EDC’s Samee Zafar met with Nick Ogden, CEO of ClearBank. ClearBank is the UK’s first clearing bank in more than 250 years bringing open competition and transparency to the UK market. Their state-of-the-art technology transforms the clearing bank experience, making payments faster, cheaper and more efficient for everyone. ClearBank offers services to financially regulated businesses and fintechs. It provides secure access to core banking solutions, payment schemes and systems, operated within a liquidity managed current account.

Amidst a plethora of new banking start-ups, what does your new digital ClearBank do that is different?

We are UK’s first purpose-built clearing bank. We are focused on high speed efficient transactional banking services initially being delivered to other regulated organisations. We spent 3 years building ClearBank and are now starting to onboard customers, following extensive testing with 16 pilot customers during mobilisation. Since our launch in February, hundreds of regulated business have approached us for service. Part 2 of the ClearBank story will emerge next year.

Will you focus on broader financial services for retail consumers in the future?

No, we are neutral and independent and will not compete with the consumer services delivered by our regulated customers. Since we launched on February 28th, we have been privy to many exciting consumers development and opportunities and our role is to support those initiatives.

New digital banks have been criticized for not having a sustainable business model. How robust is ClearBank’s business model?

Our business model is completely different, we are a transactional bank delivering transaction-based services from a state of the art technology platform. This enables our customer to lose batch process and move into a straight through 24 x 7 environment. By consolidating all services into a single ISO 200022 API, our services are easily and robustly consumed. The cost benefits that our customers will accrue from our single view real-time, self-reconciling platform are substantial. Our focus is on value and service, not making claims of how many thousands of inactive current accounts we create. During 2018, our white label banking platform will enable our customers to develop and deliver a compelling service to potentially a whole new underserved current account marketplace.

Besides banking and payments, what interests you? What do you do in your free time?

What is free time? I have an elite athlete son who wants to win the Olympics and so that keeps me busy as his sport is Alpine Skiing. Aside from that, I can be found at cars and coffee events. Less said about that probably the better but Google search and sign up if you are a part-time petrol head and enjoy noisy networking.