In the 1980s, most of the UK’s community banks were bought by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and RBS, which are collectively known as the “Big Four,” or the “High Street” banks. Following the global financial crisis, the Big Four were forced to trim back their community branch networks considerably.

This has opened a significant market opportunity for those willing to launch a community bank. Even in the digital age, there’s still room for community-focused financial institutions staffed by bankers with specific knowledge of local conditions.

Older generations still seek out branches for support on access to digital services, community groups appreciate local support, and small-to-medium-sized businesses place a high value on having a local presence for depositing cash, opening a line of credit, or taking out a loan.

The problem is that even the most ambitious entrepreneurs face enormous hurdles in starting banks on their own. To open a new bank, you need extensive knowledge of banking regulations and ready access to experienced legal help. You need a complete set of business plans and financial projections for regulators and investors. You need to figure out how to manage a wide array of financial and operational risks.

Those have proven to be near-unsurmountable obstacles –until now.

Building a Bank-in-a-Box

To support entrepreneurs in community banking, Oxford-based Community Savings Bank Association (CSBA) has completed the assembly of a full set of contracts, standard operating procedures, and technology solutions required to start up a new bank.

Read the complete story on how TCS BaNCS on the Cloud supports CSBA.

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