Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Andaria, Plum, Perenna, Starling Bank, Norton Rose Fulbright and Sainsbury’s Bank.
Sainsbury’s Bank begins withdrawal of core banking business
Following a strategic review of its financial services division, Sainsbury’s Bank revealed it will begin a “phased withdrawal” of its core banking business.
Financial services products that it will continue to offer in the future will be provided by dedicated financial service providers through a distributed model. It explained that this will not cause any immediate changes to the products or services that it provides to its customers.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of J Sainsbury plc, commented: “It’s business as usual for now at Sainsbury’s Bank and there will be no immediate changes to products and services as a result of today’s announcement. We will communicate directly to customers well before any changes to their products and services.”
Andaria to participate in ‘Grow London Global’
Andaria, the embedded finance solution provider, has joined forces with business growth agency London & Partners. The move sees Andaria join the ‘Grow London Global‘ programme.
Through this, Andaria will receive access to a wealth of expert advice on achieving global expansion, with workshops across a range of business topics and international trade missions, as well as access to a wide business network.
Alan Smith, managing director UK at Andaria, commented: “This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to redefining the landscape of embedded finance globally and across Europe. We have the opportunity to elevate financial services for businesses in the UK and in Europe, driving innovation and unlocking new possibilities.”
Plum launches new spend tracker
Smart money app Plum has launched its new ‘Spend Tracker’ feature to help customers with their budgeting plans. The new feature categories all outgoings and shows them as a percentage of overall spending – to enable customers to quickly see where their money is being spent and how they can save more.
The new feature forms part of the app’s redesigned ‘Spend’ tab along with other intelligent insights designed to help people do more with their money. It includes the bill tracker which automatically detects regular payments and shows which have already been paid, and which are still to come this month.
Lia Papageorgiou, product manager at Plum, commented: “Our new Spend Tracker is the ideal budgeting partner as we head into 2024. Inflation, while falling, is still high in the UK, driving up the cost of everyday consumer goods. Being able to see a breakdown of your spending through the Spend Tracker will be enormously helpful for anyone keen to remove the pain from budgeting.”
Perenna secures green funding
Start-up bank Perenna, has secured grant funding from the UK government to accelerate decarbonisation of UK housing stock. The project is funded by the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio under the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero as part of its Green Home Finance Accelerator.
Perenna plans to use the grant funding to refine and launch its ‘Retrofit Mortgage’ product to market. The product aims to solve the biggest barriers to decarbonising UK properties and encourage homeowners to make energy-efficiency improvements to their homes.
Arjan Verbeek, founder and CEO of Perenna, explained: “Perenna wants to change the narrative on renewable energy technologies. There are too many obstacles currently to retrofitting a property, with confusing offers and unclear steps on what to do. This needs to change if we want to achieve net zero.”
Starling Bank marks ambitious growth plans with new ad campaign
Starling Bank has launched a new ad campaign, ‘The Bank Built for You’, which revolves around a concept of celebrating the people behind every transaction, with emphasis on how Starling’s money-management tools fit into all aspects of life.
The campaign will include three 30-second ads in primetime spots on Sky, Channel 4 and ITV, starting with triple and double placements in ad breaks. The campaign will run for three months initially and marks the start of a long-term marketing strategy underpinned by the new brand positioning and audience strategy.
Rachel Kerrone, brand and marketing director at Starling Bank, said: “We’ve been building Starling’s brand awareness since launching in 2017 with campaigns that capture our founding mission: to change banking for good.
“With brand awareness at an all-time high, The Bank Built for You platform takes us in an exciting new direction. We’re telling relatable human stories that highlight the unique ways we manage our money. It’s about anchoring our best-in-banking features in reality and showcasing how Starling can change the way people spend and save.”
Seventh ‘Insurathon’ opens doors to applicants
Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright is now inviting entries to its seventh ‘Insurathon’, a competition supporting start-up and scale-up technology businesses pursuing technological advancements and innovation in the insurance sector – with finalists to be announced on Friday 8 March.
All Insurathon applicants will have access to a one-to-one 45-minute pro bono clinic provided by the firm’s lawyers who cover legal and regulatory issues across areas such as corporate, restructuring, commercial arrangements, intellectual property, data privacy, employment and labour and financial services regulation. All finalists will also be eligible for three 45-minute pro bono legal clinics during the competition day.
The firm is seeking insurance offerings that digitise some or all parts of particular insurance value chains using technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, or smart contract technology.