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Atom Bank given £30m cash injection to help SMEs

After the financial crisis, the Bank of England sought to relax financial barriers in a bid to foster competition. This gave rise to challengers such as Atom Bank, most of which have seen substantial success thanks to a reliance on mobile.
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A large amount of funding has been injected into such banks, with the tech-savvy and modern approaches of the bosses in charge being of higher appeal to customers than traditional banks – and mobile-only offerings like Atom Bank are jumping to the fore.

March placed a specific emphasis on how lucrative investors thought the concept of the digital bank was. Tom Blomfield’s Monzo managed to secure £34.8m from investors, while Atom Bank raked in £219m. Likewise, Tandem, with House of Fraser as a backer, raised £30m, while the Starling team raised £48m in order to widen their beta testing programme.

These four banks have been the subject of much debate, being dubbed the most disruptive of the bunch. And together, the banks have raised a combined total of £330m.

But while Tandem has since lost its license, Atom Bank has continued in its pursuit for finance. With CEO Mark Mullen and chairman Anthony Thomson at its helm, the company has made no secret that more offerings specifically for SMEs are to come – debit cards have long been in the pipeline – but a heavy does of capital is needed for the company to make good on its promise. 

Thats why a Tier 2 £30m cash injection from the British Business Bank Investments was welcomed by Atom Bank. This finance will help facilitate its growth and create the support needed to bring its expected offerings “to life”.

It will also, according to founder Anthony Thomson, help improve upon its desire to make access to finance easier for SMEs.

“Access to Tier 2 capital at such an early stage of the growth cycle is rare and we are extremely pleased to be gaining this support from British Business Bank Investments. Together with the British Business Bank, we are sending a clear sign – we are here to support UK SMEs.

“This facility provides us with tremendous flexibility. Like all banks, we are actively managing our capital structure and having access to Tier 2 capital at this stage helps support our growth and is a great result for Atom, its shareholders and customers.”

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Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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