Supported by a private bank iconic, the fintech Alpian wishes to offer its services to a wealthy clientele.
In recent years, the French banking industry was disrupted by the arrival of neo-banks. If the retail bank is suffering seriously from these new entrants, the private bank is for the moment spared. The market is however far from being fixed, and the first “neo-private bank” in switzerland may well come to play the spoilers…
Incubated by a private bank
Alpian is not a fintech as the other. It is the largest banking group in geneva Reyl incubating the project for 18 months. With 40 years of experience in private banking, he hopes to seduce a rich clientele younger with this neo-private bank. Pasha Bakhtiar, a member of the group Reyl explains the choice of the bank to separate this new offering 2.0 : ” it’s a lot easier for us to implement such a structure, approach with a ‘start-up’, rather than do that within the bank “.
The neo-bank has just finished in the month of January, a first round table of 12 million swiss Francs (11,5 million Euro), with external funding to the bank in order to be fully operational ” as soon as the first or second quarter of 2021 “. He will have to obtain the validation of the local regulator, FINMA, for its application for banking license.
By the time of launch, Alpian will require new fundraising, in particular to hold the funds necessary for a banking license (15 to 20m CHF), which implies that the group Reyl to ” deconsolidate Alpian and maintain a minority stake “, according to Mr. Bakhtiar.
An application in the heart of the project
On the same principle as the neo-banks N26 or Revolut, the supply of Alpian revolves around a mobile application which will act as the interface between clients and private bankers. These will be available on client demand for ” personalised interviews of 15 to 30 minutes video-conference “. The customer will be more autonomous on its operations, whether it is to finance the daily newspaper, stock exchange, or management mandates.
But we do not know today the cost and conditions of eligibility to this new neo-bank, it is intended for young customers whose fortune fluctuates between 100 000 and 1 million swiss Francs. The nugget of geneva will focus in a first time on the swiss market, where more than 2.6 million people are potential customers.
A cannibalization of the future ?
Rather than see Alpian as a direct competitor, Pasha Bakhtiar prefer to plan for the longer term : ” there may be a cannibalization partial today, but to better benefit the growth and the financial health of the group tomorrow (…) This should not be seen as something negative “.
In an industry that’s very traditional in its structure and its operation, Reyl seems to want to position itself as a precursor with an offer simpler, more transparent and more suitable for the uses of tomorrow. For this, she did not hesitate to diversify its income sources by focusing on the future, like a group like BNP Paribas with its online banking Hello bank! and the Account Nickel.
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