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December 1, 2015

New digital bank Tandem gets Bank of England license

News: Full service mobile-first offering will add to growing challenger bank battle.

By Charlotte Henry

There’s a new challenger bank in town, or at least on your phone, as mobile-first bank Tandem has been granted a licence from the Bank of England (BoE).

In a blog post, co-founder Ricky Knox said the news was "very exciting" and it gave the business "permission to launch a full service digital retail bank." The firm will offer current accounts, credit cards, savings and loans.

Knox, who has previously co-founded the money transfer service Azimo, launched his new venture with Matt Cooper, one of the founders behind Capital One. The Financial Time reports that the pair were able to secure £100m in funding.

Knox said: "We want to build a bank that challenges this model by putting our customers’ interests first and by working in Tandem with them as their partner in money. It means we can be a bank that truly champions its customers, and we plan to prove it at every point."

Tandem joins other challenger banks such Mondo and Starling, in offering digital an mobile banking solutions, as well as bricks-and-mortar challengers like Metro Bank. It will begin operating in 2016.

Anthony Duffy, Director of Retail Banking, UK & Ireland, Fujitsu said that not everyone will be happy signing up with these new firms: "The new entrants won’t appeal to everyone and Tandem will be no exception.

"However, it won’t be seeking to become a mass market player – instead it will seek out that segment of the market that is extremely comfortable using mobile and internet based services, and is looking for something different to the offering of the established players."

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