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This profile was last updated on 4/8/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Jim Spowart

Wrong Jim Spowart?

Non-executive Members of the Boar...

Scottish Water International Limited
Phone: +44 *** **** ***  HQ Phone
Local Address:  United Kingdom
Scottish Water
Castle House Carnegie Campus
Dunfermline , Fife KY11 8GG
United Kingdom

Company Description: Scottish Water supplies drinking water and waste water services to cities, towns, villages and farms all over Scotland. We have a unique role to play in Scottish...   more

Employment History

  • Chairman
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Originator
  • Chief Executive Officer
    Intelligent Finance
  • Managing Director
    Standard Life Bank
  • Chief Executive Officer of Intelligent Finance
    Standard Life Bank
  • Founder of Direct Line Financial Services
    Standard Life Bank
  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Direct Line Financial Services
    Standard Life Bank and Intelligent Finance
  • Consultant
  • Head of External Sales
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Director of Business Strategy
    Adventi Ltd
  • Chief Executive Officer
    Adventi Ltd

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • honorary doctorate , business administration
    Napier University
200 Total References
Web References
Mr James Spowart ..., 8 April 2015 [cached]
Mr James Spowart
James ..., 6 Mar 2015 [cached]
James Spowart
Jim Spowart was the founder and Chief Executive of Direct Line Financial Services, Standard Life Bank and Intelligent Finance. Jim has considerable corporate experience and retired from Intelligent Finance in 2002.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University for his contribution to banking and also to the economic development of the central belt of Scotland where he created over 5,000 banking jobs. Since he retired he has been involved in various consultancy projects and assisted many companies including providing consultancy advice to various banks located both abroad and in the UK.
Jim was also a Commissioner to the Church of Scotland during 2012 and 2013.
Finance Shop : Banking & Savings : Banks 'need to be more innovative with online services', 28 Aug 2014 [cached]
Jim Spowart of, revealed that most banks have sought only to provide an online variant of existing traditional banking services, as opposed to offering completely new and revolutionary features.
He added that banks have been concentrating on profitability and as such have failed to change the nature of banking significantly.
"The poor old traditional bankers are still scratching their heads looking for ways of gaining customers, yet the whole game has changed," explained Mr Spowart.
"For example, indiscriminate mail shots to thousands of customers are a waste of time - today it is about giving the customer choice and guiding them to the best deal," he concluded.
About, 19 Feb 2009 [cached]
Spowart's latest online venture heads for profit
Jim Spowart, who launched telephone banking businesses for RBS, Standard Life and Halifax, has taken a starring role in promoting his latest online venture.
The "I'm Jim Spowart" campaign is aimed at attracting customers to the website, and Spowart said yesterday: "This company is going to be profitable this year. It is almost profitable now."
The business was set up by parent SMG, which is currently struggling to meet its banking covenants and faces a takeover negotiation with UTV. Spowart admitted that the campaign on Virgin Radio, Pearl & Dean cinema advertising, posters, STV and Grampian, was funded directly by SMG and was probably "a £1m campaign".
The venture has only a handful of employees and is positioned as a gateway to the established consumer switching sites moneysupermarket. com and
Spowart said it was moving towards offering its own-branded financial products, which would have to compete in comparison tables. Uswitch was recently sold for £210m, while was originally slated for flotation at more than £500m, and the valuation has subsequently been increased to £1bn. Spowart has signed five-year contracts with both organisations, including a tier one relationship with moneysupermarket.
"Even if we are sitting on their coat-tails going forward, peopleschampion is going to do well," he said.
Spowart worked with Peter Wood at Direct Line Financial Services to set up RBS's first telephone mortgage operation.
"These are highly pressurised situations," Spowart commented.
Jim Spowart, who was the brains behind Direct Line Financial Services before setting up RBS's first telephone mortgage operation, expressed his optimism as he revealed he would be the star of his own "I'm Jim Spowart" campaign, in a bid to attract more customers to the website. Mr Spowart, who also helped establish online and telephone banking business Intelligent Finance, said: "This company is going to be profitable this year. It is almost profitable now."
The website, which was set up last year by parent company SMG is run as a gateway to the established consumer switching sites and
Mr Spowart said the site was moving towards offering its own-branded financial products, which would appear as competitors to the products listed in comparison tables on the site. Since it launched in September, around 70,000 customers have used the website to buy a financial product - with half the business coming from motor insurance.
Mr Spowart added: "Even if we are sitting on their coat-tails going forward, PeoplesChampion is going to do well.
Jim Spowart, chairman of financial comparison website, believes the reason is 'pure banking greed'.
