Bank Of London Launches, Valued At Over $1 Billion

Only the second clearing bank to launch in 250 years...

December 10, 2021
Bank Of London Launches, Valued At Over $1 Billion
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Ian Lewis

Written By

Ian Lewis

 

A new bank, called Bank of London, has been unveiled and claims to already be valued at over $1 billion.

The bank, unveiled on the 30th November, is the first ‘pre-revenue’ bank to launch in history with unicorn status, meaning that it is valued at the billion-dollar mark. It is also only the sixth clearing bank in the UK, and just the second clearing bank to launch in the last 250 years.

With a banking licence for the UK already granted, the bank is now in advanced talks with regulators in both North America and the European Union as it looks to capitalise on its early promise with a robust international expansion plan.

A New Major Player?

The new bank has declared that it intends to hire 3,000 staff over the next five years, most of whom will be based in the UK, with others in Europe and North America as the business expands. The aim of the business is to focus on fast cross-border payments and so international growth is essential.

The bank is said to have two potential locations shortlisted for its European arm — Dublin and Luxembourg. It has raised $90 million in its latest round of funding with venture capital investors ForgeLight, 14W Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners backing the bank.

While the bank was publicly unveiled on Tuesday, it has been in the works for the last four years and was founded by Anthony Watson. A former senior technology expert at the Barclays banking group, Watson is aiming to challenge the traditional big banks of the UK with “game-changing technologies”.

“The Bank of London is the Solution”

Watson has claimed that a small club of banks controls 75 per cent of the world’s spendable money and that even newer challenger banks aren’t doing enough to really drive change, describing them as the “fax machines” of the finance world, in that they are not really offering a huge technological leap forward.

The Bank of London is going to address an arcane part of the global financial system — the sleepy worlds of clearing and global transaction banking

During the great financial crisis, I saw first-hand how the legacy payments, clearing and settlement processes that are at the heart of the global financial system contributed to bringing the world's economies to their knees, through their inefficiencies and inherent liquidity risk.

Fundamentally, banking is basically an immensely complex data problem. The Bank of London is the solution. And our unique solution is simplicity.

Harvey Schwartz, Group Chairperson

The latest round of financing took the bank to $120 million in total so far, which puts in it the UK’s top 10 most valuable fintechs. As well as the focus on clearing, the bank is also going to offer global transaction banking and global agency banking services.

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