RBS closes short-lived digital challenger bank Bó

RBS has announced it is closing , the personal digital bank that was launched last year to much fanfare with the goal of challenging Monzo and Starling.

Alison Rose, CEO of RBS said that Bo had 11,000 users, many of whom were friends and family of bank employees.

“I think our decision to refocus reflects the level of opportunity that we think exists in the SME community, as well as the support we think the segment needs, as well as (being) critical to [the] recovery of the UK economy.”

Bó has been hit by a string of executive departures in recent months, including Mark Bailie, who was formerly Group chief operating officer at RBS before becoming CEO of Bó. He left in January 2020.

At the time of launch in 2019, Bailie said: “We are launching Bó to help people build the habits and routines that will allow them do money better day-by-day and week after week so they can fund their lives and lifestyles in a more sustainable way.

“Bó is also able to harness new technology and develop rapidly in line with our customers’ needs and expectations. Our aim is to transform the nation’s attitudes and behaviour around money and I’m hugely excited to see what we can achieve.”

The technology underpinning the digital banks will be integrated with Mettle, Natwest’s digital business bank.