Atom Bank chairman Thomson to step aside

Atom Bank chairman Thomson to step aside

Anthony Thomson, the founder of UK challenger bank Atom is to step down from the chairmanship of the Durham-based lender as it reputedly finalises a £150 million fundraising round.

Thomson will be succeeded by Bridget Rosewell, one of the company's existing non-executive directors.

Atom Bank has confirmed the news in a tweet, and commemorative YouTube video.

Launched in 2016, Atom has secured £1 billion in deposits for its market-beating savings account. Unlike other mainstream challenger banks, Atom has so far shied away from the current account market, citing regulatory pressures.

Speaking of his decision, Thomson says: “Since having the idea for Atom bank in early 2012 it has gone from being a big idea disguised as a small bank to a big idea and a big bank. As the bank moves into a new phase of development, I feel the time is right for me to step down from the role of chairman."

Prior to founding Atom with First Direct chief Mark Mullen, Thomson had been instrumental in the launch of new high street bank Metro.

According to Sky News, Atom is set to clinch a £150 million raise next month, with existing investor BBVA acting as the underwriter.

The funding round will take the total sum raised by Atom to about £400m.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 January, 2018, 13:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

whats 'challenger' got to do with anything 

Bob Lyddon
Bob Lyddon - Lyddon Consulting Services - Thames Ditton 25 January, 2018, 20:401 like 1 like

Yes funny, really revolutionary type of bank, this one: £1 billion of loans into the twilight zone of the UK mortgage market and £1 billion of deposits guaranteed by the UK taxpayer under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The typical mortgage loan is for 25 years, but Atom's offer on its loans is considerably less than its bid on its deposits. The deposits are cleverly structured so as to fall outside Basel III Liquidity Coverage Ratio and Net Stable Funding Ratio, so the bank appears liquid under Basel III computations even though the average maturity of loans is over 20 years and the average maturity of deposits is about 18 months. The bank is an archetype of gaming the new Basel rules, but they cannot get away from the basics of Net Interest Income: if you pay more on deposits than you earn on loans, you will make a loss, and the greater the volume of business, the bigger the loss and the quicker you burn through your capital. Unfortunately if this bank goes down it will once again be the taxpayer that gets stiffed. So much for "Changing Banking for Good" and avoiding further instances of Northern Rock: thinly capitalised "challenger" banks (often from up in 't North or from Caledonia) aggessively building mortgage books at the low end of credit spectrum, overpaying for deposits, and running a glaring maturity mismatch.