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UK’s Standard Chartered establishes new unit to support fintechs and other start-up firms

UK-based banking group Standard Chartered has created a new business unit, SC Ventures, for investing in fintechs and other start-up companies.

Focusing on digital innovation, the new unit will advance rapid testing and implementation of new business models.

SC Ventures, which will be headed by transaction banking global head Alex Manson, will work with businesses and functions across the group in three areas such as catalysts, investments and ventures.

Internal consultants will serve as catalysts to help other members in problem-solving and implementing better practices and client-centric design. The eXellerator innovation lab will be used by the group for these services.

SC Ventures will include a professional investment unit to handle the group’s minority investments in fintech companies and support further investments in better technologies.

Earlier, Standard Chartered invested in distributed ledger company Ripple to co-develop commercially viable applications for global trade and payments, as well as in enterprise information management company Paxata.

The venture unit will sponsor and supervise new disruptive technology ventures, which are wholly or partially owned by Standard Chartered.

It will focus on projects to expand the bank’s core strengths or where the bank strategically supports a venture.

Working from Singapore, Alex will report to Standard Chartered group chief information officer Michael Gorriz.

Gorriz said: “As new technology continues to play an ever more important role in banking, there is a huge opportunity for us to promote more innovation, and at the same time develop and deliver digital solutions that work for our clients and for us.”

Manson said: “In a world otherwise full of technical solutions looking for problems, at Standard Chartered we start with human beings.”

With around 80,000 employees, Standard Chartered provided banking services to the people and companies across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Image: Standard Chartered Group headquarters, London. Photo: courtesy of Cobaltblue25.