New bank “on track” for launch

by Rebecca Pike07 Dec 2018

A new bank competing to be a genuine alternative to the big four has revealed it has completed a number of milestones after it was first announced six months ago.

86 400 was announced in June by Anthony Thomson and Robert Bell. Thomson is the founder and former chairman of the UK’s Metro Bank and Atom Bank.

It took 18 months of “incognito work” for the new digital bank to be unveiled to the public.

Over the last six months the group has been field testing the product, along with pay systems like Google Pay and Apple Pay across Australia and overseas.

86 400’s Core Banking Platform sourced from its Australian banking technology partner, Data Action, has been operational for a number of months.

The engine uses data and cloud-based technologies to give customers a single view of their financial world and proactive insights to make the most of their money.

Speaking to Australian Broker, Robert Bell said he was excited to work towards the launch and the last few months had only reiterated their belief the digital bank was needed.

Bell said, “We have had an extremely busy six months. But that will be a continuing trend.

“We started this journey well before the Royal Commission started. We have always had the belief there’s room in the market and said it’s more important there’s more competition in the market, especially with a more digital experience.

“I think the Royal Commission highlighted the need we originally identified. But we don’t get too caught up in the day to day goings on in the Royal Commission because we’re really focused on our delivering value to our customers.”

However, Bell said one thing he had taken notice of in the hearings was the discussion over brokers.

He added, “It’s very clear to me if you look at banking over the last ten years the single biggest driver of competition today is the growing importance of mortgage brokers.

“I think that’s the reason some Australians have a better rate on their home loan than they did ten years ago. We see brokers as a critical role as enabling competition. They have already done a good job and we’re of the view they will continue to do a really good job.

“We will look to add mortgages within three to six months of the public launch of the product. Our strategy will be a broker lead strategy.”

Anthony Thomson, Chairman of 86 400: “2019 is going to be an incredible year for 86 400, and the Australian banking industry as a whole. I’m looking forward to spending more time here, working with the board as we ramp up towards the launch of our product offering to the public, and speaking to future investors that want to be on this journey with us.

“By the end of next year, 86 400 will have a number of new investors and shareholders engaging with our mission to give Australians the bank that they deserve.”

The business is currently fully funded by independent payments leader Cuscal.

The business will commence conversations with prospective investors in early 2019, with a view to adding additional shareholders in the second half of 2019.

86 400 now has an 80-person strong team and has added deep industry experience to its Board of Directors including former Westpac, Shinsei Bank in Japan, and CommBank advisor, Akiko Jackson and Belinda Cooney, who spent 23 years at Macquarie Group and is an Advisory Board member for CSIRO’s Data61.

If you're interested in getting early access to 86 400, you can join the list here