Former Barclays executives to launch UK’s first digital bank for ‘aspiring affluent’ young professionals

A team of financial services experts led by two former Barclays executives today unveiled their plans to launch Pennyworth, a new digital bank to serve the needs of young professionals and middle managers.

Pennyworth, founded by Jeremy Takle and Ben Harvey, formerly Managing Director and Head of Product at Barclays’ US Digital Consumer Bank, began the pre-application process to become an authorised UK bank in March 2020. Today it started recruiting 1,000 Pennyworth Pioneers to gain advanced access to its mobile banking app as part of beta testing in early 2021.

Instead of competing for consumers’ current accounts, Pennyworth will enable its customers to integrate and experience personalised banking across their existing accounts through Open Banking and AI. Financial planning insight will be a core part of Pennyworth’s service with tailored support to help customers define and track progress towards their life goals.

Pennyworth will also help its customers achieve their goals faster by offering high-yield savings and deposits, low-cost loans and overdrafts, and the ability to contact their Pennyworth bank manager through a single click of a button in its app.

Jeremy Takle, founder and CEO of Pennyworth, comments: “Banking is broken and our mission is to fix it by making it easier for busy people with complex needs to achieve their financial goals. Traditional banks continue to exploit busy people by providing poor value, impersonal service, and the first wave of neobanks have failed to break that inertia because they are too busy battling to win current accounts that most people don’t want to switch.”

Ben Harvey, founder and Chief Product Officer of Pennyworth, comments: “Jeremy and I have built banks and digital banking services together across Europe and North America, and Pennyworth’s customers will benefit from those experiences without even having to switch banks. We are building a digital bank for ‘aspiring affluent’ young professionals, busy people climbing the corporate ladder with complex financial needs, who would benefit hugely from personalised service and financial planning insights, but who struggle to access them in their traditional form.”