Neil Woodford’s challenger bank Atom has received backing from BBVA, Spain’s second largest lender.
The Durham-based digital-only retail banking service had previously raised two rounds of finance since it was founded in July 2013 – most recently securing £25m equity investment from CF Woodford Equity Income Fund, and other Business Angels.
Now, Spain’s second largest lender BBVA has invested £45m into Atom in exchange for a 29.5% equity stake.
Set-up by Anthony Thompson, former Metro Bank chairman, and Mark Mullen, First Direct chief executive, Atom has also announced plans to launch an app.
“We’re excited by BBVA’s decision to invest in Atom, an excitement that’s about more than money” said Mullen. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of money and of course the money is important,but it’s only one of the things we need to help us build our business. BBVA has lots of banking experience and they also have access to considerable financial and material resources.”
However, Mullen suggested that Atom’s enthusiasm about the deal with BBVA stemmed from a more simple, humanist place.
“They get what we are trying to achieve here in Atom…we really like their people”.