Bank Of England governor Carney set to fast-track upstart banks

Mark Carney

On Wednesday, the governor of the Bank of England will unveil details of plans to make it easier for new lenders to be granted a banking licence reports The Times  At the moment, Banks typically wait 12 months.

About four lenders have applied for bank licences, with another 20 in pre-application discussions with the Bank of England.

Last year, Atom Bank and Tandem, two digital-only lenders were given full licences.

The banking industry is seeing a wave of new banks coming on to the scene, following the launch of Metro Bank in 2010. At the time, Metro was the first new retail bank in Britain for 150 years.

George Osborne announced plans for the start-up unit in his autumn statement. The chancellor said that it was the role of government to “foster” and “promote” competition.

He is attempting to loosen the stranglehold of the big four banks — Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS — that currently control more than three quarters of the current account market.

The government wants 15 new banks on the high street over the next five years.

The Bank and the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, have been given the task of boosting competition in financial services. This includes reducing the minimum capital requirement for new banks in an effort to stimulate start-ups.