Challenger banks and changes in UK banking

Since the financial crash in 2008, regulatory pressure has meant that UK banking is changing into more of a customer-focused industry. Mark Davies looks at the increase of new banks on our high streets and the heritages they have stemmed from.

stick people holding hands to symbolise community bankingThe UK government is keen to see a more vibrant market for UK banking; specifically one with many more high street and Internet based competitors.

A decline in customer trust following the financial crash in 2008, and the scandals that followed subsequently, has resulted in increased regulatory pressure to revert back to a more local and customer-focused approach.

We are now seeing an increased variety of names on our high streets. But these new (and sometimes old reinvigorated names) come from many different heritages. Here are just a few:

    • Banks created from the existing high street

Several familiar high street names are creating a new identity for themselves. For example, in 2013 we saw the re-birth of TSB (from Lloyds) with its distinctive blue logo, and we’re soon to see the re-launch of Williams & Glyn.

    • Customer service propositions

In keeping with the demand for more customer-centric propositions, Virgin Money and Metro Bank are two examples of entities with this at the core of their ethos.

Metro Bank launched in 2010, and is the first high street bank to be licenced by the FSA in over 150 years. Their customer service focused approach includes benefits such as longer opening hours, dog-friendly stores, and offering support to local communities.

    • Smaller lenders and consumer finance

Small lender and consumer finance groups such as Shawbrook, One Savings Bank and Aldermore, are often backed by private equity firms, and specialise in specific areas.

    • Retailers looking for extra

The supermarkets are also making their mark. Tesco and Sainsbury’s have both developed well, and have received good press.

These are just a small selection of the banks (and consumer finance firms) who are challenging the traditional banking model.

This development has resulted in us seeing an increase in demand for both permanent and contract staff. Most of these banks are very long term builds, often with developing plans over the next 5 years.

Mark Davies

How do you think challenger banks will impact the industry? Share your thoughts via Twitter, or in our LinkedIn Group.

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