Australian fintech Avenue, is preparing to launch a dedicated bank for small business after securing former Commonwealth Bank executive George Confos as CEO and launching a Series B funding round.
Avenue is building a digital first bank that will provide new innovative products to free up cashflow, so business owners can do more with their money.
Mr Confos joins Avenue with 30 years’ experience in the banking and financial services industry. Most recently, he held the position of Executive General Manager Client Solutions at Commonwealth Bank, where he led significant business and technology transformations.
Avenue is the brainchild of entrepreneurs, Colin Porter and Dale Hurley, who founded CreditorWatch, a credit reporting bureau that disrupted a $4 billion duopoly held by Equifax and Illion.
“I’m delighted to welcome George to the Executive team” Mr Porter said. “His extensive financial and banking expertise will be extremely valuable as we prepare to enter the market with a different breed of business bank, that aims to put money back in the hands of businesses.”
Mr Confos said Avenue has the potential to inject some much-needed competition into the traditionally underserviced SME banking sector.
“It’s time small businesses had access to a new kind of bank which finds more ways for small businesses to access valuable cash-flow. We have fresh ideas to solving an age-old problem SMEs continue to face and I feel energised to be part of an organisation that wants to exceed the current business banking service standards and significantly improve Australian small business lending offerings.“
George Confos, Chief Executive Officer
Avenue will use the period prior to launch to carefully study the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the SME credit market, so that this information can be factored into Avenue's credit decisioning system to give SMEs struggling in the current environment a lifeline.
“There’s been many efforts from the government that have allowed businesses to survive through the crisis, but the full economic impact is yet to be felt and the challenges will last beyond the immediate support programs. We’re committed to making a difference and Avenue will be ready to help SMEs repair and rebuild after COVID has passed by introducing innovative solutions to unlock cash fast,” says Peita Piper, Chief Customer Officer and founding member of UBank.
Avenue closed previous funding rounds with $11.4m and is initiating a KPMG led Series B funding round to sophisticated investors, to raise capital for the development of unique products, investment in technology and building out their experienced team.
In preparation for launch, Avenue confirmed that it anticipates receiving its Restricted ADI licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) late this year and is seeking to become a fully licensed, independent bank and launch its first products for business in late 2021.
Avenue will be digitally enabled for a seamless customer experience and use smart data integrations to reduce time and manual entry during the application process.
In addition, Avenue has pulled together a strong board and executive team with a mix of proven entrepreneurs and those with an extensive track record in the financial services industry.
Chief Customer Officers
Founding member of U Bank
Chief Technology Officer
Former CIO of challenger bank, Xinja
Chief Financial Officer
Previously CFO at Zurich Australia
Financial Controller at St. George Bank Commercial Bank
Chief Risk Officer
Previously the Chief Compliance Officer at Westpac Business Bank
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Avenue Bank Ltd ACN 628 073 085, AFSL 520239, is authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to operate under a Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (RADI) licence until 7th September 2023. Under this restricted licence we are not required to meet the full ADI prudential framework and we will not be offering banking products to the general public.
Avenue Bank acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.