With barriers to entry coming down fast startup, digital-only banks are starting to get their licences. Atom is one of the first, receiving its licence in June 2015 and launching services through its mobile app in April 2016.
Based in Durham, Atom Bank is marketing itself to young, internet savvy users tired of traditional banks. The website, branding and marketing is both cuddly and slick. Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Wood explained in a blog post: “So where do you start when you’re building a new bank? Well first off we needed an identity, what most people would see as a company logo. But not us. If we were going to have an identity, we wanted one that reflected our customer obsession. We were building a bank for ‘you’ (the customer) and not ‘us’ (the bank).” The marketing strategy is outlined in a blog post if that interests you at all.
But what about the money? Atom Bank hopes to launch with a full portfolio of products and already has lending, savings, financial planning and business banking leads on its staff of over 50. The bank was founded by Anthony Thomson who co-founded Metro Bank and the CEO is Mark Mullen, formerly of first direct, so there is banking pedigree at the top level of Atom Bank.
Atom Bank has raised £135m in capital so far.