Forging the Future of Finance
Banking Circle is a global scale financial utility, underpinning the service propositions of a wide spectrum of financial institutions, allowing them to focus resources on the customer relationship. In September, Banking Circle’s Chief Executive Officer, Anders la Cour, was awarded the title of 2018’s Finance CEO of the Year by CEO Monthly Magazine. Following his win, Anders spoke to CEO Monthly to discuss his firm and the work that they do.
Ultimately, Banking Circle was created to tackle payment deficiencies in the global business landscape: Cross border payments were sluggish, prone to regulation issues and, simply, not cost-effective. In a world defined by swift technological change, this stringent dedication to an outdated system was counter-productive, and, effectively, detrimental to the continuing evolution of global business operations. By all regards, a revolution was needed, lest new markets go unexplored, and further growth becomes stunted.
In many ways, Banking Circle’s core concept is a simple one – to create a seamless method for businesses to trade and operate on a worldwide scale. In this, they are accelerators to success, helping companies all over the world to achieve their financial and growth goals with an ease that was not previously possible. To start the interview, Anders offered a brief background on the firm’s services and solutions. “By becoming a member of Banking Circle, financial institutions can offer banking services to their customers to help them trade globally, efficiently and at low cost. Importantly Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion by helping thousands of businesses transact and manage cash flow in a way that was previously not possible. Financial services businesses can help their customers improve cash flow through enhanced speed of settlement as well as filling the gap between accounts payable and accounts receivable, whilst remaining fully compliant with financial regulation.”
“We always look to hire people who are smarter than us within their field, and then spend time making sure they agree with the direction of the business. If you succeed with that, you do not need to spend much time managing staff.”
On the back of his considerable academic achievements, Anders worked as a technology and finance M&A lawyer at a tier one law firm in Copenhagen, forging a robust experience base on which to eventually launch Banking Circle. Anders takes a moment to offer some insight into the context around the firm’s creation: “My experience in M&A allowed me to secure the backing of investors and Saxo Bank to get Banking Circle (then known as Saxo Payments) up and running and successful immediately. Together with the other founders of our business I spotted a problem with the way traditional banks were serving businesses looking to trade internationally. Cross border payments hadn’t changed in generations and were too slow and too expensive. This was holding back smaller firms with global ambitions and I knew we could create a better solution which did not rely on the outdated correspondent banking network.
“With Saxo Bank onboard, we not only gained the funding we needed to launch, but also gained access to immense FX liquidity to underpin the solution. My previous experience also allowed me to play a leading role in engineering the collaborative partnership with the banks who underpin the Banking Circle and have a key role in our recent buy-out by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures.”
Finally, the conversation turns to the future, as Anders reveals what is next for Banking Circle as it capitalises on the recent buy-out. “Following the acquisition of Banking Circle by EQT, we have received a significant cash injection. This will be used to invest in the firm – technology, people, regulatory capital and new markets. This is an exciting time to be part of Banking Circle. We are at a turning point which will see the business grow rapidly to further support financial tech businesses and banks in providing their customers with more affordable, flexible, and convenient banking solutions – from payments to loans.
“We launched our lending solutions in 2018 and have new and exciting solutions in the pipeline, set to launch next year. These will see our proposition help support businesses in even wider markets, empowering global trade further still.”
Company: Banking Circle
Address: 125 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AR, United Kingdom