LONDON Dec 17 Britain may be facing a banking
revolution as technology transforms business lending and the
dominance of its banks, a senior Bank of England official told
the Independent newspaper on Monday.
"The mono-banking culture we have had since the 1990s is in
retreat," said Andy Haldane, the BoE's executive director for
"We are seeing a much more diverse eco-system emerging with
the growth of new non-bank groups offering peer-to-peer lending
and crowdfunding which are operating directly with a wider
public," he said.
Peer-to-peer lenders directly match up firms in need of cash
with investors, and so-called crowdfunding, raises small amounts
from a large number of funders.
"I am congenitally pessimistic about most things in life but
on this I am really optimistic: it's a time of opportunity
knocking for finance," he said.
Haldane, a member of the BoE's Financial Policy Committee,
which from next year will take the lead in British bank
regulation, also said he saw no reason why finance would remain
largely altered by technological advances.
"Technology has changed every other industry such as film,
music and even football clubs, so why not finance? With open
access to borrower information - which is held centrally and
virtually - there is no reason why end-savers and end-investors
cannot connect directly," he said.