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Atom recruits three senior managers

13 October 2014

Atom, the Durham City firm applying to be the UK’s first bank designed for digital, has today announced three key management appointments as the business continues to grow its team. Helen Wilson joins Atom bank as Head of Customer Services, Maria Harris joins as Head of Mortgage Intermediaries and Louise Hassan as Head of People and HR. All three will be based at Atom’s head office in Durham.

Helen Wilson - Head of Customer Services at Atom Before joining Atom, Helen was with Deloitte as Head of Delivery on operational projects within the banking sector. Prior to that Helen spent her career at Northern Rock, joining as a graduate trainee. She worked across different areas of the business rising to be Head of Savings Operations. Helen has a wealth of experience in managing operations, as well as process and organisational design.

Commenting on her decision to join Atom, Helen said: “Within my previous roles a significant amount of time was spent on managing the customer impact of broken processes. It is a rare and exciting opportunity to be able to build customer centric processes right from the very start. Once we are launched this will really differentiate Atom from the competition. I am already finding some great companies to partner with and look forward to building a support and service team which is second to none and fit for a digital world”.

Maria Harris, Head of Mortgage Intermediaries at Atom With almost 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Maria is highly regarded across the mortgage industry and is a passionate champion for customer service delivery. Maria has held roles within HBoS and Lloyds Banking Group, and recently worked with Leeds Building Society supporting the implementation of changes driven by the Mortgage Market Review and designing LBS’s intermediary strategy. Maria joined Atom after a period with Engage Mutual as Sales Director.

Maria has a very strong vision for how digital technology will revolutionise the mortgage world, and is enthusiastic about the opportunities that come with applying to start a new bank. Asked how Atom plans to bring something new to this market, Maria said:

“The industry has been waiting for new entrants to radically change the landscape of financial services and give customers a truly alternative choice to outdated banking models. Blending cutting edge technology with a service proposition that is powered by the user will transform the experience for customers and mortgage brokers”.

Maria graduated from Sunderland University with a Post Graduate Degree in Management Practice. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and is an ambassador for the Newcastle United Foundation – raising money and awareness of their sport for all programme.

Louise Hassan, Head of People and HR at Atom

Louise studied HR at University and then spent 7 years in a number of businesses specialising in outsourcing, education and most recently technology. After a very successful spell at Swiftpage International, Louise will be ensuring that Atom’s growth is fuelled by people with the attitude and aptitude to meet the company’s vision. North East born and bred, Louise has developed her career in the local area and has a particular interest in start-ups. Louise said:

“Atom is a challenger brand and we will be pushing boundaries within HR and ensuring we are the leader for people experience, customer experience and innovation. It’s a big and exciting challenge with lots of unknowns, but the determination of the team and the decision to headquarter in Durham made the business even more attractive”.

Speaking about the company’s progress Mark Mullen, Atom’s Chief Executive, welcomed the arrival of three senior team members: “Atom continues to attract very high calibre people with the entrepreneurial approach and track record that a company aspiring to join the UK banking industry requires. Louise, Maria and Helen are great additions to the team, and we are looking forward to a very busy and exciting run up to launch. In the meantime interviews continue for positions across Atom’s business, with interim and permanent posts advertised on the Atom microsite hosted by our recruitment partner NRG. I am looking forward to meeting more people who want to join the Atom team”.

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.