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Allica Bank CEO: 'stay on the right side of the regulator'

Richard Davies, CEO, Allica Bank spoke to AltFi's Oliver Smith in a “Ask Me Anything’ session at AltFi’s Festival of Finance.

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The CEO of Allica Bank said the biggest lesson he learnt during his spell as Revolut banking CEO was not to “piss off” the regulator.

Richard Davies, CEO, Allica Bank spoke to AltFi's managing editor Oliver Smith in a “Ask Me Anything’ session at the AltFi Festival of Finance 2022 in London yesterday

Davies was banking CEO at Revolut between July 2019 and August 2020 when he left to take up the CEO role at Allica Bank.

He said many fintechs, during their growth stage, were guilty of accidentally or deliberately angering the regulator, which he said was “not clever”.

“You want to sort of have the right balance. You can grow while also having good terms with the regulator," he said.

“They are not actually a conflicting thing. You just got to have the right team.”

Davies, who has also worked at Barclays,TSB and OakNorth, before switching to fintech with Revolut, said he thought Revolut was “world-class” at product and technology.

He said he thought that some of the negative stories about Revolut had been “overdone”.

Davies said he was “very confidant” that Revolut would get a banking licence in the UK.

Revolut, which has a banking licence in the European Union, applied for a licence in the UK last year.

On where Allica Bank, which offers businesses asset finance products, commercial mortgages and business savings accounts to SMEs, would be in five years, Davies said: “UK? I want to be 10 per cent plus market share, so not one of those niche players who nibbles around the edges.

“If we were doing that, we would go international, maybe it’s as a software [provider], maybe it’s as a bank.”

Asked what frustrated him about fintech today, Davies said there was “way too much hype” pointing the finger, particularly at some fintechs which were claiming flawed artificial intelligence credentials.

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