Two former bank executives are starting a group that will test new ideas for the financial services industry, which has struggled to cope with its digital transformation.

The Bank Innovators Council will launch on Sept. 10 — the night of a financial technology conference — in Manhattan. It is designed for banks that lack sufficient internal resources to dedicate to innovation.

The Council is led by JP Nicols, former U.S. Bank executive, and Will Trout, former BBVA Compass executive.

The group’s vision includes bringing banks together over live events and virtual meetings to brainstorm,  test and create resources financial institutions could potentially share, Nicols tells BTN. Perhaps a group of members would work together to build an app they might exclusively share, he illustrates. The longer-term vision of the Council could include securing a physical space that would include an innovation lab (white boards included).

Upon launch, the Council seeks to get banks to join the group and help shape its agenda.

“Ultimately, the group will be member driven,” says Nicols, a financial technology consultant. “We will see what members say. …It’s a place to encourage innovation from within.”

The idea is somewhat reminiscent of Filene Research Institution, a resource for credit unions that’s designed to drive change.

"Most banks are unable to afford their own innovation labs and teams. But they can't afford not to innovate. We can help," said Trout in a press release.

The new group is the latest indicator of a growing trend of banks worldwide warming up to the idea of crowdsourcing their digital ideas. Bank Leumi is helping to launch an accelerator program in Israel. Credit Argicole made its API available to developers. Westpac New Zealand is hosting a mobile app idea contest.