This isn’t going to be the Google of finance

Three senior City bankers are masterminding the launch of a new digital bank focused on shaking up the UK savings market.

The trio is led by Huy Nguyen Trieu, a fintech entrepreneur who led a capital markets team at US bank Citi in London until quitting last summer. He is working on the project with his former colleague Lionel Durix, who remains in a senior Citi role, and Paul Hanks, the former chief technology officer of UK digital bank Atom.

They plan to launch a mobile savings app that uses artificial intelligence to give savers tailored advice and offers “risk-free” products such as Isas and high interest rate savings accounts to help them reach their financial goals.

Mr Nguyen Trieu told The Daily Telegraph: “I left Citi to help build the next Googles in finance. I am totally convinced new financial companies and business models will emerge that we can’t foresee today.”

It might be very successful and all that but it’s just not going to be the Google of anything, let alone finance.

What’s the network effect here? There isn’t one? So, it’s not going to be a Google then, is it?

14 comments on “This isn’t going to be the Google of finance

  1. If one of the founders doesn’t feel like even leaving his day job, he’s not really getting with the startup script 🙂

  2. Well, theoretically:

    More customers = more data = better-trained AI

    This is one of those areas where being the biggest operation gives you bigger data and that in theory should mean better product. Though in practice I suspect the AI stuff is little more than a gimmick.

  3. (Also, in terms of scale, if one of the bigger banks with millions of customers invested in the same kind of thing, no start-up could match those numbers, so the whole “new digital bank” seems more like an invitation for the big boys to buy them and their tech up than an attempt to create a serious new player. But I may be wrong.)

  4. Saying that you could be the Google of <insert specialisation here/> means lots of PR from guillible journos and, you hope, lots of £££ from gullible investors.

  5. Risk free “high interest rate savings accounts”? Isn’t that what the geniuses who run our local councils went for ten years ago, in Iceland?

  6. @Rob

    And universities. At my father’s one, the Governors were leaning hard on him to deposit reserves in Iceland.

    He had to explain that there was a risk to doing this, as they wouldn’t be paying 8% if it was safe….

  7. Hang on, is because of or despite Brexit. I am enjoying the constant stream of remoaners pointing out stories about bankers relocating to mainland Europe when, before the referendum, they were moaning even more about the plethora of bankers in London.

  8. I am enjoying the constant stream of remoaners pointing out stories about bankers relocating to mainland Europe when, before the referendum, they were moaning even more about the plethora of bankers in London.

    I’m particularly enjoying watching lefties on the BBC slobbering over the latest tweets from – wait for it – the CEO of Goldman Sachs!

  9. Tim Newman, maybe this should be called the Krugman Effect. Policies you agree with are wrong and misguided when enacted by the wrong person. Harm to your country is great as a reaction to Right-wing Fascist policies, especially when you wanted it to happen.

    It gets complex to summarise

  10. “They plan to launch a mobile savings app that uses artificial intelligence to give savers tailored advice and offers “risk-free” products such as Isas and high interest rate savings accounts to help them reach their financial goals.”

    I’m not sure you need AI to tell the average person they should put their savings in ISAs and high interest savings accounts.

  11. @Tim: I had great fun last year asking my lefty remoaner friends whether they enjoyed siding with Goldman Sachs against the working class. Riled them right up.

  12. Just another mid-life bullshit merchant. His entry on Linkedin shows 16 jobs in the last 18 years. As for being a Citi veteran, he was only their 4 years. Not exactly the sort of track record you want to be starting a bank, particularly if depositors are looking to place it for more than a year or so.

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