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Making history: HSF, White & Case and Pinsents advise on the first new UK clearing bank in 250 years

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), White & Case and Pinsent Masons have picked up mandates advising on the establishment of the first new clearing bank to be approved on the UK market in 250 years.

ClearBank was announced yesterday (28 February), and will start operating in autumn 2017 as the fifth clearing bank in the UK alongside Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The bank will provide building societies, credit unions, other banks and fintech companies with access to all the major payment and card schemes, including faster payments which will allow people to send and receive money instantly online or through mobile. The bank is founded by Worldpay founder Nick Ogden, who will serve as chairman.

The HSF team was led by London corporate partner Greg Mulley and financial services regulatory partner Andrew Procter, alongside corporate partner Caroline Rae, incentives partner Mark Ife and TMT and outsourcing partner Nick Pantlin.

White & Case acted for one of the investors, PPF Investments, with relationship partner Jan Andrusko based in Prague, as well as corporate partner Gavin Weir, global head of employment Nicholas Greenacre and financial regulation partner Stuart Willey. Pinsents acted for CFFI Ventures, with a team led by corporate partner Tom Leman.

Mulley (pictured) said: ‘This is very significant and positive for competition especially given £82trn of payments are processed through the UK financial system every year and there are only four other clearing banks.’

HSF has acted on similar fintech matters including UK authorised Tandem Bank, on the investment by Sanpower Group through its UK subsidiary House of Fraser. Other mandates acting for Worldpay in respect of providing internet payment solutions to merchants and card processing services, and in relation to its separation from RBS in the UK and Europe.

White & Case has advised the PPF Group in the past on the €2.5bn sale to Generali in 2013 of its remaining 49% stake in Generali-PPF, its joint venture with the Italian insurer.