August 14 2019 @ 13:03 by Steven Hugill
A mobile lender founded in the North East has revealed plans to create 70 jobs in a £10 million expansion aimed at strengthening its offering to smaller businesses (SMEs).
Atom Bank says it will bolster its near 350-strong workforce after being awarded a grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund.
Bosses say the cash will help deliver 55 highly-skilled roles across areas such as engineering and data science, and 15 graduate and apprentice posts.
They also revealed the support will help the Durham-based operator deliver an additional £3 billion of business financing by March 2024, which they say, alongside technology advances, has the potential to attract upwards of 340,000 companies by 2024.
Furthermore, the business – which is supplementing the £10 million grant with an investment of £15 million from its own funds – will launch a suite of products designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)
Officials at Atom, which has already lent in excess of £200 million to UK SMEs, say the move will use its proven technology to provide companies with health checks and make the financial application process easier.
Highlighting the “overlooked needs” of SMEs, officials said the funding will “deliver change and innovation and drive economic growth by supporting the bedrock of the UK economy.”
Mark Mullen, chief executive and co-founder of the bank, which has no plans to open high street branches, said: “As a fast-growing new entrant, we know just how hard it is to get a business off the ground and we recognise that the needs of smaller businesses are different from those of larger firms.
“We are delighted to receive this award and we will provide SMEs with a truly digital offering that allows them to get on with the day-to-day running of their businesses, giving value back to customers and bringing some much-needed competition to the business banking market.”
Atom’s £10 million grant was awarded out of a wider £425 million Capability and Innovation Fund, which forms part of a £775 million package administered by Banking Competition Remedies Limited.
According to its latest statistics, the bank’s total lending for homeowners and small businesses has grown by 76 per cent in the past year to £2.4 billion.