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Bank for well-heeled gets licence to build Monument

Written by on 07/10/2020

A new digital lender that wants to capture a £200bn slice of Britain’s affluent savings market has secured its initial banking licence and is on the verge of closing a substantial funding round to help accelerate its rollout.

Sky News understands that Monument expects to raise substantially more than the £10m of equity it was targeting from its Series A fundraising, with a number of blue-chip investors said to have agreed to participate.

The bank, which is chaired by Niall Booker, a former chief executive of the Co-operative Bank, was awarded a so-called authorisation with restrictions licence by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority this week.

It wants to build a sizeable customer base among the 3.5m people that it says fall between the borders or mainstream retail banking and private banking for the super-rich.

That will entail targeting what it describes as “a client community that has been largely underserved by the established ‘premier’ and private banks, and unaddressed by other challenger banks: busy professionals, doctors, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs and investors”.

Monument has estimated that this slice of the UK banking market has wealth worth a combined £3.5trn, including at least £200bn in liquid savings.

It will offer clients access to loans of up to £2m when it launches early next year.

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Digital adoption of banking services has surged during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting a deluge of licence applications and fundraisings by would-be challenger banks.

Monument has already raised approximately £20m of funding from investors, and is run by its founder, Mintoo Bhandari, a former executive at the investment firm Apollo Global Management.

“Our mission continues to be to combine the capabilities, convenience and efficiencies that modern technology offers with traditional values of trust, security and strength, and to deliver unrivalled service that our valued clients will demand,” Mr Bhandari said.

 Sky News

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