UK Challenger Banks: The Three C’s – Core, Culture, & Challenges

The proliferation of challenger banks and banking services providers (i.e. fintechs that do not own their own banking licence) is given us mixed feelings: on the one hand, the excitement about innovation, change & better choice for customers, and on the other a healthy dose of scepticism – do we actually need that many offerings, and are they as revolutionary as they claim to be?

Sharon Kimathi and Tanya Andreasyan, editors of global fintech publishing platform FinTech Futures, delve into the good, the bad and the ugly of the UK challenger banks world, focusing on the three C’s: core, culture and challenges.


There is no one universal approach for start-up banks picking their “engines” – some have gone for in-house built tech, some have turned to long-standing legacy tech, and some opted for younger third-party solutions. And then there are curious cases of a mix of a bit of everything… We put a spotlight on who’s using what and why.


Fintech often comes with a promise of transparency and social responsibility. Is this really so? We look at the sector’s culture, diversity and inclusion efforts… as well as examples of hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.


Challenger banks are not exempt from challenges (excuse the pun!) – both common to the industry and specific to the newcomers. The lack of profitability (and an unclear path towards it), growing pains, technology fails, carving their own niche and more – nothing escapes our watchful eye!


Tanya Andreasyan is Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of FinTech Futures. She joined the company in early 2016, overseeing the its digital and print publishing operations and strategy.

Prior to that, she was at IBS Intelligence (a UK-based fintech publishing house and analyst/consultancy firm) for nearly a decade in a variety of roles, including research & consulting, writing for and editing in-house publications.

Tanya has extensive understanding and knowledge of the banking and financial services technology industry and its participants, including vendors, financial institutions, consultants and other third parties, on global, regional and domestic levels. She focuses on banking tech, fintech and paytech sectors.

She is a regular speaker at industry events, and has appeared as a guest expert on radio and TV, including BBC.

Sharon Kits Kimathi is the Editor of Fintech Futures and Banking Technology magazine since May 2019, having been Deputy Editor at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and a capital markets Reporter at Global Capital and mtn-i.

She has worked as a Paralegal for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; as a Legal Compliance Associate for Goldman Sachs; and Paralegal at Reed Smith LLP. She enjoys writing about compliance and diversity issues affecting the financial industry.

Her work on crypto and digital currencies has been published in the Oxford Political Review and Compliance Elliance Journal.

Tuesday, 03 November 2020

11:00 - 11:45 London Time


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  • Tanya_Andreasyan cropped.jpeg
    Tanya Andreasyan
    Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief
    FinTech Futures
  • Sharon Kimathi, FinTech Futures.png
    Sharon Kimathi
    Editor of Fintech Futures and Banking Technology Magazine
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    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group