Atom awarded £10m BCR grant to drive competition

14 August 2019

  • Will help transform banking for small businesses and deliver an additional £3bn of business financing by March 2024
  • Will deliver a digital toolkit to support the needs of small businesses
  • Will create 70 jobs in the North East of England
  • Will invest £15m of its own money alongside the award

Atom bank, the UK’s first bank built exclusively for mobile, has today been awarded a £10m grant to boost genuine competition in lending to SMEs. The grant is one of four from Pool C of the £425m Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), that forms part of a £775 million package administered by Banking Competition Remedies Ltd.

Atom, which has already lent in excess of £200m to UK SMEs, will use the funding to address overlooked customer needs, deliver change and innovation and drive economic growth by supporting the bedrock of the UK economy – small businesses.

As part of the Public Commitments laid out in its BCR bid, Atom will launch a suite of Smart Lending products designed specifically with and for SMEs, underpinned by Atom’s unique smart contract technology and machine learning capabilities. When combined with advanced cashflow management, savings and financial health forecasting, the solution will provide small businesses with clarity on their financial health; reduce barriers when applying for finance and give them more confidence to focus on growth.

Demonstrating our commitment to small businesses, Atom will provide the service as a free-to-download and use application, available to all SMEs. Atom will make available an additional £3bn of funding and aims to attract in excess of 340,000 small businesses to its innovative solution by March 2024.

On top of the 348 roles Atom have already created in the North East of England, the BCR award will directly support the creation of 55 highly-skilled jobs, including engineering and data science roles, and a further 15 graduate and apprentice roles.

Chief Executive and co-founder of Atom bank, Mark Mullen 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.”

The bank’s total lending, for homeowners and small businesses, has grown by 76% in the past year to £2.4bn, supported by growth in deposits from £1.4bn to £1.8bn. Right now, Atom is welcoming up to £20m of business and £10m of residential mortgage applications each week. To find out more visit their website at


Note to Editors

After securing its banking license in June 2015, Atom bank launched operations in April 2016, offering market-leading Fixed Saver accounts and secured business lending for small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’). From the start, Atom set out to build a customer-driven bank, designed to meet their new needs and optimised for mobile technologies.

Atom bank launched its first mobile mortgage product in December 2016 and has taken £1.8bn in deposits and lent over £2.4bn to small businesses and homeowners.

Atom is here to change banking, creating a disruptive and digital bank, keeping costs low and passing back the value to its customers. The Atom app is at the heart of the bank, with a 24/7 support team on hand to help with any customer queries through phone, chat, email and social media, working out of their Durham HQ.

The Atom executive team are highly experienced, having built and run some of the most well-respected banks in the UK. CEO Mark Mullen has 25 years’ experience in the sector and was previously CEO at the multi- award-winning telephone and internet bank first direct. The team are supported by a strong non-exec board, which includes Chairman, Bridget Rosewell. Bridget has an economics background, is also Chairman of the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency and on the board of Network Rail as well as a Commissioner with the National Infrastructure Commission.

Since its creation in April 2014, Atom has:

  • Raised just over £450m of equity capital through the support of private and institutional investors, including BBVA, Woodford Investment Management and Toscafund Asset Management
  • Built a highly motivated and experienced team of around 350 permanent employees
  • Been ranked 9th in KPMG’s ‘Global 2018 Fintech 100’ listing, and uniquely in the EU have been top 10 in this listing for the last four years
  • Ranked 1st in Tech World’s Digital Challengers list
  • Ranked 14th in LinkedIn’s ‘Top 25 Startups’ 2017
  • Voted the UK’s most recommended bank
  • Industry leading NPS score of +74
  • 5 star rating and the UK’s most trusted bank on Trustpilot
  • 97% of customers said they would recommend us on Reevoo
  • Established a global network of partners and suppliers
  • Launched 3 and 6 month and 1, 2, 3 and 5 Year market-leading Fixed Saver accounts -Atom has taken £1.8bn in deposits so far
  • Launched Digital Mortgages by Atom bank, offering secured lending to SMEs and residential mortgage products - Atom has loaned over £2.4bn to date
  • joined Atom bank as a Strategic Board Advisor, giving an external perspective on culture, community and technology
  • Announced a four year STEM partnership with the Prince’s Trust in North East England
  • Signed up to the Women in Finance Charter in 2016 and the Tech Talent Charter in 2017
  • Became a direct participant of the Faster Payments and Bacs Payment schemes
  • Announced the Atom Incubator to support North East startups at their HQ in Durham
  • Agreed multi-year partnership with leading fintech Thought Machine
  • Named in the Chronicle’s top 50 best places to work in the North East and listed in the top 20
  • Featured in London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019