Cashplus has become the latest challenger bank to apply for a full banking licence, joining the likes of Monzo, Atom and Starling.
Unusually for a digital challenger bank, Cashplus has been around for 12 years and says it already safeguards around £200m in customer deposits.
Cashplus, formerly known as Advanced Payment Solutions, has also been profitable for several years – another rarity in a field which is populated by startups, many of which are burning through investors’ cash on the long road to making money. In fact, Cashplus claims to be the only profitable challenger bank at the moment.
The firm’s focus is on providing personal accounts and microloans to entrepreneurs and consumers who have had difficulty getting those services from high street banks. The company hopes that a full banking licence will allow it to lend more to its 100,000 existing small business customers as well as adding many new ones.
Rich Wagner, chief executive and founder of Cashplus said: “We’ve been shaking up the banking sector from the outside as a digital challenger to banks.
“Working from the inside will mean we have the scope to provide even more services for customers who’ve been overlooked by the traditional banks”.
“I’m fed up at the raw deal these customers have been getting so I’ve decided to get a banking licence to give them the best deal possible.”
Cashplus is in a crowded field attempting to take on the likes of HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and Santander. Several app-based banking services have been vying to win customers over the last couple of years. Durham-based Atom gained its licence from the FCA in June 2015, with ambitious plans to provide accounts to 5 million customers by 2020.