Chetwood gains banking licence & £150m funding

New challenger bank Chetwood Financial has secured a UK banking licence, along with a £150 million investment from Elliott Advisors.

The banking licence, acquired from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, adds to the existing authorisation that Chetwood gained for its lending business in early 2017.

The new investment and banking licence will accelerate the bank’s plans to launch its first consumer finance product in Q1 2018 – an innovative loan offering. Over the coming months, the bank said it will continue to develop and test its first savings products.

The company will also be operating on a new, cloud-based technology platform called Yobota. The platform is able to house a number of products for Chetwood, from lending to savings.

Chetwood Financial and Yobota were both founded in 2016 by ex-HSBC senior banker Andy Mielczarek, who is now CEO, and technology strategist Mark Jenkinson, now chief operating officer.

Mielczarek commented: “Our starting point is a desire to do a better job for customers who aren’t being best served by existing financial providers. We are not yet another ‘challenger bank’ and we don’t plan to offer full-service banking to everyone.

“Instead, our focus is on creating stand-alone products that offer a better deal and experience for specific groups of customers, who we believe we can make better off,” Mielczarek continued. “The support from Elliott and receipt of regulatory permissions is a huge vote of confidence in our new model for financial services and our future plans.”

Jenkinson said: “Despite huge leaps in technological capability in other sectors, existing banks haven’t really changed the fundamental products they offer for decades. Yet open API banking and low-cost cloud systems present huge opportunities for the financial services industry and we’re working at the cutting-edge of these areas to give customers something truly different.”

Amit Sharma, portfolio manager at Elliott Advisors, added: “In an environment where there are numerous management teams seeking investment for bank startups, Chetwood stands out given the strength and experience of the management team, a business plan focused on asset accumulation and its credible market proposition.”

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