking licence from the Bank of England ahead of a planned launch in early 2018.

CivilisedBank will serve businesses through services such as loans, overdrafts and foreign exchange, using a network of local representatives with access to the latest online technology.

Additional offerings will include a range of savings products for the UK retail market, current accounts with deposits and transaction banking.

“We are reinventing traditional banking for businesses by bringing back one-to-one relationship banking to SMEs, enabled by the very latest technology – both online and mobile,” said Chris Jolly, chairman of CivilisedBank (pictured above).

“We want to return to a civilised way of banking with personal service backed by effective technology without any legacy issues.

“CivilisedBank represents a cultural innovation in banking and a genuinely new approach in the UK market.”

The bank is led by a team with previous experience gained at institutions such as Santander, RBS and Lloyds.

Although the bank plans to be funded by retail savings following its launch, the majority of its funding for the build phase has come from investment manager Warwick Capital Partners.

CivilisedBank aims to have a local banker – as opposed to a branch – in every major town and city in the UK within the next five years.

“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,” added Gordon Dow, CEO at CivilisedBank.

“We want to rebuild trust between customers and their bank, and our local bankers will visit their customers at their place of work to build supportive one-to-one personal relationships.

“We expect them to treat customers the way that they would like to be treated themselves.”

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