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Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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FIRST DIRECT(UK)

with Paul Saychief marketing officer at First Direct

According to Paul Volcker, the last great innovation in banking was the ATM, but do you think being a bank without branches is innovative?

When we launched back in 1989, it was absolutely revolutionary. We suddenly launched onto a market that was used to going to a branch Monday to Friday, a branch that was not open at weekends, that only opened around certain hours—9 to 5 if you were lucky—and you had to queue up for your money. If you needed to see your manager, you had to make an appointment. Suddenly, we launched this telephone banking service that was available 24/7, 365. You could phone us on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. That was absolutely revolutionary at the time. ...

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