News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd at a concert, bathed in spotlights

1.UK – FinTech

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is winding down one its retail digital banking offering Bó following a slow start for the brand in an increasingly crowded field, reports AltFi.

“The bank revealed the move to “wind down Bó as a customer-facing brand” in its Q1 2020 report released this morning. 

RBS also revealed that it would merge Bó with its SME-focussed digital banking platform Mettle and “the technology used in Bó will be integrated into Mettle as it is developed.” 

Marieke Flament, the CEO of Mettle, was appointed CEO of Bó earlier this year after Mark Bailie stepped down after just a few months at the helm.

 officially launched at the end of November 2019 with plans to take on big hitters like Monzo, Revolut and Starling and had reportedly signed up 3,500 customers before the launch.

The digital bank had a rocky journey, at the beginning of February it was revealed that it had to replace customer cards after a Strong Customer Authentication oversight.

The number of cards replaced was initially rumoured to be 30,000 but Bó only had to reissue 6,000 owing to a lack of customers.”


2. UK – FinTech

The alternative sector headhunts from the mainstream. AltFi reports.

“Digital banking giant Monzo has appointed the former head of global merchant services for Europe at American Express, Sujata Bhatia as its new chief operating officer.

The news, first reported by Tech Crunch, comes after an almost six-month gap in the position following the departure of Bhatia’s predecessor Tom Foster-Carter.

Foster-Carter left the London-based digital bank back in November to launch his own grocery-startup

Before joining Monzo, Bhatia spent 16 years at American Express in several senior management roles and previously has worked at Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young.

Bhatia’s appointment, which was confirmed by a spokesperson for the bank, is the most recent reshuffle at the top for Monzo. 

Early employee Simon Balmain, who started just after Monzo’s name change from Mondo, announced he was leaving the bank last month to join Nick D’Aloisio’s new startup.

Another high-profile employee to depart the fintech was Monzo’s chief technology officer Meri Williams who left in March after just under two years at the bank.

Pending regulatory approval, Bhatia will join Monzo later on this year and will help the bank navigate the current turbulence it is facing.”

3. UK – AltFi

The Times reports the latest from disgruntled LCF bondholders.

“High-risk companies advertising on Google are continuing to lure ordinary investors who have no idea of the gamble they are taking with their money.

Allison Leonce-Coley inherited £90,000 from her mother, who died in 2017, and did an internet search to find the best way to invest it.

“I was looking for ‘income from savings’ and ‘best deals’,” the retired accounts manager says. “Two companies, Blackmore and London Capital & Finance (LC&F), came up a lot.”

 4. US – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider has news on the OneCoin saga (fans of ”The Missing Crypto Queen” podcast will not be surprised at this development).


“Judge Valerie Caproni has lifted the stay on a lawsuit filed against OneCoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes.

An order recently signed by the New York District judge requires all concerned parties to provide a schedule, which will request the defendants to submit a response to the complaint by May 8, 2020.

As noted in the court order:

“No later than May 8, 2020, the parties must jointly submit a proposed schedule for Defendants to answer, move to dismiss, or otherwise respond to the Amended Complaint.”


5. International – FinTech

Sygnum Bank, a licensed digital asset bank, has confirmed that XRP digital tokens will be available through its banking services platform. Crowdfundinsider has the tale.

“Customers now have the option of depositing, trading, and accessing credit services using the XRP cryptocurrency.

Headquartered in Switzerland, the FINMA-licensed institution will allow the third-largest (by market cap) crypto asset to be used by customers who may be interested in diversifying their investment portfolios, by allocating a certain percentage to digital assets.”