Thursday 21 January 2021 9:12 am

Monzo founder steps down saying pandemic took its toll

Monzo founder-turned-president Tom Blomfield is stepping down from the digital bank, saying the pandemic has taken a toll on his mental health. 

In an interview with Techcrunch Blomfield said he had stopped enjoying his role a long time ago as Monzo moved from startup to scaleup. 

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“I stopped enjoying my role probably about two years ago… as we grew from a scrappy startup that was iterating and building stuff people really love, into a really important UK bank.” 

Last summer TS Anil took over as chief executive as Blomfield moved into the president role as he stepped back from the day to day operational running of the back. 

Blomfield now reveals that he started speaking to investor Eileen Burbidge and Monzo chair Gary Hoffman in early 2019 after realising he was “doing too much and not enjoying it”. 

Then came the pandemic and Monzo was forced to make redundancies, close its US office and its losses widened to £115.4m, which Blomfield said exacerbated his feelings. 

“I think [for] a lot of people in the world – and you and I have spoken about this – going through a pandemic, going through lockdown and the isolation involved in that has an impact on people’s mental health.” 

“I don’t think I was any different, so I was really struggling. I had a really, really supportive exec team around me and a really supportive set of investors on board and I was really grateful that when I put my hand up and said ‘I need help,’ they were super receptive to that”.

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“Going from a CEO where you’re front and centre dealing with all of the different pressures every day to a much lighter role is a huge huge weight off my shoulders and has given me the time and space to recover”, he added. “I’m now feeling pretty great. I’m enjoying life again”. 

The digital bank is targeting profitability this year having launched a new premium service in an attempt to convince more customers to pay for its services after reporting losses more than doubled to £113.8m last year. 

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