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Atom Bolsters Senior Management Team

15 April 2014

Atom bank has strengthened its core management team with two senior hires. Edward Twiddy, Director of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will join as Chief Innovation Officer. Also joining from the North East LEP will be Deputy Director Sophie Haagensen.

Working together with Anthony Thomson, founder and the first chairman of Metro Bank and Mark Mullen, former CEO of First Direct, to launch the UK’s first real alternative to the established banks, Edward will be the driving force behind innovation and operations.

Atom will be a new national retail and business bank, headquartered in the North East of England, a familiar territory for Edward who has worked in the region for the past two years, leading the North East Local Enterprise Partnership from its early days to being one of the most successful and forward-thinking in the country.

Anthony Thomson, Chairman of Atom said: “Edward’s involvement is a huge coup for Atom and we are delighted to have him on board. As the UK’s first truly digital bank, innovation will be at the heart of everything we do. We believe Edward will be the perfect person to drive this with his years of experience and tremendous range of skills and expertise. He has done a brilliant job in supporting northern businesses and I know that he will continue to champion local businesses in his new role at Atom.”

“Sophie has also been very active in the North East as Deputy Director and she brings additional complementary skills to the Atom team.”

At the Treasury Edward held major spending, tax and regulation roles in addition to a period in the Corporate and Private Finance team that included membership of the resolution team that stabilised Northern Rock and some of the early victims of the financial crisis. He was responsible for some of the largest spending changes at the time of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, and amongst a number of important negotiations was involved in the financing of Crossrail.

Over the course of eleven years in central government Edward held a senior post in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and was in Ruth Kelly’s private office whilst she was the Financial Secretary. From spring 2003, he was seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth office for 18 months to lead economic and banking reform in the cross-departmental Iraq Policy Unit during which he was involved in the granting of independence to the Central Bank and the introduction of a new Iraqi currency.

Sophie has played a central role in driving the development of the recently published Strategic Economic Plan for the North East. She joined the LEP from the Department for Work and Pensions, where she led a strategy team responsible for providing advice to government ministers on the viability of new policy proposals. Sophie also advised on the digitalisation of services and managed a major organisational restructure to deliver digital transformation.

Editors notes:

Atom isn’t yet a bank, but we’d like to be. So we’re applying to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to become one.

Founded a year ago and based in the City of Durham, we have a growing team of people drawn from across the country working with local and national partners in the UK to help bring pioneering technology to Europe for the first time. We are building the UK’s first bank designed specifically for mobile digital technologies offering all day, every day banking and a very efficient cost model.

We have a highly experienced executive team, led by CEO Mark Mullen who has 25 years’ experience in commercial and retail banking and was previously CEO at the multi-award winning telephone and internet bank, first direct. He is supported by Dave McCarthy, Edward Twiddy, Stewart Bromley, Lisa Wood, Craig Iley, Rachel McLauchlen, Brian Seal, Andy Givens, Paul Hanks and Richard Baker – a senior team drawn from across the financial services and related industries.

We have a strong non-exec board; our Chairman Anthony Thomson was founder and former Chairman at Metro Bank. He is also Chairman of the Financial Services Forum, the UK’s leading membership organisation for senior FS industry executives and Chairman of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, a national charity. Anthony is joined by nonexecutive directors Bridget Rosewell OBE, Patricia Jackson, John Deane and Jon Hogan.