Microsoft collaborates with ClearBank: Launch of first new UK clearing bank in over 250 years
By Andrew Longstaff, Microsoft Financial Services on February 28, 2017
Filed under Financial Services – Banking & Capital Markets
Making transaction banking faster and more cost effective than ever before with far-reaching consequences for financial services businesses, their customers and the wider economy ClearBank today announced that it is the first clearing bank to enter the UK market in more than 250 years. ClearBank is on track to open its doors in Autumn 2017 to financial services providers, FCA-regulated businesses and Fintechs that require access to UK payment systems and core banking technology to support current account capabilities. Free from the constraints of legacy technology, and built on Microsoft Cloud technology, ClearBank delivers open access to payment, current account and transactional clearing services. Financial services organisations, from banks and building societies through to new challenger banks and Fintechs, will be able to process payments and offer new competitive transactional banking services more cost effectively, efficiently and quickly than ever before possible. ClearBank’s leading edge technology platform has been built on a combination of public and private cloud infrastructure – and is specifically designed to handle core banking, clearing and settlement services, through a ground-breaking collaboration with Microsoft. Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK, said: “By embracing Microsoft’s cloud services, ClearBank is rewriting the rules on how financial services can be delivered in the UK. Through the power of Microsoft Azure, ClearBank has been able to create a robust banking infrastructure that is able to overcome substantial barriers to entry in a fraction of the time it has traditionally taken, and at minimal cost. “Furthermore, by utilising Microsoft’s UK data centres, not only can ClearBank be confident that it has access to cloud services that offer world-class reliability and performance, it can also be assured that its data residency and regulatory requirements are fulfilled.” In the press statement, Nick Ogden, ClearBank Executive Chairman, said: “There are thousands of new fintech start-ups and challenger banks improving choice, but the industry will never truly move forward while it’s constrained by the challenges of legacy operational structures. ClearBank was built specifically to create competition and aims to change the market dynamics radically. Figures from the Cruickshank Report indicate that, with the improved efficiency delivered by ClearBank’s built-for-purpose technology, between £2bn and £3bn could be saved from the annual costs that are paid for transactional banking in the UK. “This represents a substantial boost to the UK economy delivering better operational processes without any impact on the way that commerce is operated in the country. “We are delighted to share the result of more than three years of regulatory, operational and technological efforts, bringing true competition and a new level of transparency to UK banking. That is the ClearBank difference.” ClearBank CEO Charles McManus, said: “There are two things that make ClearBank unique. Firstly, we’ve built ClearBank on cloud technologies from the ground up, meaning that our customers can access faster and more cost-effective solutions and payment processing. Secondly, ClearBank is the first UK clearing bank that offers services that intentionally complement its customers’ market activities to drive choice and competition in the wider market. From our own customers, through to the consumers they serve, we believe the benefits ClearBank offers will help develop greater choice, and more inclusive service offerings.” ClearBank is built on the Microsoft Cloud platform including Azure, utilising compute, storage, analytics, security and operations services, as well as Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Benefiting from the Microsoft Cloud’s world-class reliability and performance combined with security, privacy, compliance, transparency and availability, ClearBank has been developed to meet the needs of the UK banking market now and in the future. Read more on the Microsoft Banking & Capital Markets and Insurance blogs.