UK challenger bank FGTB bites the dust
First Global Trust Bank (FGTB) had its licence cancelled by the UK regulators, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
The bank’s backer, Gordian Knot – the firm that once managed billions of dollars through a structured investment vehicle (SIV) until that vehicle’s 2008 collapse – decided to withdraw the application for FGTB “for the foreseeable future”.
FGTB was granted an “authorisation with restriction” licence from the regulators earlier this year. It was going to be a “simple, narrow wholesale bank”. Investor and entrepreneur Bob Wigley (the former chairman of the collapsed Yellow Pages) was named as FGTB’s chairman.
Gordian Knot says the bank’s aim was to “re-liquefy some of the markets severely damaged during the last financial crisis and to help lower the cost and availability of credit to the wider economy”.
The company adds it “spent a significant amount of time, effort and funds over the past five years to help reshape the financial landscape in a positive and safe manner”.
However, this is history now as “with considerable disappointment” it applied to the FCA and PRA to cancel FGTB’s licence. The regulators confirmed the cancellation.
“The combination of a difficult and fast changing regulatory environment coupled with the difficulties of trying to innovate in the financial markets post the 2008 crisis, have forced us to take the difficult decision to withdraw our application for the foreseeable future,” Gordian Knot explains.
It may be all over for one challenger, but many others are very much alive and kicking. Banking Technology has put together a comprehensive list of the known challengers to date and the technology they are using (the list is updated on a regular basis).