Startup bank Charter Savings has officially launched in the UK, offering a range of online services rather than investing in a branch network.

The bank, created by mortgage and loans provider Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS), announced it had been awarded a banking licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority earlier this year.

Banking online
Charter Savings Bank could soon be joined by other digitally-focused lenders, including Atom and Starling © iStock/fotografstockholm

It 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.

Charter will offer services online and via telephone. A spokesperson previously told Techworld that the bank is also considering launching 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.

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

The bank is using an integrated treasury and risk platform from software provider SunGard to meet regulatory reporting requirements.

“Our vision was to create a bank that provided straightforward savings accounts with competitive rates, backed by reliable service,” said Sebastien Maloney, CFO, Charter Savings Bank.

“This week marks an exciting time for us, the launch of our savings products to consumers. We wanted to ensure that our launch was supported by strong governance and the best technology to mitigate risk, so being able to access SunGard’s latest technology and integrated treasury and risk platform was a key driver in our reason to form the partnership.”