LONDON — Financial technology entrepreneur Nick Ogden on Tuesday unveiled the UK's first new, purpose-built clearing bank in 250 years after 3 years secretly working on the multi-million-pound project.
ClearBank is a "bank for banks," Ogden told a crowd in central London at Tuesday's launch event. It will not offer any services to consumers, instead offering payment processing and core banking services to fintech startups, credit unions, building societies, and other challenger banks.
ClearBank has two key propositions. Firstly, it is what's called a "clearing bank," meaning it can process payments across all major schemes in the UK, including Swift, MasterCard, Visa, CHAPS, BACS, and Faster Payments. It is only the fifth clearing bank in the UK — the others are Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland. Any company that takes or makes payments has to work through one of these banks one way or another.