New bank Chetwood Financial has agreed up to £150 million investment from private investment firm Elliott.
News of the investment comes as the financial provider secures a banking licence from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, adding to existing authorisation for its lending business secured in early 2017.
The investment and banking licence will accelerate Chetwood Financial’s plans to launch its first consumer finance product in Q1 2018 – an innovative unsecured loan. During mobilisation, the bank will continue to develop and test its first savings products.
The innovative unsecured loan, branded LiveLend, will offer unique functionality, enabled by the latest in financial technology, meeting a wider goal to develop products that improve customer experience for specific groups who are not best served by current offerings.
The Company will operate on a new, cloud-based technology platform, Yobota. The platform can house a range of stand-alone products, from lending to savings and more, which won’t just fit the traditional financial services mould, but enable responsive and dynamic products, not yet seen in the industry.
Working with a range of partners and making the most of modern technology, Chetwood operates with much lower costs than most other providers – allowing such savings to be passed to the consumer, giving their products a competitive edge.
Chetwood Financial and Yobota were founded in 2016 by ex-HSBC senior banker Andy Mielczarek and technology strategist Mark Jenkinson. Chetwood has since recruited a strong Board of Directors, made up of senior figures with deep experience in the UK financial services sector (see below).
Chetwood CEO, Andy Mielczarek said:
“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. 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.”
Chetwood COO, Mark Jenkinson added:
“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. It’s a new model, not obsessed with owning the customer and cross-selling, but creating products that interact with the individual and their lives.”
Amit Sharma, Portfolio Manager at Elliott commented:
“In an environment where there are numerous management teams seeking investment for bank start-ups, Chetwood stands out given the strength and experience of the management team, a business plan focused on asset accumulation and its credible market proposition.”