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The Challenge for the 'Challenger' Bank - Pt. 2  
Last week, I posed the question, how can the ‘Challenger’ Bank actually challenge its ‘High Street’ counterpart? As discussed, in recent years there has certainly been a surge in popularity and support towards the idea of diversifying the provider ratios of traditional personal and commercial banking services. However the situation we find ourselves in currently is whether this is truly something which people are behind and will grasp, or whether it’s simply a ‘nice ideology’ but ultimately something that won’t happen because of the harsh reality of expense.

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The Challenge for the 'Challenger' Bank
As a recruiter, I operate across the Banking and Financial Services industries. Over the past year or so I have built a number of strong relationships within key ‘Challenger’ Banks who are looking to offer a unique proposition and high quality service in order to break the mould of those who have traditionally offered such dealings. The idea and appeal of the Challenger Bank is certainly something which has grown out of the financial crisis of 2008 - and the apathy and disillusion from the general public towards the ‘High Street’ Banks which followed this.

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Is the consolidation of the Challenger Banks via acquisition and mergers set to begin?
Many people have forecasted that this is a necessary step which must come to really make a difference within the Banking market, with many new providers stepping on each others toes and perhaps making less of a dent in the sector than anticipated. Secure Trust Bank seems to be a likely candidate to lead the charge following the announcement of Arbuthnot Banking Group lowering their stake in the group and allowing for a more diverse shareholding.

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Sub-Prime crisis to be?
The American Peer-to-Peer lending platform is coming under criticism of following in the footsteps of the Sub-Prime Mortgage market; the effects of which we saw develop 10 or so years ago. What began as an innovative way to lend money from retail investors to retail borrowers has quickly outgrown its original model and moved into facilitating repackaged loan portfolios and securitisations for mainstream banks and institutional investors. Is the P2P market beginning to fall into a 'quick win' trap? Will their credit procedures prove robust enough?

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Lloyds Bank has shown support towards the Challenger Banks and their criticism towards capital regulations which they face in comparison to High Street lenders.  
The Challenger banks have complained of unfairly treatment under the current rules which make them hold much more capital against loans than larger, well known competitors.

Are the CMA restricting growth opportunities and competitiveness, or are they simply covering risk with 'less established' financers?

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