The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Online only Banks (branchless Banks)

A colleague asked me about online only Banks, and I thought I would stick my response here, and seek any updates from readers.

There are very few online only banks, and online only is often a misnomer, because they have call centres. Here are the ones I am aware of to date.

this list is being updated as I receive information about worldwide online banks – again the definition being Branchless – meaning no reliance on branches.

ING Direct – global site

ETrade Bank

First Direct
RaboDirect (Ireland and Belgium)


PC Financial
Citizens Bank

Also a classic piece on the demise of Wingspan in the US back in 2000. That was the BancOne foray.


I have added a few more based on responses, and updated CompuBank to Netbank.

I used the definition that internet only means no reliance on branches. For example this from the HSBC Direct site:

Can I withdraw money or make a deposit to my HSBC Direct Online Savings Account in a branch?

No. You won’t be able to make deposits or withdrawals at a branch because HSBC Direct Online Savings is an online-only account.

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Written by Colin Henderson

November 30, 2006 at 11:52

Posted in Online Banking

25 Responses

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  1. How about It’s a web only operation under the New York Community Bancorp…similar to iGoBanking from Flushing.

    David Saber

    November 30, 2006 at 12:15

  2. Thanks … its in that fuzzy group like iGoBanking that are branded divisions within a regular Bank. Its hard to know where to draw the line. HSBC Direct is in that category too.
    is a service of New York Community Bank – member FDIC. New York Community Bank has been meeting the financial needs of our neighbors since 1859.Operating through seven community banking divisions, we serve our customers through a network of over 137 full service branches throughout the New York Metro area including the 5 boroughs of New York City,
    Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, Westchester County and Northern New Jersey. We’re also the region’s largest
    supermarket banking franchise, with 47 of our branches conveniently located in-store.


    November 30, 2006 at 12:19

  3. Rabo Direct is also present in Belgium with an on line only bank.

    Marc Lauwers

    November 30, 2006 at 12:53

  4. FYI, is a division of CIBC.

    I am shocked at the number of online only banks in poland, does any one know, why this is? That is a large number compared to the rest of European countries


    December 4, 2006 at 10:23

  5. Don’t forget about Virtual Bank:

    Virtual Bank

    Informed Banker

    December 23, 2006 at 12:26

  6. Citizensbank of Canada is also a virtual bank


    January 3, 2007 at 13:41

  7. First Internet Bank of Indiana

    Bill Karbler

    March 23, 2007 at 07:40

  8. Nationwide Bank is now a direct bank

    Bill Karbler

    April 11, 2007 at 08:28

  9. Dan Harley

    April 20, 2007 at 12:18

  10. You have mentioned under your US listing. offers the same great rates and online facility for Canadian online savings accounts – definitely worth checking out.


    June 14, 2007 at 12:11

  11. Carolyn … thanks for stopping by …. its a good sign that you found this discussion 🙂

    Colin Henderson

    June 14, 2007 at 17:16

  12. Recent research by CapGemini in the Netherlands outlines that 54 % of the customers do not visit their bank branch any more and exclusevly use internet and telephone to stay in touch and execute transations.



    June 20, 2007 at 15:47

  13. […] Source; commentscomments […]

  14. Pieter Lambrechts

    June 24, 2007 at 02:50

  15. Which ones offer deposit my internet? (USAA for the military does-they just scan it using your scanner) Any others?


    April 28, 2008 at 13:19

  16. I am researching the topic of retail bank profitability for a conference I am developing and came across this discussion.
    As a Brit living in Holland I had to laugh at the CapGemini study that 54% Dutch customers do not visit their bank branch. The reality is that they have all closed down and it is impossible to find a human being behind a desk in holland – Thats why!


    June 14, 2008 at 23:32

  17. @Rhiannon … just curious – what is the nature of the conference?


    June 15, 2008 at 11:25

  18. Hi Colin,
    I work for a company that organises business conferences . I only started researching this particular topic this weekend…it will be a retail banking summit on optimising product profitability and customer revenue… It will focus on business strategies used to optimise customer ROI rather than specific examples of products that have been developed. Like I say I am in the initial phase of reading about the topic which is why I was happy to have stumbled across this website.
    Cheers, Rhiannon


    June 15, 2008 at 23:24

  19. a new branchless bank in australia


    November 22, 2008 at 03:19

  20. Gerd

    November 22, 2008 at 03:19

  21. UK internet only banks I can think of given your current examples…

    First Direct (part of HSBC)
    Egg (part of Citi) (part of Co-op) (part of HBOS) (part of RBS)

    Zopa – p2p lending only


    December 3, 2008 at 19:42

  22. […] veces más peso digital que físico, eliminando costos de agencias, papeles y demás trámites. Hay bancos que funcionan únicamente en línea y como ha pasado con otros servicios, cada día el canal virtual tendrá mucha más importancia, […]

  23. […] veces más peso digital que físico, eliminando costos de agencias, papeles y demás trámites. Hay bancos que funcionan únicamente en línea y como ha pasado con otros servicios, cada día el canal virtual tendrá mucha más importancia, […]

  24. When you think about so many of the banks mentioned in this article, and how they are closely associated with brick-and-mortar institutions, you get the sense that “internet bank” is a tough moniker to live up to. The fact is that there are no more than an extremely few “internet banks” — banks ONLY online — to me indicates that a pure, monoline financial services business, focused on whichever product, just doesn’t have much of a shot at success. Hear that MBNA?

    JJ Hornblass

    March 3, 2009 at 01:36

  25. Etrade is trustworthy.


    May 31, 2009 at 17:40

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