Fidor Bank plans UK expansion

Germany based Fidor Bank has revealed it is planning to open its virtual doors in the UK during 2014, although an exact date could not be given.

Germany based Fidor Bank has revealed it is planning to open its virtual doors in the UK during 2014, although an exact date could not be given.

The direct bank, which was granted a German banking licence in 2010, also told RBI that it has plans to increase its Russian operations this year.

Fidor Bank has yet to turn a profit but the CEO and Chairman, Matthias Kröner said that the bank expects to become profitable "at some point in 2014".

Kröner has been critical of traditional banks failure to offer an alternative to the payday loan companies that have been gradually increasing their market share of the short term loan industry.

Fidor Bank will roll out its ’60 second banking’ in Russia and the UK in an attempt to capitalise on the need for instant access to credit.

Kröner also revealed that it’s e-wallet, built by financial software vendors The Currency Cloud, will be upgraded to support Bitcoin in 2014.

According to Kröner the fledgling bank will continue to use social media as its prime marketing channel following its UK launch, along with its crowd sourced approach to financial FAQs.

The recent history of internationally based online only banks operating a UK unit highlights the challenge faced by Fidor.

Business success eluded ING Direct’s UK operation prior to its sale to Barclays.

ING Direct UK accumulated losses of €321m from setting up shop in 2003 until being snapped up by Barclays in 2012 and in that period only posted a profit in two years (2006 and 2009).

 

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