Ex-Barclays boss Bob Diamond not among digital challenger bank Tandem's new investors

Lynsey Barber
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Tandem's deal to buy Harrod's Bank has been finalised (Source: Getty)

Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond will not be making a return to British retail banking, having ruled out taking a stake in digital challenger Tandem.

Diamond's Atlas Merchant Capital had been one of several potential investors in talks with the fintech company in recent months, but is not part of a new funding round that includes new and existing investors.

The amount of fresh cash has not been disclosed, but announcing the closure of a deal to buy Harrods Bank today, Tandem said it has access to £80m of capital.

Read more: A robot could soon be investing in bitcoin on your behalf

The bank's chief executive Ricky Knox told City A.M. it comes largely from existing investors and that it would last "a couple of years" taking them through to profitability - something he expects to happen within the next five.

"From a practical perspective it will allow us to get to profitability faster. One of the challenges is capital and it can be hard to return to investors. This is a massive accelerator to get us further down the curve," he said.

"This will last us through to profitability, but that's not to say we won't go for more," he added.

Read more: Regulators approve Tandem's takeover of Harrods Bank

Completing the deal after approval from regulators means Tandem regains its banking licence. It lost it last year after House of Fraser owner Sanpower pulled its funding.

"This puts us miles ahead of Monzo and Starling," said Knox. "We'll be quite possibly the largest challenger bank by assets and the biggest by revenue."

Knox said his personal aim is to push revenue into the double digit millions this year.

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