Bob Diamond is a building a new digital bank in Greece
Backed by Bob Diamond's Atlas Merchant Capital Fund, Greek digital challenger bank Praxia has engaged Swiss core banking vendor Temenos to build its technology platform.
Former Barclays' investment banking head Diamond and fellow Atlas Capital partner David Schamis are the sole shareholders in Praxia Bank, which was formed out of the ashes of Credicom Consumer Finance Bank, a specialist Greek automotive lender, following its acquisition from Credit Agricole in June last year. With plans to launch a targeted network of retail stores and business hubs, Praxia Bank aims to grow its SME lending business and offer a suite of digital products and services to consumers, including deposits, auto loans and consumer lending with a view to growing its loan portfolio to EUR4 billion euros by 2022. Anastasia Sakellariou, CEO, Praxia Bank, comments: “In Greece we are starting to see signs of economic recovery. At Praxia we believe that one way we can help the growth of the economy is by supporting small and medium businesses through financing. As a startup bank, we are starting fresh to build a bank with the customer experience in mind, and without being weighed down by legacy technology." Sakellariou, who previously sat on Hellenic Financial Stability Fund before Joining Atlas as an investment advisor, was propelled into the role after Diamond fired the previous incumbent Anthimos Thomopoulos, the former chief executive of Piraeus Bank, after learning the executive was being investigated by the country’s central bank over financial irregularities. For Temenos, the project will be a greenfield implementation for its T24 platform, with the goal of providing digital onboarding and a consistent user experience across the new bank's branch and online channels.