Troubled Fidor Bank to shut down in the UK
With a terse statement referring to “the uncertainties surrounding the UK market”, Fidor Bank UK has announced it is withdrawing its services and products from 15 September this year, reports Martin Whybrow.
Fidor gained a UK licence in 2016, having launched in Germany in 2009. It was bullish about the prospects for the UK market and looked to be a disruptor, with its innovative in-house technology and digital business model. However, the bank was acquired by France-based BPCE in summer 2016 and it subsequently became clear that the integration had not been a success, with BPCE setting about seeking a buyer.
As well as a claimed 380,000 account customers, Fidor seeks to provide its technology to other financial institutions on a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) basis. Customers include O2 Banking in Germany, Van Lanschot in the Netherlands and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
The bank is not specifically referring to Brexit when describing its UK decision. Customers will need to close their accounts because there is no facility to transfer them to Fidor Bank Germany, as is a different registered entity. For customers, Fidor Bank UK has set up a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
Fidor Bank was offering “no hidden fees, no waiting around, just a free bank account available 100% online”. The bank was seen as an innovator with its digital offerings, such as a better interest rate based on Facebook likes, and storing World of Warcraft gold and cryptocurrencies.