Crowdfunding site signals intention to become investment bank

Banktothefuture.com set to apply for banking license after crowdsourcing record £2m

British crowdfunding website BanktotheFuture.com is set to become the first crowdfunded investment bank, after the firm put in place plans to apply for regulatory approval.

Co-founded by Simon and Bliss Dixon (pictured above from left, with ex-The Apprentice contestant Liz Locke), Bank To The Future is a platform for businesses to crowdsource debt, equity and donations in one place.

Launched last year and endorsed by Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson, the site also allows companies raising equity to incentivise investors with products and services before the funding round has completed.

The site is now liaising with regulators, the Bank of England and the British government to obtain a banking license.

Bank To The Future is being advised on the process by Fiona Brownsell, who was also involved in setting up Metro Bank – Britain’s first new high street bank in 100 years.

The site hopes to plug the funding gap by investing in small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK, and plans to put transparency to investors at the core of its business model.

To finance the transition, the company plans to raise £2m in crowdfunding over the next two months, in what would be a world-record amount.

It hopes to have its license and begin trading as an investment bank within three years.

Simon Dixon, co-founder of Bank To the Future, said: “We want to take the best practices and strip out the worst practices and get finance to business and offer new opportunities to investors.

“What we want to do is a lot less risky than the banking model simply because we are not going to be leveraging people’s money.”

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