Digital Bank Fidor to Close its Doors in the UK Amid Uncertainties

Digital banking

Citing uncertainties in the local market, Fidor bank is closing in the UK as the digital challenger bank’s sale by French banking group BPCE nears completion.

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After launching in the UK in 2015, the bank said its UK operations will cease in just over two months’ time.

In a statement on its website Fidor said: “Due to the uncertainties surrounding the UK market, we have decided to withdraw our product and service offering in the UK on 15 September 2019”.

Although Brexit was not cited directly, many Fintech’s are in the process of preparing for when the UK leaves the EU single market, which is vital to financial services firms that want to operate across Europe.

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Fidor is one of the earliest digital pioneers in the banking sector and was launched in Germany in 2009. The digital bank uses social media to overcome the cost and complexity of traditional banking, while increasing customer trust through an online community.

Fidor has had a troubled ownership as BPCE put Fidor up for sale in November which caused challenger’s founder Matthias Kröner to leave.

One source suggested that BPCE never really had a strategy on how to progress Fidor forward. BPCE was formed from a merger of two centuries-old French banks, and as a result, its culture was not able to truly integrate a company like Fidor, the source pointed out.

Kröner had high hopes for Fidor after its takeover by BPCE. In an interview with Computer Weekly, Kröner said the bank’s acquisition by BPCE meant it had adopted an “attack formation”.

He said the acquisition had taken Fidor from being a potential challenger to a real threat to the status quo in retail banking.

At the time of the acquisition, BPCE chairman François Pérol also said: “This is a key step in the acceleration of the digital transformation of our group. It further demonstrates our commitment to innovation, to developing a customer-centric approach enabled by digital banking technology, and to be more involved in the digital and mobile banking field.”



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