Former UK Finance Chief Joins OneBanks

OneBanks startup now has new vice-chairman Stephen Jones

OneBanks

The former head of the UK Finance financial lobbying group, Stephen Jones, has joined OneBanks as its new vice-chairman.

The start-up company is aimed at providing branch facilities to customers who have seen their local branches withdrawn by their bank. OneBanks will offer shared banking facilities for banks who can pay a subscription fee to have their services dealt with in the shared space.

Jones’ addition to the team comes ahead of a planned phase of funding in the summer, with major players such as Rupert Pennant-Rea – a former deputy governor of the Bank of England – and Baroness Bottomley, the former cabinet minister for the Conservative Party, having already offered capital.

A Shared Solution

OneBanks aims to capitalise on a market where, following the 2008 financial crisis and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, high street banks are being forced to downsize their physical branches and transition into an online offering.

While those high street banks are claiming that they are following customer trends, and ensuring that customers still have access to in-person banking services within five miles, OneBanks sees an opportunity to serve customers from a shared space, reducing costs for the banks whilst still maintaining a physical presence.

Closures are accelerating at the minute, with Santander the latest to announce that it is closing one in five branches in the UK.

(It’s) the community banking and payments solution for our times. It is technologically advanced, socially and digitally inclusive, affordable and secure. OneBanks is not a bank, it is a shared infrastructure solution for banks and other payments firms to serve their customers better.

Stephen Jones

Tailored To Rural Areas

While it is true that many customers are transitioning to online banking services, there are many who still prefer to use in-person facilities. These include a proportionally high number of rural customers who either see in-person banking as an important community interaction, or they have poor access to internet.

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    The Good Things Foundation, which is a social change charity, has stated that there are 11.5 million British people who don’t have the essential digital skills required for online banking, with 3.7 million of those not having access to the internet at all. For those, in-person banking facilities are still essential.

    However OneBanks is not only aimed at serving communities where branches are already closing. Those close to the company believe that it won’t be long before the service also targets highly populated areas with high numbers of branches.

    By offering high street banks the opportunity to close their own branch and instead subscribe to shared facilities, the banks could save money while OneBanks could host all services in one place.

    This may not be ideal for the customer, as OneBanks does charge a transaction fee to customers as well as a subscription to the banks.

    OneBanks is currently operating one pilot branch in a Co-op store in Denny, close to Falkirk.