RBS digital banking platform to be named Bo

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is exploring the launch of a standalone digital bank which will operate under the brand name Bo.

The lender’s plans for an app-based consumer bank to take on FinTech challengers like Monzo and Atom bank as well as the proposed name are understood to have been briefed to around 100 staff yesterday, according to Sky News.

The Bo project, which is expected to go live in 2019, is being led by Mark Bailie, the bank’s former chief operations officer.

Earlier this year it was reported that the bank was planning to migrate one million Natwest customers to a mobile-only offshoot.

It is understood that the project will be run as an independent operation with separate premises and a dedicated team, mirroring the startup culture of disruptive FinTech players.

Last month it was reported that RBS had enlisted Starling, the mobile-only challenger bank, to advise on its plans for a standalone digital banking platform.

As the pace of digital transformation accelerates, incumbent banks are increasingly turning to partnerships and collaboration with their more nimble FinTech rivals in a bid to compete with their mobile and app-based consumer banking offerings.

A spokesman for RBS said: “As part of the bank’s wider investment in digital and innovation, RBS is working on a range of projects to better serve our customers in the era of digital and open banking.

He added: “One of the projects we are looking at is building a separate, digital-only bank for personal customers.”

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