7th January 2015
A new bank is set to launch early this year after the Prudential Regulation Authority approved its licence today.
Charter Court Financial Services Ltd (CCFS), will launch Charter Savings Bank in early 2015 promising to offer “a real alternative to traditional banks, bringing a straightforward, transparent savings solution for a discerning customer base which is currently struggling to achieve its financial goals”.
It said it would benefit from lower costs due to eliminating the need for a high street presence and instead offering only online and telephone banking services.
CCFS has made a number of senior board appointments. These include Philip Jenks, who becomes CCFS’ chair after a forty-year career in retail banking. Ian Ward, former chief executive of Leeds Building Society has been named vice-chair and will be responsible for overseeing the savings proposition. Tim Brooke, formerly a partner of PWC who has held senior positions at several retail banks, joins the board with specific responsibility for overseeing the bank’s risk functions. In addition, Ian Wilson joins with a wealth of retail banking experience as chief risk officer.
Ian Lonergan, chief executive officer of CCFS, will take overall control of running the new bank. Paul Whitlock, formerly director of savings at Shawbrook Bank, has been appointed director of savings at Charter Savings Bank and is the chief spokesman on banking issues.
Paul Whitlock said: “We will bring competitive rates and excellent, reliable service to a customer base which has too often been taken for granted by high street banks. A significant number of savers are dissatisfied and feel unrewarded in today’s economic climate and we intend to provide new options that meet their needs.” He added: “It’s high time, in what has become a listless market, that straightforwardness and robust rates are re-introduced to the market. Charter Savings Bank aims to do just that.”
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Whilst we don’t know the specific product details yet, the launch will undoubtedly help create much needed competition in the savings market.
“Savers have really suffered throughout the financial crisis, and in particular since the introduction of Funding for Lending which led to a massive reduction in savings rates. I am hopeful that the introduction of a challenger brand such as this will help spark more competition within the industry and make way for more choice for consumers.
“Until this happens, however, savers need to do everything they can to help themselves maximise their money. Apathy is rarely rewarded, and those who have a savings account with the same provider for over 12 months will most likely be receiving a rate far lower than they could receive on the current leading products in the market. The majority of banks are not proactive when it comes to making sure people are on the best deal, so it pays to be savvy and not let them get away with it.”