RBS app-only bank Bó takes second bite out of Loot

By Roger Baird on Monday 7 January 2019

Digital Banking

The high street bank’s digital-only operation now owns a 25 per cent stake of Loot as it prepares for a 2019 launch.

The soon-to-be launched digital-only banking arm of RBS has made a second multi-million pound investment in a financial app aimed at students and young people.

Bó has invested £2m into digital current account Loot, which has more than 175,000 customers .

This follows an initial investment of £3m last July, which now gives the state-backed high street bank a 25 per cent stake of the app launched in 2014.

Loot customers are provided with a pre-paid debit card and are offered personal breakdowns of their spending patterns, allowing them to set daily or weekly budgets.

Bó chief executive Mark Braille said: “Loot is a really exciting brand and one that we’re proud to be associated with. Through its innovative use of technology and intention to change the status quo, it’s quickly built a following of loyal customers, with potential for rapid future growth.”  

RBS said Bó is testing its operations and currently has a “view to launch in 2019”.

The move by RBS follows Spanish high street player Santander, which said last May it intended to establish its own digital bank under a separate brand in a bid to compete with growing app-only rivals such as Monzo and Tandem.

These units, launched by established players, are often called a ‘flanker’ brands, and are meant to help the older bank keep pace with new digital disruptors.

RBS has launched a number of other ‘flanker’ brands in recent years, such as Mettle, a digital lender aimed at small businesses, and ESME, an online corporate app.

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