Startup 'bank' aims to be lending alternative

by Rebecca Pike12 May 2018

A startup lender which aims to be a ‘genuine alternative’ to the major lenders is the first company in Australia to be granted a restricted banking licence.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) announced over the last few weeks it would allow a new way for financial groups to become authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs).

volt bank is the first to benefit from a restricted authorised deposit-taking institution (RADI) licence, hoped to give greater competition in the domestic banking sector.

The digital platform’s website says it is working towards becoming a ‘fully licensed bank”, where consumers can go to receive insight on spending habits or find a competitive home loan with a mobile-led service.

Law firm Baker McKenzie worked with the bank to achieve the status. Head of financial services and funds in Australia, Bill Fuggle, said, "We were delighted to act for our client, volt bank, in what is clearly a game changer for both our client and the industry more broadly.

"The introduction of the RADI licensing framework provides an opportunity for entrants to mobilise powerful technologies, such as facial recognition technology, to provide seamless and personalised banking experiences, while simultaneously creating a framework in which consumers can be adequately protected.”

volt bank is the first new retail focused bank licensed since the early 2000s. To date volt has raised $15.7 million in equity capital via three funding rounds.


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