British crowdfunding site wants to become a bank
LONDON (REUTERS) - A website which brings new sources of funding to small British businesses by allowing individuals to invest as little as 10 pounds (S$20) in them, is aiming to become the first crowdfunded investment bank, its CEO said.
While many crowdfunding sites have marketed themselves as an alternative to banking, BankToTheFuture.com, which has helped businesses raise 487,000 pounds since it launched in August last year, it plans to apply for a banking licence so it can expand its range of products to include things such as retail bonds.
The site, which is liaising with the British government, regulators and the Bank of England, is being advised by Ms Fiona Brownsell, who was involved in helping set up Metro Bank, Britain's first new high street bank in more than 100 years.
"The fundamental difference about what we are doing that would be different from other people with banking licences is transparency... everyone can see exactly what happens with their money," former investment banker Simon Dixon, the site's co-founder and chief executive, told Reuters.