Ex-Barclays execs to launch digital bank for the (not yet) rich

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 13 October 2020

Digital Banking

HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet) is an unlovely acronym but also a market touted to be extremely valuable in the coming decade and beyond.

Ex-Barclays execs to launch digital bank for the (not yet) rich
Image source: Jeremy Takle and Ben Harvey/Pennyworth

A duo of former executives at Barclays bank plan to take on the likes of Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank with the launch of a new digital bank specifcally aimed at “aspiring affluent’ young professionals. 

Pennyworth, founded by Jeremy Takle, who was recently advising Klarna on its banking strategy, and Ben Harvey formerly Managing Director and Head of Product at Barclays’ US Digital Consumer Bank, does not yet have a banking license but has begun the process of application. 

They began the pre-application process to become an authorised UK bank in March 2020. Beta testing is touted for early 2021. 

Instead of competing for consumers’ current accounts, Pennyworth will enable its customers to integrate and experience personalised banking across their existing accounts through Open Banking and AI. Financial planning insight will be a core part of Pennyworth’s service with tailored support to help customers define and track progress towards their life goals. 

Pennyworth will also help its customers achieve their goals faster by offering high-yield savings and deposits, low-cost loans and overdrafts, and the ability to contact their Pennyworth bank manager through a single click of a button in its app. 

Jeremy Takle, founder and CEO of Pennyworth, says banking is “broken”.  

“Traditional banks continue to exploit busy people by providing poor value, impersonal service, and the first wave of neobanks have failed to break that inertia because they are too busy battling to win current accounts that most people don’t want to switch."

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