James Moore: Challenger banks are creating a buzz


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Outlook First there was Aldermore, now Shawbrook has joined the London Stock Exchange, and successfully at that. The challenger bank’s shares listed at 290p, near the top of the price range and ended up 5 per cent. Investors, it seems, love their new banking shares. Which means that there will be plenty more of them to come after a brief lull created by the general election, with Yorkshire & Clydesdale, Metrobank and Santander’s UK operations are all waiting in the wings.

They’re a diverse bunch, these “new” banks, ranging from small business specialists (Shawbrook, Aldermore) to retail banks such as Virgin Money. What’s for certain is that they won’t all be winners – how many of them will even remain independent entities five years from now?

TSB has already fallen prey to a takeover, from Spain’s Sabadell. It’s unlikely to be the last. Perhaps that’s why the new boys are creating such a buzz.