The founder and ex-CEO of Funding Options was most recently advising Starling Bank on its lending strategy.
Conrad Ford has joined Allica Bank as its new chief product officer, the latest in a string of senior hires from other well-known fintech firms including Richard Davies, Revolut's banking CEO, in August.
Ford will be developing and implementing the bank’s future product strategy as it seeks to deliver a full suite of banking products to support SMEs.
Since standing down as CEO of Funding Options last year, Ford has advised a number of leading UK fintechs including Starling Bank, Coconut, iwoca and Trade Ledger. He remains a Board Advisor to the latter.
Andy Carroll has also joined Allica Bank as its Head of Product for Payment Accounts to lead the strategy, design and delivery of the bank’s new payment account offering. Caroll was the Group Head of Product at international payments specialist Equals Group Plc, before which he held product leadership positions at BCG Digital Ventures and Habito.
Ford said: “Ten years ago, a business with a dozen employees could expect an experienced relationship manager in their local bank branch. Now they face being bounced around an anonymous call centre. This has far-reaching consequences as bank lending to these firms has stagnated, a problem I saw first-hand running Funding Options."
“In other areas of running a business, providers like Xero have delivered dramatic upgrades with mobile and cloud technology, and there's no reason why the same can't be done for business relationship banking in conjunction with real human relationships.”
“It's crazy that no one has attacked this problem yet."
Allica Bank recently completed a follow-on investment of £26m led by existing majority shareholder, Warwick Capital Partners and announced that it is launching a £100m funding round to help it meet the current high levels of demand for finance it is experiencing from British businesses.