Neil Woodford-backed challenger Atom gets thumbs-up from regulators

Emma Haslett
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The bank has raised £25m from backers including Woodford (Source: Getty)

A mobile-based bank backed by City superstar investor Neil Woodford and launched by a founder of Metro Bank has been granted a banking licence, it said this morning.

Durham-based Atom, launched by former Metro Bank chairman and First Direct chief executive Mark Mullen, will launch as a mobile app at first, with a desktop version coming later.

The app will include biometric security features and "in-app account opening"

The bank said it will "champion customer experience with a low-cost model, transparent pricing and digital innovation", said Mullen

"[The granting of a banking licence is] a positive endorsement of our business plan and model from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. We now have the mandate that only comes with a banking licence – to change banking permanently for the better," he added.
The UK's challenger banking market is becoming increasingly crowded - although it has also produced some of the most successful IPOs of recent months.
Earlier this month, newly-listed banks Shawbrook and Aldermore were admitted into the FTSE 250, while Virgin Money, which launched its IPO in October last year, was promoted into the index earlier this year.

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