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Upstart banks

"Neo-banks" are springing up. Incumbents that aren’t already adapting should be very afraid

By Andy Davis   March 2019

Can the established banks move with the times? Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Banking, seldom a byword for excitement, is getting interesting. In recent years, a throng of “neo-banks” has sprung up, operating through smartphone apps. Brands such as Monzo, with its distinctive coral-coloured cards, Revolut, Atom and Starling are in the vanguard.

Just 15 months after it started offering current accounts, Monzo has about a million, or one in seven of those being opened in the UK. That’s impressive. But given there are around 70m in total, there’s a…

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