In a statement, digital bank 86 400 (which takes its name from the number of seconds in a day) announced that it aimed to offer customers a “genuine alternative to the big four banks”.

The neobank has a team of over 60 and is led by Anthony Thomson, the founder of two UK neobanks, as well as former ANZ Japan chief executive Robert Bell and former Cuscal chief investment officer Brian Parker.

Mr Thomson will be 86 400’s chair, while Mr Bell takes up the post of chief executive and Mr Parker steps in as chief investment officer.

According to the statement, 86 400 has been working closely with APRA and will launch in beta at the end of 2018, with the public launch scheduled for Q1 2019, with a transaction and savings account available to customers.

Mr Thomson said Australians wanted “better treatment and a better experience” from banking.

“Because 86 400 will ultimately have a lower cost ratio than a traditional bank – completely free of expensive, cumbersome legacy technology and physical branches – we’ll be able to provide better value products for customers and better returns for our investors,” he said.

He added that banks’ priority of profits over customers had become the “great malaise of the industry”.

“We firmly believe that profit is a by-product of doing something great for the consumer.”

Mr Bell said technology had been utilised by the digital bank to not only compete but “do things differently” from the big banks.

“The crucial thing is the interplay between the core banking ledger and the technology. The technology has to work with the ledger, not for it.

“Only then will customers have a bank that’s working for them,” Mr Bell said.

The digital bank is fully funded by payment solutions company Cuscal, but it is set up as “a separate entity, with a separate board, and a completely separate team,” according to Cuscal managing director Craig Kennedy.

“We’ve backed 86 400 because nobody in Australia is leveraging all of the capabilities available to maximise the banking experience on your mobile,” Mr Kennedy said.

The leadership team will also consist of:

  • Former Cuscal head of finance Neal Hawkins as chief financial officer
  • Former CBA international chief risk officer Guy Harding as chief risk officer
  • Former Australian Unity Banking head of operations Matt Chan as chief operating officer
  • Former Westpac general manager for digital Travis Tyler as chief product and marketing officer
  • Former Westpac and AMP project director Caroline Milner as program director.

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