KPMG has launched a new practice in the UK that supports clients with alternative finance services. Warren Mead has been appointed as head of the newly formed ‘challenger banking and alternative finance’ unit, tasked with the responsibility to build the service offering and footprint in the UK.
Driven by amongst others the lack of confidence in traditional banks and the limited availability of funding, the alternative finance sector – which groups amongst others solutions such as crowd-funding and peer-to-peer lending – has over the past years witnessed a spectacular rise. According to data fom Nesta, the UK alternative finance market grew by 91% from £492 million in 2012 to £939 million in 2013. In 2014, the market is expected to reach £1.60 billion.
Against this backdrop, in combination with an array of other large developments in the market, accounting and consulting firm KPMG has decided to launch a dedicated advisory practice for challenger banks and players in the alternative finance landscape. The newly formed unit will help challenger banks as well as non-core players with entering the sector and optimising their operations, through the provision of integrated offerings in the area of strategy, performance improvement, technology, digital and analytics.
The so-called ‘challenger banking and alternative finance’ practice will be headed by Warren Mead, who has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 15 years in KPMG’s Transactions Services service line, where he advised on several large transactions in the banking industry. “We recognise that the world of banking is changing as a result of the wave of the regulatory, economic and political changes that is taking place. There are vast opportunities for challenger banks as well as non-core players entering the financial services sector, but there are equally tough challenges ahead,” explains Warren Mead. “By bringing our expertise across areas such as we can help these firms stay ahead of the curve and distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive landscape.”
Richard McCarthy, UK head of banking at KPMG, adds: “What we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg - we’re increasingly seeing non-core players in areas such as peer-to-peer lending service with the potential to shake-up the market. Warren’s appointment marks an important step for us in helping our clients adapt to this new marketplace.”