Financial services providers and fintech startups in the U.K. will soon have another bank to work with to gain access to the country's payment systems and core banking technology — and potentially save money in doing so.
ClearBank, scheduled to open in the fall of 2017, says it is the first U.K. agency and clearing bank to be created in the country in more than 250 years.
Worldpay founder Nick Ogden revealed Feb. 28 that ClearBank will operate as a banking-as-a-service startup that will not be open to the public. But its technology will provide efficiencies and cost savings not available at traditional banks, Ogden said.
"ClearBank was built specifically to create competition and aims to change the market dynamics radically," Ogden, who serves as executive chairman of the founding management team, said at a press conference in London. "Figures from the Cruickshank Report indicate that, with the improved efficiency delivered by ClearBank’s built-for-purpose technology, between £2 billion and £3 billion could be saved from the annual costs that are paid for transactional banking in the U.K."
Using a combination of public and private cloud infrastructure through Microsoft Azure, ClearBank will launch with an integrated core banking technology system, and an application programming interface developed in accordance with ISO 20022 to support easier connections. ISO 20022 is a standard needed for international payments, and a key element in various faster payments initiatives.
The institution has secured an investment of £25 million from PPF Group and CFFI Ventures in addition to investments from founders, who, along with Ogden, include CEO Charles McManus, CFO Mark Jenkins, chief risk officer Steve Barry, CTO Andrew Smith and the chief governance officer, Philip House.