He says it is time that card issuers were forced to spell out to borrowers that their rates are 200 per cent more than base rate. If this happened, he says, rates would start tumbling. Maybe. But Spowart is dead right when he says it is time credit card companies gave customers a fairer deal.
From Scotland on Sunday, 8 October 2006
Spowart calls for 'wealth warnings' on credit cards
Jim Spowart, who launched Standard Life Bank and the online mortgage bank Intelligent Finance, has written to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, about "excessive" charges, demanding legislation.
Spowart, who is now chairman of the price comparison website,, says credit card charges are now a major issue.
Spowart told Scotland on Sunday that there is "no justification for such rates other than pure banking greed".
He said: "The US government has put in legislation about the cost of gambling - it's time we did something in the UK about credit cards.
Spowart said the cost of personal loans has come down significantly and some are available at 5.8%, yet credit cards have remained an easy cash cow for banks and lenders with the average at 15.9%.
Spowart, 55, may have built a few empires - notably at Standard Life and HBOS - but he is a restless creator of new enterprises and wants to concentrate on his next project.
Spowart is in a hurry to get on to his central theme - what he sees as a recent lack of progress in the financial services industry and how the new company he has just founded,, is going to turn the sector on its head once again.
"I have seen little innovation in the financial services sector in the last one-and-a-half to two years," he tells the Business Forum, a networking organisation.
The website went live last weekend with little fanfare - a deliberate ploy, according to Spowart. He says he has learned lessons from the launch of IF, which was postponed for several weeks in July 2000 because of computer problems.
"We did have problems with the launch of IF, and we learned from that," he says. "I have been staggered by the volume of consumers who have done business with us since we opened the doors. We have had 2,300 customers."
Spowart's plan is to create a business which will be similar to The Motley Fool or Google in its ubiquity and the first place people choose to look as a source of information. It's highly ambitious, but Spowart has a proven track record and an insider's knowledge of the industry his website tracks. Despite establishing four businesses, he is said by friends to be "well off rather than wealthy", which may partly explain his ambition in setting up his latest venture.
After school, he started as a junior clerk in the old National and Commercial Bank in his home town of Cowdenbeath in Fife before joining Royal Bank of Scotland at the Edinburgh HQ.
At RBS, his talents were quickly recognised and, in 1993, he helped found one of the first telephone banks, Direct Line Financial Services, working with Peter Wood.
Standard Life approached him and in 1997 he joined to oversee the creation of Standard Life Bank, where he pioneered the idea of flexible mortgages, allowing customers benefits such as withdrawals to buy other goods and payment holidays.
James Crosby, then chief executive of Halifax, approached him and Spowart hatched his biggest plan to date, Intelligent Finance.
But the plans were pulled suddenly and Spowart resigned from HBOS in May 2003, in a move which stunned the banking community. He has his share of detractors within the close-knit Scottish banking sector, no doubt partly inspired by a degree of jealousy of his successes.
Since leaving HBOS, he has spent time helping the Maggie's Centre in Dunfermline, and began building links with mainly small IT firms. He is also involved in the youth information network Young Scot, where he is spearheading the Scottish Executive-backed initiative to offer new products and services to the country's 18 to 26-year-olds. He received an honorary doctorate in business administration from Napier University last November and has been working on his next "big thing".
One of Spowart's talents has been persuading some of the UK's biggest financial services companies to back each venture. In his new company, the Glasgow media group, SMG, is coming on board. The owner of STV and Virgin Radio is looking for new revenue streams as advertising revenues from its core analogue TV business fall, and it has taken an 80% stake in the website.
Spowart, Kenny Kemp, a former business journalist, and three executives from The Union, an advertising agency based in Edinburgh, hold the remaining 20%.
Kemp knew Spowart from his time as a journalist and three of the founding members of The Union - chairman Ian McAteer, creative director Andrew Lindsay and planning and research director Mark Reid - came on board after seeing the plans.
Spowart is evidently keen to emphasise that he has the backing of a publicly listed company and the credibility this lends his company.
" was an idea I had that I bounced off Donald Emslie [acting chief executive of SMG]," he says. "There's no risk to the consumer."
A UK advertising blitz will begin this month, starting in Scotland.
Despite having made a comfortable living from financial services, Spowart is now critical of the hand that has fed him and claims innovation is being hampered by the need to increase profits. He says financial services companies are not doing enough to help customers ensure they get the best deal.
..., 11 Nov 2007 [cached]
Jim Spowart, CEO of PeoplesChampion.comMy name's Jim Spowart.I was born in Fife in Scotland and I've been a banker for over 30 years running some major businesses in the UK.
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