At a time when many banks are looking to invest in fintech companies, the open banking fintech Raisin is taking the road less travelled by buying MHB Bank of Frankfurt, its long-time service bank. The Berlin-based fintech will thus be able to expand its areas of operation as well as its value chain.
Raisin CEO and co-founder Dr. Tamaz Georgadze explains: “As one of the leading fintechs in Europe, we believe in making sustainable changes to the financial system in order to make the needs of customers and partners paramount. Together with MHB, we can continue to develop — and seamlessly integrate — the services we offer customers, partner banks and distribution partners.” Raisin recently closed a €100m financing round and is one of the best-financed fintechs in Europe. In 2017 Raisin took over the firm of PBF Solutions of Manchester, which today successfully runs Raisin’s UK branch. The acquisition of the shares in MHB by Raisin is still subject to final approval by German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the European Central Bank (ECB).
Accelerating growth: the advantages for customers and partners
Raisin provides its customers simple, direct access to a wide variety of savings and investment products from across Europe. Today Raisin’s more than 165,000 customers can choose from over 250 products offered by nearly 70 European banks on the fintech’s seven platforms. As its service bank in Raisin’s largest market of Germany, MHB Bank handles aspects of the value chain related to account management, customer identification and financial transactions, all the preserve of licensed financial institutions. In the past few years Raisin has greatly expanded the services it provides customers and banks, particularly with respect to the range of offers and the availability of its products in the entire European Economic Area (EEA). The new acquisition will expedite this growth. Likewise, Raisin will be able to streamline the onboarding process for deposit banks as well as distribution partners like o2 Banking of Telefónica Germany and N26. For Georgadze, it’s clear: “With the changes this takeover makes possible, we will be able to offer better services more sustainably to our customers and partners. We want to grow ‘deposits as a service’ into a widely-accepted market standard for banks across Europe.”
Raisin to strengthen MHB Bank as a service bank for fintechs
Founded in 1973 and based in Frankfurt, MHB Bank has belonged to an affiliate of American finance investor Lone Star since 2005. Today MHB is one of the preeminent service-banking providers for fintechs in Germany with leading firms among its clients, including Exporo, CreditShelf and Bergfürst, in addition to Raisin. MHB Bank Chairman Reiner Guthier clarifies what the takeover will mean for MHB: “We know the business models and challenges of both sides, fintech and bank. Through this more extensive collaboration with Raisin we will be able to add to our technical expertise along with making important investments in our team. These changes enable MHB even better to support the digital business models of our current partners as well as new ones. This move thus allows us to take the strengths of our current position in credit fronting and expand them further into payments and ‘banking as a service’.” With its German banking license, MHB is governed by the German deposit guarantee scheme and supervised by BaFin.
Fintech and bank: stronger together
With this takeover, the Raisin and MHB teams are showing how to sustainably change the financial market. This move signifies a unique combination of decades of regulatory expertise in the banking sector with the customer-centric model and technological know-how of a successfully pan-European fintech. Together, both companies will be able to develop better solutions for partners and consumers across Europe.
A trailblazer for open banking and the leading pan-European one-stop shop for online savings and investments, Berlin-based fintech Raisin was founded in 2012 by Dr. Tamaz Georgadze (CEO), Dr. Frank Freund (CFO) and Michael Stephan (COO). Raisin’s platforms — under the brand WeltSparen in the German-speaking world — break down barriers to better savings for European consumers and SMEs. Raisin’s marketplace offers simple access at no charge to attractive and guaranteed deposit products from all over Europe, as well as globally diversified, cost-effective ETF portfolios (available in Germany through WeltInvest). With one online registration, customers can choose savings products from across Europe and subsequently manage their accounts. Since launch in 2013, Raisin has brokered €11bn for over 165,000 customers in 31 European countries and more than 65 partner banks. Raisin was named one of Europe’s top five fintechs by the renowned FinTech50 awards and is backed by prestigious European and American investors such as PayPal, Thrive Capital, Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
About MHB Bank AG
MHB Bank was founded in 1973 with its seat in Frankfurt. Raisin will become the sole owner of the bank, which has been since 2005 in the hands of an affiliate of American private equity firm Lone Star. The transaction is currently undergoing owner control procedures overseen by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The acquisition of the shares in MHB by Raisin is still subject to final approval by BaFin and the ECB. Both companies will remain independently incorporated while at the same time advancing common goals for customers, partner banks and distribution partners. As a fully licensed fronting and service bank MHB supports clients with business models that require a banking licence, including fintechs (like Raisin, CreditShelf and Exporo), private wealth management firms and trusts among others, in the areas of credit, deposits, accounts and payments.