Battle of the Banks: Fintech vs the Old Guard

FinTech start ups are soaring to staggering new heights. But are we in a bubble? And to what extent are the old guard running scared?

There was once a time when the bank — perhaps your high-street Lloyds or, if you were a boy of international aspirations, the town’s flagship HSBC — was the place where you marked the most formative moments of your life: substituting the gloss of a ceramic piggy bank for the digits, sterility and promise that came with a young saver’s account; dipping in for a mortgage in return for the safety of four walls, a roof and years of repayment that never seem to find an end; or simply tapping an ATM’s pad in hope of a pretty good, rudderless weekend ahead. 

But with the change of times — the perpetual Democrat-Republican-Democrat-Republican cycle of US presidents; the shift from Big Zuck’s Facebook to Big Zuck’s Instagram; the trials and redemption of Ben Affleck and J-Lo – modern-day financial technology (otherwise known as fintech) has altered the very nature of the banking game, not only purveying the traditional, conventional services, but also much more, from providing advances on your monthly salary to offering the option to incrementally pay for online goods.

With such startups valued in the billions and seemingly outstripping their mainstream rivals, are we beginning to see the slow undoing of Wall Street and Canary Wharf, or are we just in another bubble that’s ripe to pop?

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield has since left the challenger bank — but his company continues to prosper

Who are the FinTech movers and shakers?

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