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RBS to wind down ‘Monzo challenger’ Bó less than six months after launching

In its short life, Bó had two CEOs and a number of high profile blunders including having to reissue several thousand cards.

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Marieke Flament/Mettle

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is winding down one its retail digital banking offering Bó following a slow start for the brand in an increasingly crowded field

The bank revealed the move to “wind down Bó as a customer-facing brand” in its Q1 2020 report released this morning. 

RBS also revealed that it would merge Bó with its SME-focussed digital banking platform Mettle and “the technology used in Bó will be integrated into Mettle as it is developed.” 

Marieke Flament, the CEO of Mettle, was appointed CEO of Bó earlier this year after Mark Bailie stepped down after just a few months at the helm.

 officially launched at the end of November 2019 with plans to take on big hitters like Monzo,Revolut and Starling and had reportedly signed up 3,500 customers before the launch.

The digital bank had a rocky journey, at the beginning of February it was revealed that it had to replace customer cards after a Strong Customer Authentication oversight.

The number of cards replaced was initially rumoured to be 30,000 but Bó only had to reissue 6,000 owing to a lack of customers. 

Following the announcement in RBS’ statement Group CEO Alison Rose told Yahoo Financethat “the circumstances had changed.”

A spokesperson for RBS said: “We are prioritising our investment spend across the bank on products and services that allow us to provide the best possible support for customers and colleagues. This is more critical than ever given the challenges we are all facing at this time."

"After careful consideration, we have made the decision to wind down Bó, and focus on our digital bank for SMEs, Mettle. As a bank, we will continue to test and learn, investing in innovative banking services that will provide a better experience for our new and existing customers."

Rose also confirmed that Bó only had 11,000 customers, most of which were “friends and family.”

The shuttering of Bó will come as a fresh blow to RBS as it was revealed that its profits halved as a result of the ongoing pandemic. 

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