UK challenger bank Masthaven opens for business

UK challenger bank Masthaven opens for business

Online-only Masthaven bank is promising an alternative to the one-size fits all approach of conventional banks as it opens its doors to customers in the UK.

The startup has joined the ranks of new financial institutions stepping up to take on the UK's biggest banks after receiving a retail banking licence from the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority in April.

The company says it has spent the past seven months forming a customer services team approaching 100 people, building its technology platform and road-testing its products with customers.

A spin-off from bridging loan specialist Masthaven Finance, the new bank opens with a range of online fixed-interest savings products, enabling customers to tailor maturity dates and interest rates according to their needs.

Bridging loans for homebuyers and development finance for SME house builders are also offered from the outset.

A mortgage product for UK borrowers who might struggle to get loans from the big, established lenders, will be introduced next year.

The new bank is majority-owned by founder Andrew Bloom, with the remaining ownership in the hands of the billionaire Pears family and Masthaven’s employees. It is led by managing director Jon Hall, a former CEO of Saffron Building Society, who joined the business in December 2014.

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