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Thursday 20 June 2019


RBS trialling ‘standalone digital banking platform’

Written by Hannah McGrath

RBS is reportedly in the early stages of trialling two standalone digital banks under the NatWest brand as part of plans for a potential line of online-only products.

The bank is testing a new business banking platform as well as a separate digital retail bank, the Press Association reported, citing a senior source.

Alison Rose, the bank’s chief executive in charge of commercial and private banking is understood to be overseeing the project.

The reports come after it emerged last month that RBS and its NatWest brand had enlisted mobile-only bank Starling as part of a growing trend amongst legacy banks to seek assistance in developing digital banking operation from more nimble FinTech challengers.

It is thought that the developing project could modernise the bank’s business lending offering and help with customer retention as smaller rival lenders enter the market.

As part of conditions attached to the government’s £45 billion bailout plan, RBS has set aside a £775 million fund aimed at promoting competition for lending to SMEs, with Metro Bank, TSB, Starling and CYBG among the banks expected to submit bids.

A spokesman for RBS said the bank would be providing no comment on the reports.

In March this year, when reports first emerged that RBS was in the process of building a standalone digital bank, the bank was already reported to have signed agreements with FinTech firms including peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle as part of its plans to take on challengers including Monzo, Revolut and Atom.

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