My wife, Kate, bought me a 1,000 piece Where’s Wally jigsaw puzzle from Amazon in March to keep us occupied during the height of the lockdown. We poured the pieces onto the counter unit in our kitchen and would spend 5 or 10 minutes here and there after lunch or with a glass of wine in the evening, following the minute details of the picture on the box to identify the patterns, find the corners and the edges and over the course of a couple of weeks, we finally put the final pieces in their rightful places to complete the picture.
When you look at successful people, they have a formula for success. Can you copy the best chefs in the world? What would it take? You need the right ingredients, you need the right quantities, you need the right equipment and you need the recipe to guide the way. Is that all it takes? Inevitably not. The best chefs in the world also bring experience and expertise. You can paint by numbers to mimic the greatest artists, but those great artists didn’t have something to copy when they first picked up a paint brush and started what would ultimately become a masterpiece.
And so it brings me to the new digital corporate bank that is in the final stages of development, CIB Limited. However challenging it was to complete the 1,000 piece jigsaw, I had the benefit of all of the necessary ingredients (the pieces) as well as the photo on the box to serve as the recipe. When we started our journey to set up a new digital bank early in 2017, not only were we missing most of the pieces, but those pieces didn’t come neatly packaged in a box with a picture on the front showing us what it should look like in the end.
Over the course of the past three years, we’ve been guided by a vision to create a new digital bank to serve qualifying high net-worth individuals and corporate clients that have been woefully under-served by some of the incumbent banks in the offshore markets. Whilst the vision has always shone clearly, the road to get there has at times taken us into darkness and unfamiliar and challenging territory. However, what has never been in question is the absolute determination to achieve our vision. We’ve had set-back after set-back, challenges that we could never have imagined, but also some fortuitous moments of good luck, particularly when I consider the group of people that we’ve assembled to help us achieve this vision. Whatever the challenge, my team have always found a way, and never have they ever doubted that we would complete what we set out to achieve when we started the journey in 2017.
All being well, we’re about 6 months away from being able to transition the clients in our Treasury business that qualify under our Class 1(2) licence and wish to move to our new bank. Following that transition during the first half of 2021, we aim to be in a position to open the doors of the bank to new clients.
The final pieces of the bank’s jigsaw puzzle are nearly in place. We’re now in the testing phase, and once the Isle of Man FSA has given us the green light to start taking deposits, we will proudly open the door to the island’s first new bank in over 30 years and its first ever digital-only bank. That moment will not be the end of the journey but the start. Just as Apple deliver continuous product enhancements to their devices via IOS updates, CIB will add new products, services and features in the months and years following the launch. These are exciting times for all at Capital International Group and I am grateful to all the people that have helped on this epic journey.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security.