A new cloud-based, online-only bank plans to launch later this year after receiving an initial round of funding.

CivilisedBank will initially focus on small and medium-sized businesses, reducing costs by operating through a network of local bankers rather than creating a network of branches. The bank will using Profile’s FMS.Next software as its core platform, which has been deployed by a number of banks across Europe including Alpha Bank, BNP Paribas Securities and Eurobank, as well as crowdfunding firms and peer to peer lenders.

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It has begun the pre-application phase for a banking licence, with a full launch expected by the end of this year.

“CivilisedBank will be at the forefront of a new generation of 21st Century banks which are fair, transparent and responsible,” said Chris Jolly, CivilisedBank's chairman.

“We are pioneering a next generation model of customer-facing, technology-driven banking in the UK. Our local bankers will be responsive to the banking and financial needs of businesses in their communities based on one-to-one relationships with their customers."

CivilisedBank is one of a number of banks which have applied for licences to launch in the UK, with more than 20 companies awaiting regulatory approval. These 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.

Last week, Charter Savings launched its online-focused services, and is considering developing a range of digital services such as mobile and tablet apps.

A recent study by Accenture showed that around a quarter of UK consumers are open to holding an account with a digital only lender.

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