The FinTech Five – Top Stories in Welsh Fintech – 15th of March 2024

  • Blog

  • FinTech Five

  • News

Welcome to Fintech Five, a fortnightly look at the best articles, news and insights from FinTech Wales members and the Financial Services industry across the UK.

Starling Bank announces appointment of new CEO

Starling Bank has announced the appointment of Raman Bhatia, currently serving as the chief executive of energy supplier Ovo, to lead the bank in its next stage of growth following the departure of founder Anne Boden last year. Bhatia, who previously led the digital bank for HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management business in the UK and Europe, is expected to take over from interim chief executive John Mountain in early summer, subject to regulatory approval.

“We see significant opportunities for Starling under Raman’s leadership as the economy stabilises,” said Starling’s Chair David Sproul, adding that the appointment would allow the bank to expand its personal and small business customers in the UK while continuing to grow Engine, the bank’s Software-as-a-Service business.

Many believe the incoming CEO will be tasked with steering the bank towards a public listing, at a time where the initial public offering market in London has remained subdued. Bhatia said he was “truly honoured” to be appointed to the bank that he had “long admired because it believes passionately, like I do, in using the power of technology to do the right thing for its customers and its people”.

Read more on this story at Starling Bank

Monzo raises £340 million in new investment

And in news from another Challenger Bank, Monzo has secured £340 million in funding pushing its valuation to a projected £4 billion. Led by Alphabet’s independent growth fund CapitalG, the round aims to fuel Monzo’s expansion following a period of significant customer and revenue growth.

The round also sees participation from new backers including GV (Google Ventures) and HSG (HongShan Capital), as well as existing backers including Passion Capital and Tencent.

The raise has fueled ongoing speculation around the timing of a potential initial public offering, almost ten years after the bank’s inception in 2015.

Read more on this story at Fintech Finance News

Admiral ahead on pricing

Despite concerns about falling motor insurance prices, one analyst at Berenberg believes Admiral is ahead of the market in terms of pricing strategy. Thomas Bateman, of Berenberg, suggests that the market hasn’t fully recognised Admiral’s pricing advantage.

The insurer raised prices by 37 per cent over the course of last year, ahead of the market average, something that Bateman believes gives the company “scope to cut prices a little, while still maintaining excellent margins and growing market share”.

Bateman predicts a robust increase in earnings for Admiral, expecting record pre-tax profits exceeding £760 million in the next two years. Following this positive outlook, Admiral’s shares surged by 4.9 percent.

Read more on this story in the Times

FinTech Wales opens the market at the London Stock Exchange to mark St David’s Day

FinTech Wales was joined by Welsh fintech companies to open the market at London Stock Exchange on St David’s Day, March 1st 2024.

The team was also joined by Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies, who said: “I was delighted to celebrate St David’s Day by opening the London Stock Exchange with FinTech Wales. We have a fantastic thriving Welsh financial services technology sector supporting 16,000 jobs across Wales which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Read more on the FinTech Wales LSE opening here

Innovate Finance launches Unicorn Council

Innovate Finance launches the Unicorn Council for UK FinTech, bringing together CEOs and Founders of major UK Fintech companies to accelerate and unlock growth in the UK fintech sector.

Co-chaired by Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, along with Philip Belamant of Zilch and Charles McManus of Clearbank, the Council aims to maintain the UK’s global position as a fintech leader. The Council seeks to address key challenges to support continued growth of the sector over the next decade. It will advocate for improved policy, perception, liquidity for the sector, drive foreign investment and enhance international competitiveness.

Philip Belamant, CEO and Co-Founder of Zilch, said, “As a proudly British-born company, we’re excited to co-found this dedicated council for UK unicorns. This is a chance to redefine how global investors see the distinct value of investing in the high growth, UK FinTech sector.

Read more on this story at Innovate Finance

Until Next Time

This concludes this week’s edition of FinTech Five. Remember to join us every two weeks for the latest news highlights from our FinTech Wales membership and wider FinTech ecosystem.