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Digital banking Updated: 07 Mar 2018

BBVA backs UK banking disruptor Atom with further investment

BBVA is to increase its stake in UK digital bank Atom, after the Global Financial Group agreed to inject more capital into the mobile focussed business.

The move is a sign of BBVA’s confidence in both the business strategy and management team at Atom, which is rated as the number one provider by net promoter score in the UK for its savings products.

The decision will see BBVA invest a further £85.4m (€96m approx) into the North of England based business, increasing its ownership in the challenger bank to around 39% –subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. This brings the total invested so far, including this latest tranche, to £167m (c. €189m).

As well as from BBVA, Atom is also securing capital from some other shareholders, bringing the total capital raised this time to £149m. Commenting on the investment, BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila, said: “Atom is progressing extremely well and we continue to support the company."

As well as from BBVA, Atom is also securing capital from some other shareholders, bringing the total capital raised this time to £149m

"We are fully aligned with the vision of banking that Atom is pursuing, and the disruption it is already bringing to the UK financial services sector."

The new capital being invested will allow Atom to continue its impressive growth, and support the uptake of new clients and build core capabilities. Atom will also be looking to roll out new products and services in the future. Atom has already demonstrated its ability to execute on its strategy, having secured a balance sheet of over £1.3bn in deposits and has lent over £1.2bn through residential mortgages and business loans in less than a year.

It boasts the fastest account opening time in the UK, with just five minutes from downloading the app to account opening - provided the right requirements are in place.

Atom’s strengths –its low operating costs, mobile-only model, high customer satisfaction and disruptive business model– have seen the company lead the disruption that digital banking is bringing to the UK financial services sector. In the future, the bank will be looking at how the positive impact of PSD2 and Open Banking can help it support its customers further in their financial decision making.

Bridget Rosewell, Atom bank’s Chair said: “Atom is an ambitious and vibrant business and it is the unique fit of our shareholders, our team and our partners that enables us to offer a genuine alternative for UK savers and borrowers. We look forward to working with our stakeholders on our path to rolling out new products and developments and offering new ways of banking on our mission to change banking permanently for the better”.

Atom bank’s CEO, Mark Mullen said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved in the Atom journey to date and we are excited about our plans for the future. This further significant injection of capital secures the bank’s place as a disruptive force in the mainstream of UK banking. We will continue to invest in growth, in our technology and in our products as we continue to push ahead with the support of our investors.”

Atom key stats: since its creation in April 2014, the team has:

  • Atom bank has taken over £1.3bn of savings deposits and lent over £1.2bn to Small businesses and homeowners.
  • Raised £400m of equity capital through the support of private and institutional investors, including BBVA, Toscafund Asset Management and Woodford Investment Management.
  • Built a highly motivated and experienced team of over 310 permanent employees
  • Been ranked 8th in KPMG’s ‘Global 2017 Fintech 100’ listing and 1st in Tech World’s Digital Challengers list
  • Ranked 14th in LinkedIn’s ‘Top 25 Startups
  • Voted the UK’s most recommended bank
  • Rated 9.0/10 on Trustpilot and 97% said they would recommend us on Reevoo
  • Established a global network of partners and suppliers
  • Launched 1, 2, 3 and 5 Year market-leading Fixed Saver accounts