A new online-focused lender is set to launch in the UK early this year after being awarded a licence by regulators.

Created by mortgage and loans provider Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS), Charter Savings Bank will offer savings services online and via telephone - rather than investing in a network of branches - in order to reduce operating costs. 

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A spokesperson told Techworld that the bank will consider development of digital channels such as mobile and tablet apps in future, and plans to increase the number of IT roles within CCFS in the "short to medium term" to manage the business expansion.

In a statement, CCFS chief executive, Ian Lonergan, who will run Charter Savings Bank, said: “We see the development of a retail banking proposition as a logical extension for our business, enabling it to diversify into new markets and build a sustainable and competitive business model for the future.

"Being granted this licence by the PRA demonstrates the strength of our offering and the ambitious plans we have to champion savers and help them realise their financial goals.”

The bank is the third new lender to be handed a licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority, alongside Metro Bank and Aldermore, with 25 other startups also believed to be awaiting the green light from the UK regulator.

Some of those which have announced plans include ‘digital-only’ Atom, created by Metro Bank founder Anthony Thompson, and Starling, led by former Allied Irish Bank chief operating officer, Anne Boden, which aims to be more like Google and Facebook in its use of customer data than traditional banks.

On Tuesday it was also announced that German lender Fidor plans to target the UK market, as part of major international expansion pans.

Billing itself as a ‘Web 2.0 bank’, Fidor provides online and social media based account services without a branch network, and has been quick to adopt new technologies such as crytpocurrencies.

It claims to be in the “final stages” of a move into the UK, and subsequently plans to move into other Eurozone countries.

"We have frequent requests from all over Europe," said Fidor CEO Matthias Kroener. "The Web is not only an enabler but also calls for an international development."

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