Challenger bank Hampden & Co deploys Oracle Flexcube core banking in the cloud

Private bank Hampden & Co has chosen Oracle’s cloud-based Flexcube core banking platform to support its imminent launch into the UK market.

One of three challenger banks awarded a banking licence by the UK financial watchdog the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), Hampden & Co, previously known as Scoban, is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

The Edinburgh-based wealth management firm selected the Flexcube system to provide core banking, direct and mobile banking services, helping to deliver personalised products to customers by aggregating and managing data from multiple sources.

The system is running on SPARC T5 servers in Oracle’s UK data centre based in Linlithgow, Scotland, allowing the bank to focus on its main banking services rather than managing infrastructure, and lower running costs.

“The UK’s high net worth sector has grown steadily over the past few years – even during tough economic times – which has created a growing demand for private banking services,” said Graeme Hartop, CEO, Hampden & Co.

“Increasingly, private banks are focusing on wealth management rather than core banking, a gap in the market which we seek to address with the help of Oracle. We view delivery of outstanding client service as a priority, which in today’s world needs to be supported by the best technological core banking platform available.”

A number of other lenders have deployed Oracle’s Flexcube, though a troubled implementation by Allied Irish Banks (AIB) led to a settlement with Oracle in a €84 million (£71.8 million) case in 2011, after the bank claimed the deployment was “beset with serious technical problems”.

Hampden & Co joins a host of new banks preparing to enter the UK market, with around 25 banks currently awaiting licences. Some of those which have announced plans include ‘digital-only’ Atom, created by Metro Bank founder Anthony Thompson, and Starling, led by former Allied Irish Bank chief operating officer, Anne Boden, which aims to be more like Google and Facebook in its use of customer data than traditional banks.

Charter Savings was another of the banks which were handed banking licences by regulators last week, delivering its services predominantly through online channels. The bank will consider development of digital channels such as mobile and tablet apps in future, and plans to increase the number of IT roles within parent company Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS).

Many of the new and smaller banks are choosing to deploy core banking services in outsourced or cloud environments. Service provider Fiserv last year launched its Agiliti platform alongside Atom bank founder Anthony Thompson - who is a non-executive director on the new venture - aimed at lowering the cost of infrastructure for new entrants, traditionally a significant barrier.

Yorkshire Building Society, has also partnered with HP Enterprise Services to provide virtual private cloud to other small banks, hosted in HP’s data centre, with Leeds Building Society one its first customers.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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