Atom Bank gains UK banking licence and promises unrivalled 'digital experience'

Out-Law News | 26 Jun 2015 | 10:10 am | 1 min. read

Atom Bank has promised to offer customers a "digital experience" they will not get elsewhere in the banking market after it announced that it has been granted a full banking licence by the Bank of England.

The company, which is backed by investor Neil Woodford, said it is developing a number of mobile app-based products and services for businesses and consumers to use. Desktop computer versions will be made available at a future date.

"Atom’s app aims to set new standards for the banking sector and will bring pioneering technology to Europe for the first time," the company said in a statement. "Atom will be leading the way in delivering the ultimate easy and convenient banking experience. Biometric security and in-app account opening are just some of the features being developed to deliver a branch-free, paper-free and stress-free bank."

It said it is "free of the existing banks’ branch and legacy costs".

Mark Mullen, Atom Bank's chief executive, said the company would "offer a quality of digital experience without parallel in this sector or in many others", and the company's founder and chairman Anthony Thomson said the granting of its licence was "a positive endorsement" by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority of Atom Bank's "business plan and model".

"We now have the mandate that only comes with a banking licence – to change banking permanently for the better," Thomson said.

Atom Bank's app-based technology will be supported by "core systems" operated by banking and payments technology providers FIS. FIS is a US-based company, but Atom Bank said that FIS' data centres in the UK will be utilised to "provide and manage a fully integrated banking and payments platform for Atom".

"Partnering with FIS allows us to plug our products and systems into a proven back-end solution with global credentials that streamlines our efforts so we can focus on growth without worrying about underlying technology," Atom Bank director of customer experience Stewart Bromley said. "Atom Bank’s model, built on its partnership with FIS, is the next step forward from thin skim fintech apps that have been filling the void before the arrival of the truly digital banks."