“Never let a crisis go to waste”, the old saying has it, and the global financial crash of 2007-08 was one helluva crisis. It precipitated some big changes in financial services – and not just around balance sheet requirements – as banks began to refocus on the basics. At the same time the iPhone had launched and customer expectations were starting to change as more and more apps were built, altering forever how consumers and brands interacted.
This was the environment in which Anne Boden was working when, as chief operating officer at Allied Irish Banks, she was trying unsuccessfully to reinvent banking from the inside. After five years she left to start her own bank instead.
That decision was made simpler by another consequence of the global financial crisis: a desire for increased competition in financial services meant that it had become easier to get a banking licence. Boden and her team applied in 2014 and by mid-2017 the first mobile banking app in the UK was launched, built from scratch.