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Challenger banks

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What is a challenger bank?

Challenger banks are challenging the larger slow-moving institutional banks with new fintech, which is usually via an app (but not always) and they claim to have better and faster services. But sometimes they fall under this label but are not actual banks.

How do I find out if a challenger bank is a bank?

It is important to note that some are not actual banks and therefore your deposits are not covered by FSCS financial services compensation scheme which guarantees your deposit up to £85,000. Some challengers are a prepaid digital service streamlining your banking requirements. These challengers will not be allowed to mention the word bank in their marketing material and will often market their accounts with the wording business account or personal account. Banks in the UK are regulated by the PRA and FCA. You can find a list of banks that the PRA regulated here and below we have started to formulate a list of challengers to traditional banking institutions.

Find out if the bank is regulated by visiting the Bank of England site Find out about the FSCS

Lender Company No. Established Phone Social Media Website
Smile 00990937 05/10/2070 03457 212 212 smile.co.uk
Tandem Bank 00955491 04/06/2069 020 3370 0970 tandem.co.uk
Squirrel 08621129 23/07/2023 N/A squirrel.me
BABB 11197989 09/02/2018 N/A getbabb.com
Dozens 11153882 17/01/2018 N/A dozens.com
Counting Up 10729748 19/04/2017 N/A countingup.com
Emma 10578464 23/01/2017 N/A emma-app.com
Anna Money 10149389 27/04/2016 N/A go.anna.money
Glint Pay Services 10117131 11/04/2016 020 3915 8111 glintpay.com
Chip 10113174 08/04/2016 N/A getchip.uk
Plum 09952199 14/01/2016 020 3393 1340 withplum.com
Oval 09990597 05/01/2016 N/A ovalmoney.com
First Direct 09928412 23/12/2015 0345 6100 100 www1.firstdirect.com
Coconut 09904418 07/12/2015 0808 169 9928 getcoconut.com
Cleo 09864205 09/11/2015 N/A meetcleo.com
Plutus 09674279 07/07/2015 N/A plutus.it
Bud 09651629 23/06/2015 N/A thisisbud.com
Moneybox 09597755 19/05/2015 N/A moneyboxapp.com
Soldo 09495650 18/03/2015 N/A soldo.com
Monzo 09446231 18/02/2015 0800 802 1281 monzo.com
Nimbl 09276538 23/10/2014 N/A nimbl.com
Starling Bank 09092149 18/06/2014 N/A starlingbank.com
Revolut 08804411 06/12/2013 020 3322 8352 revolut.com
Monese Ltd 08720992 07/10/2013 N/A monese.com
Atom Bank 08632552 31/07/2013 0191 594 9400 atombank.co.uk
Osper 07958759 21/02/2012 N/A osper.com
Curve 07875693 08/12/2011 N/A curve.com
Money Dashboard SC374952 16/03/2010 0330 221 0574 moneydashboard.com
Pockit 07157877 15/02/2010 N/A pockit.com
Moneyhub 06909772 19/05/2009 0117 280 5120 moneyhub.com
Metro Bank 06419578 06/11/2007 020 3402 7740 metrobankonline.co.uk
Acorn Account 06268340 04/06/2007 0845 846 5154 acornaccount.com
Tuxedo Money Solutions 05674773 13/01/2006 020 3219 3100 tuxedomoneysolutions.com
gohenry N/A 04/01/2006 0330 100 7676 gohenry.com
Think Money 5530040 08/07/2005 N/A thinkmoney.co.uk
Cashplus 04947027 29/10/2003 0330 024 0924 cashplus.com
Mettle 04008083 05/06/2000 N/A mettle.co.uk
Mast Haven 09660012 04/08/2020 020 7036 2000 masthaven.co.uk
Hampden & Co SC386922 04/08/2020 0203841922 hampdenandco.com
Tide 09595646 04/08/2020 0333 121 0266 tide.co
Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub N/A 04/08/2020 01344 388 005 berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk
  • Internet Business Awards Category Award Winner 2015
  • Hertfordshire Business Awards Finalist 2014

As seen in:

  • The Guardian
  • Financial Times
  • Yahoo! Finance
  • The Times
  • The Daily Telegraph