A new UK challenger bank, ClearBank, is set to launch later this year, after recently gaining a licence from regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
ClearBank – also known as CB Infrastructure Limited – is the brainchild of Nick Ogden, the founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of WorldPay, who sold the payments processer to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in 2002.
The new bank was set up in 2015 and is registered in the UK county of Norfolk. Its chief technology officer (CTO) is Andrew Smith, former managing director (MD) and CTO at Tapsley, a UK-based provider of cloud and mobile solutions to financial institutions. Ogden is a director at Tapsley.
Filings with the FCA indicate that the new bank is likely to be headed by former RBS supervisor Charles McManus, with Ogden taking the role of chairman. McManus served as chief monetary officer of RBS’s Irish subsidiary, Ulster Bank, until 2012.
Ogden is also founder and chairman of another payment services company, CashFlows, which was previously known as Voice Commerce. On his LinkedIn profile, he writes: “I’m told that I am a serial entrepreneur and certainly I have been lucky to have been consistently at the forefront of innovation in a range of technologies.”
Following the licence approval, ClearBank is expected to launch within months and focus on financial technology (fintech) businesses and online services. It will join a number of new UK digital challenger banks, which include Atom, Monzo, Starling and Tandem. Their development has been helped by the Bank of England (BoE), which in 2013 introduced a simplified two-step process with lower capital requirements for setting up new banks.
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