We are delighted to announce we have officially submitted our banking licence application, following our invitation from the Regulator in October 2019. As over two-thirds of challenger banks fail before they are even invited to submit their application, this represents a significant achievement and reaffirms our belief of becoming a fully operational SME-focused bank in Q1 2021.
Since submitting our application, we have commenced a series of monthly meetings with the PRA and the FCA as we work together through the application journey.
Our next milestone is securing authorisation with restrictions which we hope to achieve in Q3 2020. At this stage we will be able to call ourselves a bank, however our activity will be restricted, and will involve completion and testing of our IT system and implementing our controls and procedures.
Between authorisation with restrictions and the full launch as a bank, which we hope to achieve in Q1 2021, we will be further developing and enhancing our systems and processes to ensure that we are fully prepared in advance of going live with our customers in Q1 2021.
Rod Ashley, Alba CEO, commented: “This important stage in our journey truly represents a substantial step in becoming a fully licensed SME-focused bank.
We will continue to work tirelessly with the PRA and FCA in order to reach our next milestone and, ultimately, become a fully operational bank in 2021, providing the necessary support and funding to UK SMEs which is currently needed in today’s market.”