Australian fintech Alex secures banking licence from APRA
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has granted Brisbane-based fintech Alex a restricted banking licence.
It’s the first licence to be handed out by APRA in 18 months, after the regulator put a hold on issuing new licences following the outbreak of COVID-19.
APRA announced it has given Alex licence to operate as a restricted authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI), meaning it will be able to conduct limited banking activities for up to two years.
The firm is aiming to qualify and apply for a full ADI licence from the regulator to be able to offer a full suite of digital banking services.
Founded in 2018 by former Suncorp execs Simon Beitz and Craig Fenwick, the company has so far largely been operating as a neolender, offering online personal loans.
Announcing the news on LinkedIn, Beitz, who is also CEO of the firm, writes: “We’re officially Alex Bank.”
“This will be one of many milestones on our journey to providing Australians with a better banking experience.”
According to the company’s website, Alex looks to be planning the launch of a new savings account, though it says “the timing will depend on how long it takes for us to be fully accredited as an ADI by APRA”.
The company, which has raised around AUD 35 million in funding in total, also says it is “very close” to launching the Alex app.