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Standard Life Bank

You'll already know the name Standard Life; it's Europe's largest mutual life assurance company- still owned by its members to give them the best possible returns on the money invested for their welfare. When banking changed for ever in the late 1990's with deregulation and internet banking technologies, these big financial players were ideally placed to move into mainstream banking. The internet meant they could start at low cost. Their existing life business meant they already had the infrastructure and funds sloshing around to negotiate good rates and invest personally banked money at a profit. The life assurance customers were a good customer base to offer Standard Life Bank services to. So Standard Life bank is one, but by no means the only financial services company to move into retail banking in that period (consider Direct Line, for example too).
Standard Life Bank is economically run, employing a lean 900 or so people, and with arrears running at 0.08% (one tenth of the industry average!) which means they try to lend to responsible people- that to a degree translates into better rates for you; and proves that the financial prudence of mutual societies can extend well into retail banking. It's also not the biggest bank around, which has translated into independent awards for customer service- it will be interesting to see if that can be continued with the company's aggressive growth plans.