UK challenger The Reserve postpones launch due to COVID-19

via FinTech Futures

The Reserve, a UK challenger branding itself as an “anti-bank”, has postponed its October launch due to COVID-19.

“There has never been a less profitable time to run current accounts,” CEO James Roy Poulter tells FinTech Futures.

“The time has actually allowed us to focus on launching a jurisdiction – and that will now happen first, but not till next year. Perhaps even 2022,” Poulter adds.

What is The Reserve?

Designed to serve both the UK and wider Europe, The Reserve is a financial services entity built green “from inception”.

It promises not to risk users’ money for its own personal gain or invest with profit at the forefront.

Instead, it aims to provide a risk-free infrastructure in which users can control their money. The Reserve says it will not be owned by anyone or have any shareholders.

“No old men in grey suits are getting rich from this,” it says on its website. “You set our salaries.”

“The intention of The Reserve has always been to create a digital jurisdiction – not a bank,” says Poulter.

“The bank was always a steppingstone,” he adds, explaining that anti-bank means not to “be warped by the economic incentives of shareholder-returns”.

CEO Poulter currently works at On Deck, a firm which helps start-ups get up and running – from new hiring’s to fund raises from the likes of Sequoia, Coatue and Bloomberg Beta.

Poulter also founded a foodtech start-up called Pronto in 2014, which he grew to 100 people.

Impact of COVID-19 on fintech

A number of fintechs have closed as a result of the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic.

Australia-based budgeting fintech Wildcard announced it is closing down in August after failing to recover from COVID-19’s aftershocks.

The start-up launched as recently as November last year as a transaction account incentivising millennials and Gen Z users to save money.

Synapse, a San Francisco-based fintech, cut its staff by about half in June. The same month, Austin-based virtual bookkeeper service, ScaleFactor, announced its wind-down after revealing COVID-19 had crippled its sales and restructuring plans.