BinckBank is considered the birthplace of Netherland’s fintech community and its founders, Kalo Bagijn and Thierry Schaap, are known as the godfathers of Dutch fintech.
Bagijn and Schaap founded BinckBank in 2000 to challenge traditional financial institutions that focused more on their profit rather than their customer’s needs. BinckBank was created to enable private individuals to invest easily and directly, eliminating the role of intermediary banks and their expensive fees. As a result, BinckBank stood at the forefront of the ensuing battle between traditional big banks and challenger banks.
Bagijn and Schaap began working together after both leaving IMG Holland due to disagreements. They returned only a year later to take over IMG and the acquisition marked the start of further major growth. The success of BinckBank can largely be attributed to its biggest competitor Alex, a challenger bank that operated on a similar business model. BinckBank and Alex were initially in fierce competition to acquire the same target customers, but they eventually united together against big banks and BinckBank eventually took over Alex at the end of 2007.
Bagijn and Schaap left BinckBank in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Other employees soon followed their footsteps, leaving BinckBank to either set up their own fintech start-ups or join promising new fintech companies. Many founders of today’s top Dutch fintech companies came from BinckBank and a few of BinckBank’s fintech children include: Bux, Ohpen, Blanco, DeGiro, Brand New Day, and Fynn Advice. As a result, many consider BinckBank the birthplace of Netherlands’ fintech community.
Bagijn and Schaap earned their title as the godfathers of Fintech because they were leaders in the fight to challenge and change the world of finance at the time. They united like-minded people and fintech entrepreneurs in their battle against traditional financial institutions, and their commitment to this goal became the core of their success.
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