Wednesday, 24 September 2008

It’s not all ‘gloom and doom’ in UK financial services!

In amongst all the financial services gloom and doom it’s good to see a couple of bright spots shining through, especially when it’s from two tiny UK players.

Monitise (MONI.L), the spin-off from troubled reseller-cum-services player, Morse, announced that LloydsTSB has become the eighth UK bank to launch a mobile banking service using its Monilink service (see RNS here). Monitise does barely £1.5m in revenues (and of course is still loss-making) but is clearly making a mark with its platform. Apparently they have 38 US financial institutions using the service too, so they are a great ambassador for UK innovation. Monitise listed on AIM last June at 22p but perhaps not surprisingly their stock’s off nearly 60%. Whether a listing was the best approach to do the fund-raising for such a small company I’m not so sure. Anyway, you’ve got to wonder how long they can remain independent.

The other ‘little British battler’ that’s ‘done good’ is financial services software player, Focus Solutions (FSG.L), which has just signed a £4.9m contract with HSBC Bank (see RNS here). Much of this contract will be invoiced this FY, which will make a huge difference to the P&L, given that last year’s revenues were under £9m (but they were profitable!). Like Monitise, Focus’ stock has taken a hammering, losing 20% so far this year.

Anyway, small and niche can still survive and prosper. Good luck to them, we say!

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