Volt Bank has today announced that APRA has granted the company an Authorised Deposit-Taking institution licence, becoming the first retail challenger bank to receive an ADI licence since the early 2000s.
The announcement allows Volt to progressively roll out a full suit of consumer deposit and lending products through 2019 and comes eight months after it was granted the first-ever restricted banking licence.
Volt co-founder and chief executive Steve Weston said the announcement established a new force in Australian banking.
“This is a landmark day for Australian consumers.
“It marks the next stage of an exciting journey that began with a vision to introduce genuine competition to banking. We are buoyed by the overwhelming desire from people to see change and bank in a new way,” he said.
Mr Weston said Volt was delighted to receive the licence and said it was a testament to the team and their vision.
“Against the backdrop of systematic failures and breaches of trust by incumbent banks, our mission is simple: to empower people and make financial services easier.
“It’s about giving Australians a fundamentally different banking experience, one that is honest and fair.”
Mr Weston said Volt would continue to roll out cutting edge technology and would embrace data and analytics for its customers.
“We are building a bank that works tirelessly for our customers and their money.
“We can do things by being digital only and smartphone-led, focusing on removing the ‘speed bumps’ too often experienced by Australians, like length waiting times and excessive fees,” he said.
The new licence enables Volt to offer its services to all Australians by removing the limit on the maximum size of deposits and on the aggregate amount of deposits it can accept.
Mr Weston said receiving the unrestricted licence was a huge milestone and proved that it was possible to build a bank from scratch and meet the regulator's deadline.
“To have received our ADI licence before any other new entrant gives Volt Bank a competitive advantage over challenger banks looking to follow in our footsteps.
“We also acknowledge that this is a huge responsibility, as we will set the tone for a new era of banking,” Mr Weston said.
Chief executive of 84 400, another challenger bank, Robert Bell congratulated the team at Volt and said it was an exciting time for new entrants to banking.
"86 400’s full licence application is progressing as expected and we look forward to making our own announcement in early 2019.
"While currently fully funded by Cuscal, Australia’s leading independent payments company, we are opening our doors to new investors in 2019, those that want to play a crucial role in delivering a new era of Australian banking. It’s an exciting time not just for us, but more importantly for Australians that have long deserved better products and services than those the Big Four banks have offered them.”
Alongside the ADI announcement, Volt Bank also launched Volt Labs, an app-based community that lets customers provide their insights and ideas to designing products and services.
Since it was granted the restricted licence back in May 2018, Volt has doubled its team to 100 employees, become PayPal’s only Australian partner-to-date and appointed former Foxtel and News Corp chief executive Peter Tonagh and former Tabcorp chief investment officer to its board.
In 2019, Volt will continue to raise money to support further growth and will be rolling out SME banking services.