Ex-Lloyds head of national accounts Maria Harris who will head up the intermediary mortgage sales division at yet-to-launch fully-online provider Atom Bank, said this is ‘fantastic news for the industry to have a new bank successfully complete the regulatory application process.’
“Atom Bank is different because it’s digital. We will offer customers a genuine alternative to traditional banking, embracing the technology that’s become an embedded part of our everyday lives. It’s an engaging and exciting proposition which we can’t wait to launch”
Last year banking apps were downloaded more than 14.7m times on mobiles and tablets, according to the BBA, which represents banks.
Harris started as head of intermediary sales on 1 September 2014 after leaving the sales director role at Engage Mutual.
The new mortgage lender and retail and SME-focused bank was expected to launch in Q1 this year.
Harris has been charged with setting the lending targets and strategy for the new mortgage lender with a select group of as-yet-unnamed mortgage distributors.
The Country Durham-headquartered digital bank, led by Anthony Thomson, the former chairman of Metro Bank, will provide a range of personal and business banking products delivered through their app.
Thomson will be chairman and Mark Mullen, ex-chief executive of online bank First Direct has been appointed chief executive.
Thomson, who set up Metro Bank in 2010 with co-founder Vernon Hill, is basing his digital strategy on his belief bank branches have become outdated.
Uptake in digital banking is increasing at a pace according to research showing that customers’ use of mobile banking apps at the five biggest UK banks doubled over the past year.
Charlie Fey, director at specialist marketing recruiter EMR, said: “London may be edging toward being named Europe’s Fintech capital, but Durham-based Atom Bank’s milestone shows innovation in financial services is emanating from all corners of the UK.
“The decision to launch as a mobile app confirms this platform is now a crucial dimension of the customer experience but with only around 15% of company websites mobile ready, larger corporates risk losing market share to nimble market challengers who are more willing to take risks. Digital disruption is a very real threat for the established players in financial services and they must ensure their digital and marketing teams have the mandate to constantly drive innovation into all corners of their business.”