On 7 July 2021 APRA granted Alex Bank a licence to operate as a restricted authorised deposit-taking institution (restricted ADI), making them the first digital bank to receive their RADI in over one and a half years.

The Brisbane-based bank will now be able to offer deposit products and will be covered by APRA’s $250,000 deposit guarantee, also known as the financial claims scheme.

Grant Thornton has worked closely with Alex Bank throughout this process.

"We believe we can provide some of the best products and interest rates in the market, without compromising customer service expectations, while still delivering a fair result to investors. We do this by using technology and processes that are fast and minimise friction and unnecessary risk," said Simon Beitz, CEO, Alex Bank.

“Grant Thornton has provided valuable support to Alex in reaching this important milestone on our mission to make banking fast, simple, fair and human,” finished Simon Beitz.

“We are delighted that after a long moratorium on issuing new licences that APRA is once again looking at how they can foster competition and diversity in the financial services sector. This is a huge milestone for Alex and it’s been a privilege to have been on this journey with them,” said Madeleine Mattera, National Head of Financial Services.

In March 2021, APRA released its consultation on revisions to APRA’s approach to licensing and supervising new entrant ADIs. As an organisation that works closely with the digital banking sector, Grant Thornton made a submission to APRA proposing a number of changes be made to this consultation.

The key changes we highlighted in our submission included providing more clarity and transparency, reducing barriers to entry and increasing competition, a more cohesive approach between launching products and the licencing process and increased collaboration between regulators.

We are supportive of APRA’s resumption of licensing and look forward to seeing increased competition in the sector.