The Challenger and Specialist Banks Landscape in the UK

In association with: 

A vibrant new group of banking firms is emerging in the UK, typically described as challenger and specialist banks. While this is an exciting development in a well-established industry, the diversity and distinctiveness of these banks is not widely understood since it is too often assumed that these new banks are all cut from the same cloth, face the same market dynamics and have similar prospects.

To challenge these assumptions PwC and the BBA have carried out extensive research into these new organisations and how they are perceived by British customers. This research revealed a rapidly changing landscape with exciting potential, while highlighting the need to action to bring about a more diverse and modular banking market.

At this event we will share and debate these findings with you.  In addition, Martin Stewart, who heads the PRA’s smaller banks team, will be making a keynote speech clarifying the PRA’s expectations about the IRB model approval process and taking a more holistic approach to Pillar 2.

Attendance is free for bank and public sector representatives thanks to PwC . They can register by clicking on the ‘Book now’ button on the right hand side of this page.

The registration fee for non-bank BBA members is £249 +VAT and for those representing all other organisations is £449 +VAT. To register please complete the form available here and send it to Sue Dow at

Speakers include:

  • Martin Stewart, Director of Banks, Building Societies and Credit Unions, Prudential Regulation Authority
  • Nick Lee, Head of New Banks, Prudential Regulation Authority
  • Steve Pateman, Chief Executive Officer, Shawbrook
  • John Lyons, Retail and Commercial Banking Leader, PwC
  • Martin Roets, Director, PwC


This event is open to press

Topics on the agenda include:

  • Who are you calling a ‘challenger’?
  • How new competitors are changing UK retail banking forever
  • The challenger and specialist banks landscape in the UK
  • Risk modelling for non-IRB banks

09:00 Registration opens
09:25 Chair’s opening remarks

John Lyons, Retail and commercial banking leader, PwC

09:35 Presentation: BBA-PwC research: Who are you calling a ‘challenger’? How new competitors are changing UK retail banking forever

Martin Roets, Director, PwC

09:55 Presentation: Harrowing the plough field - Revising the Standardised Capital Approach for Banks and Building Societies

Martin Stewart, Director of Banks, Building Societies and Credit Unions, Prudential Regulation Authority

10:35 Panel discussion: Challenger and specialist banks landscape in the UK

Moderator: John Lyons, Retail and commercial banking leader, PwC
Nick Lee, Head of New Banks, Prudential Regulation Authority
Steve Pateman, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Shawbrook Bank
Kevin Hanley, Head of Innovation, RBS

11:10 Networking break
11:40 Presentation on credit risk

Speaker to be confirmed

12:10 Chair’s closing remarks

John Lyons, Retail and Commercial Banking Leader, PwC

12:15 Networking lunch

Martin Stewart

Director of Banks, Building Societies and Credit Unions, Prudential Regulation Authority


Martin is the Director of Banks, Building Societies and Credit Unions at the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority.   He joined the regulator in 2010 from the IFG Group where he was Managing Director of their expatriate financial advisory, tax advisory and asset management businesses operating in the UK, Europe and Australia.  For PA Consulting Group and in his own business, he has worked as an advisor to banks, building societies and insurance companies in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  Across 11 years he held a series of roles for Yorkshire Building Society, including 6 years as a member of their Group Board.  Martin has a MEng in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

Steve Pateman

Chief Executive Officer, Shawbrook


Steve joined Shawbrook as CEO in January 2016 from Santander UK, where he was Executive Director and Head of UK Banking, with responsibility for building its SME franchise, running the bank’s Corporate, Commercial, Business and Retail Banking operations as well as Wealth Management.


Prior to joining Santander in 2008, Steve spent eight years at RBS, where he was CEO of Business Banking, Retail Markets and Managing Director of Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking, Corporate Markets.


Steve has a young family (as well as 5 grandchildren!) and in his ‘spare time’ likes to follow Everton (football) and Sussex (cricket); he enjoys music (most types), theatre, reading and taking the dog for a walk whilst also trying to stay in some form of shape at the gym!

Nick Lee

Head of New Banks, Prudential Regulation Authority


Nick has responsibility for the authorisation and supervision of new UK Banks within the PRA, at the Bank of England.  Nick led the 2013 work on reviewing barriers to entry in the UK banking sector and was instrumental in setting up the new approach to banking authorisation in the UK.  Since 2013, 23 new banks have been authorised in the UK, including a number of ‘digital’ banks.


Nick also has responsibility for the prudential supervision of new banks, including a number of well-known UK challenger banks.


During his regulatory career, Nick has supervised firms from a range of sectors in the financial services industry, including banks, mutuals, asset managers, hedge funds and advisory firms, covering both prudential and conduct matters.  Nick has also had extensive experience of working with both firms and regulators from around the world.  His work has taken him to Australia, the US, Israel and Europe.

John Lyons

Retail and Commercial Banking Leader, PwC


John leads PwC’s retail and commercial banking practice in the UK. He is also PwC’s EMEA financial services technology leader. He specialises in delivering large IT enabled programmes for UK and European banks mostly focusing on IT resilience.

Martin Roets

Director, PwC


Martin is a Director in Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting practice.  He is focused on strategy and digital transformation in retail and commercial banking, with experience in digital strategy and business model definition, design and deployment of new operating models and organisations, and design and management of large scale transformation programmes.

Kevin Hanley

Head of Innovation, RBS


Having joined in 2009, Kevin is now the Bank’s Director of Innovation. In this role Kevin is responsible for the Bank’s scouting and solutions delivery network around the world, including our corporate outpost in Silicon Valley and innovation hubs in Edinburgh and London. He leads the Bank’s innovation and Open Banking efforts ensuring the delivery of new services and business models that anticipate and respond to changing customer needs and regulatory demands.


Prior to joining the Bank, Kevin was the Head of Services within ABN AMRO with responsibility for all Technology, Operations, Property and Procurement Services across the Group. During his time with ABN AMRO Kevin held a number of senior positions including being the Services COO and leading the Operations Strategy and Change function.


Prior to his time at ABN AMRO, Kevin was a Partner in Accenture’s Global Capital Markets practice based in London. Kevin led the UK Capital Markets strategy practice during his time with Accenture and was the client partner responsible for overseeing all of their work at a number of leading institutions, including being the ABN AMRO client partner for over 5 years.


He has over 25 years industry experience having worked at many different financial institutions in Europe and the United States of America.


Prior to joining Accenture, Kevin obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cambridge University.

In association with:

PwC focuses on creating value for our clients. Our firms offer a wide range of capabilities and are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services.

Our experience with leading financial services organisations means that we have a deep understanding of the issues clients around the world have to deal with. We focus on the future of FS, effectively working with clients as they shape their business and execute their strategy. We advise on key issues such as the future of risk, impact of regulation, financial crime, innovations in mobile and digital technologies, the disruptive impact of FinTech as well as the changing face of the customer. We use proven methodologies to design and execute business transformation backed by blueprint designs that are used as accelerators. We have invested heavily in building our technology capability focusing on the areas that we believe bring most value to our clients, including data and analytics, technology transformation and cyber.

Find our more: