German digital bank Fidor closes British operations due to 'market uncertainties’

By Roger Baird on Wednesday 3 July 2019

Digital Banking

Munich-based Fidor will shut its doors in the UK in September, after launching just four years ago.

German digital bank Fidor closes British operations due to 'market uncertainties’
Image source: Roman Grac from Pixabay

German digital bank Fidor will close its British operations citing “uncertainties surrounding the UK market”.

The lender said it will shut its doors in the UK on 15 September, just four years after launching in Britain.

Munich-based Fidor was launched in Germany in 2009 “in an effort to re-establish lost confidence in banking with new and customer-focused services”, the bank said on its group website.

In Germany, the bank, which claims 310,000 “community members”, covers retail and business banking, and offers basic bank accounts, loans and savings bonds. In the UK, just offered retail banking, launching a MasterCard debit card in 2016.   


UK uncertainties

In a short statement on its website it said: “Due to uncertainties surrounding the UK market, we have decided to withdraw our product and service offering in the UK on the 15th of September 2019.”   

Fidor – derived from the Latin word for trust – faced intense competition in the UK market, which dominates European fintech. Rivals such as Revolut, Monzo and Starling Bank have added millions of customers in the UK and throughout Europe over the last three years. It is unclear how many customers Fidor has in the UK.

The “uncertainties surrounding the UK market” are likely to refer to the country’s prolonged Brexit process, which has seen Britain’s economy slow as firms ease investment and watch for signs of a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ exit from the European Union.  

The UK economy suffered its first quarterly contraction in seven years, according to a closely watched survey released today, amid growing fears over a no-deal Brexit.


Brexit slowdown

The IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips), said growth in the UK’s dominant service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of the UK economy, came almost to a standstill last month.

After activity in the manufacturing and construction sectors plunged into reverse last month, Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit, said the combined picture for Britain suggested economic growth probably contracted by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

The Bank of England has previously forecast zero growth for the second quarter, but some economists expect gross national product has contracted over the three months to the end of June.

Fidor has set up a Frequently Asked Questions page for UK customers.

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