Business

Steve Kaaru

Royal Bank of Scotland taps ex-Circle exec to lead fintech project

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed Marieke Flament, a former top executive at crypto payments company Circle as the head of its online business-focused unit. Flament joins the bank after serving at Circle for three and a half years and is expected to bring a wealth of digital finance experience to the bank.

Flament will be the CEO of Mettle, the digital arm of the RBS whose main focus is on small and medium-sized businesses, the Financial Times reports. The bank, which is the fourth largest in the U.K after HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds, launched Mettle in November last year. It’s designed for use by entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping them manage their finances and acquire credit. The bank intends to avail the mobile app in two months’ time.

The opportunity for the RBS is immense in the small businesses sector, Flament believes. She stated, “There is a huge opportunity for disruption in SME digital banking. Insight and feedback garnered during the pilot stage have shown that we are in a very strong position to capitalise on this opportunity through Mettle.”

Flament served as the chief marketing officer for Circle since April last year. She previously served as the managing director of the company’s European operations. Other positions she has held in the past include the vice president of European and Middle Eastern operations for Hotels.com, senior consultant at Boston Consulting Group, a finance analyst at luxury brand LVMH and a consultant at Tag Heuer.

The RBS appointed Flament because she has a “record of breaking boundaries in the finance sector,” Alison Rose stated. Rose, who is the head of commercial and private banking at RBS also hailed Flament as a top professional who has “knowledge of adapting to a constantly evolving tech landscape.”

The RBS is yet to take a stand on cryptos despite some of its competitors in the U..K already delving into the industry. Santander became the first U.K. bank to integrate blockchain technology into its operations last year with the launch of its international payments app. The bank built the platform on Ripple’s infrastructure, launching it in four countries initially: the U.K., Poland, Brazil and Spain.

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