Pennyworth digital bank review

A new digital bank is on the horizon in the form of Pennyworth. It's applied for a UK banking licence and has just launched its first personal finance tool.

Pennyworth is planning to be a new digital bank that will offer savings, loans and overdrafts, as well as give its customers financial planning tools to use across all their bank accounts. The Pennyworth app went live at the end of October 2021, with a limited offering that comprises of its first financial “goal-setting” feature.

What is Pennyworth?

Pennyworth is an upcoming digital bank that was unveiled in October 2020 and launched a limited version of its app in October 2021. The company says it started its pre-application process to become an authorised UK bank back in March 2020, and that it’s been beta-testing its products with early customers throughout 2021.

Pennyworth’s founders, Jeremy Takle and Ben Harvey, are the former managing director and head of product respectively at Barclays’ digital consumer bank in the US.

They say their new bank will be targeting “aspiring affluent” young professionals for its customer base, and that it will be aiming to provide a more personalised service than is currently on offer from existing digital banks in the UK.

What types of bank account can I get with Pennyworth?

At the moment, you can only use Pennyworth’s “goal-setting” tool in its new app.

This allows users to “identify life goals”, either be setting their own or choosing from a list of the most common short, medium and long-term goals. Users can prioritise their goals and view checklists on how to progress each of them, then set a financial plan and track their progress.

Unusually, Pennyworth says that it won’t be intending to operate its own current accounts. Instead, it will use Open Banking capabilities to provide its customers with financial planning tools that they can use across all of their bank accounts.

Pennyworth is also planning to offer high-yield savings and deposits, as well as loans and overdrafts. Although the bank is not yet up and running, it has already listed some potential savings interest rates and borrowing loan rates on its website.

Easy access savings accounts are set to be offered with an interest rate of 1.5% (AER), while a fixed rate 2 year savings account will attract an interest rate of 2.0% (AER).

Overdrafts will be charged at a rate of 9.9% (representative APR), and personal loans will start from 2.9% (representative APR).

But you can’t apply for any of these financial products yet, so there is always the chance these rates may change by the time the bank fully launches.

How can I sign up to Pennyworth?

You can download the Pennyworth app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

But so far you can only use its “goal-setting” feature.

As Pennyworth’s banking licence is still in the application phase, it’s not offering savings accounts or loans yet.

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