Atom Bank gets ‘lift off’ with SME lending


Atom Bank, the UK’s first bank designed for digital and optimised for mobile, announces the restriction on its regulatory authorisation has been lifted, and opens its virtual doors. Atom will offer secured lending to SME businesses, available through a number of specialist business intermediaries.

This marks the start of Atom’s journey. The team has challenged every step of the lending process to simplify and speed up lending to small businesses. When fully rolled out, they aim to reduce the length of the journey from an average of 12 weeks to just 6 weeks, from offer acceptance to funds being released. A transparent approach means that where possible, data regarding lending decisions will be shared with customers; lifting the lid on the lending process, and ultimately helping the customer to unlock access to cheaper funding.

For retail customers, Atom will also offer a competitive fixed savings account through its new banking App, available for iPhone and iPad users.

During 2016, Atom will be unveiling a further range of products, with a phased roll­out of services throughout the year. By the end of 2016, retail customers will have access to fixed savings, current accounts, overdrafts, debit and credit cards, instant access savings and residential mortgages. Further business banking products will be made available in 2017.

Anthony Thomson, Atom’s Founder and chairman, said:

“The team has achieved something that simply hasn’t been done before– we believe we have built a bank in record time, and we’re not planning to stop here. It is not a simple task, and having an amazing team working hard to deliver the seemingly impossible has been crucial. We are all fully committed to continuing to innovate and deliver a transparent way of banking that turns the old world on its head.”

Craig Iley, Atom’s managing director of business banking, said:

“This is quite simply a much more efficient way for SMEs to access funding.  We’re aiming to halve the time it takes to get funds into a customer’s account, and open up the data to customers so they know how decisions are made. They can then use that information to improve their businesses and  potentially unlock access to cheaper funding. This is SME banking that’s simple, transparent and delivers what these businesses actually need – it doesn’t present them with a series of challenges and hoops to jump through. We’re about empowering businesses and helping them on their own journey.”

Mark Mullen, Atom’s CEO, said:

“This is the start of a remarkable transformation of the banking landscape for everyone. Atom aims to offer a genuine alternative to the insidious and self­interested banks that dominate the UK banking landscape.  Our approach will be to constantly evolve and extend our offering, with dedication to providing better value, greater transparency and a much more innovative banking experience."

Building of the bank, a bit of history

Atom Bank is led by CEO Mark Mullen and chairman Anthony Thomson and since its creation in April 2014, the team has:

  • Raised in excess of £135m in capital through the support of a group of over 100 private and institutional investors, including BBVA, Woodford Investment Management and Toscafund Asset Management.
  • Built a highly motivated and experienced team of 160 permanent employees.
  • Been ranked 8th in KPMG’s Global Fintech 100 listing and 1st in Tech World’s Digital Challengers list.
  • Established a global network of partners and suppliers, with a distinct bias towards the North of England.
  • Been granted first a restricted licence in June 2015 and now a full unrestricted licence to offer personal and business banking services.