Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) is set to unveil a standalone consumer digital lender called Bó as it looks to fight technology ‘unicorns’ threatening to poach customers from high street banks, Sky News has revealed. The report comes after it recently emerged that FTSE 100 peer HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) was close to launching a new digital bank to battle new competition from online upstarts.
RBS’ share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, having given up 2.53 percent to 249.14p as of 14:41 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.20 percent lower at 7,530.50 points.
RBS plots digital bank
Sky News revealed last night that RBS had settled on the name Bó to spearhead a new banking platform. Insiders told the newswire that about 100 of the lender’s staff working on the project were briefed on the name yesterday. The venture is being spearheaded by Mark Bailie, RBS’ former chief operating officer.
Bó is slated to launch to the public next year, with RBS executives reportedly wanting to migrate one million NatWest customers to the new platform, which will only be accessible on mobile devices.
“As part of the bank’s wider investment in digital and innovation, RBS is working on a range of projects to better serve our customers in the era of digital and open banking,” an RBS spokeswoman said, as quoted by Sky News, adding that one of the projects the group was looking at was “building a separate, digital-only bank for personal customers”.
Analysts on FTSE 100 group
Shore Capital upgraded RBS to a ‘buy’ this week, without specifying a price target on the stock, while Credit Suisse, which rates the company as a ‘neutral,’ lowered its valuation on the shares from 320p to 300p. According to MarketBeat, the bailed-out lender currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 312.50p.