Thursday 8 October 2020 4:21 pm

London-based digital lender for the wealthy gets UK banking licence

A London-based digital lender targeting Britain’s affluent savings market, has received a restricted banking licence from UK regulators.  

Monument, which is targeting professionals, entrepreneurs and investors with a net worth of £250,000 to £5m, received an “authorisation with restriction” licence this week. 

Read more: BoE gives banks all-clear but warns them to keep up support

The fintech, which is planning to launch in 2021, said it will offer savings accounts and loans of up to £2m for buy-to-let and property investments in an entirely digital offering.

Monument estimates that there are 3.5m people in the UK within the so-called mass affluent bracket it is targeting, with at least £200bn in liquid savings. 

The fintech is aiming to serve a more affluent customer base than challenger banks such as Monzo, Starling and N26. It is chaired by former Co-operative Bank boss Niall Booker, and has board members and executives who previously held roles at Barclays, HSBC and UBS. 

Demand for digital banking services has surged since coronavirus lockdown measures were imposed earlier this year, prompting a wave of banking licence applications from challengers looking to disrupt the market.   

Mintoo Bhandari, Monument chief executive and one of its founders, said the bank wanted to deliver “the exceptional levels of client service that the mass affluent deserve and which has been lacking from existing premier and private banks”.

Monument also announced the completion of a Series A funding round backed by existing and new investors. 

Read more: London fintech Currensea launches product for small businesses

The fintech has raised £20m in funding since its inception. Sky News reported that the lender was set to raise more than the £10m it had targeted in its Series A round, with a number of blue-chip investors backing the startup. 

“Our mission continues to be to combine the capabilities, convenience and efficiencies that modern technology offers with traditional values of trust, security and strength, and to deliver unrivalled service that our valued clients will demand,” said Bhandari. 

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