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This case documents the results of Equitable’s decision to establish a digital direct-to-consumer bank, EQ Bank, created totally in house, with a new team, a new culture and separate budget.

With a blank slate, partnerships with third party fintechs ensured that EQ was fully digital from day one, and not just another pretty Application Programming Interface (API) fronting legacy systems and legacy problems.

Equitable’s digital effort can already be judged a success, especially in an oligopolistic and heavily regulated market where the “Big Six” incumbents maintain significant market power. EQ Bank has successfully addressed its key initial drivers of “going digital”, improving their funding mix and cost, and now has the opportunity to cross sell the firm’s traditional products along with those of new mostly-digital partners.

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