Tandem signs up 500,000 customers and promises foreign markets push

By Roger Baird on Friday 18 January 2019

Digital Banking

Tandem plots more growth a year after its Harrods Bank deal saw it gain a banking licence.

Tandem Bank said it has topped more than 500,000 customers a year after gaining a full banking licence.

The challenger firm achieved its licence after a deal to buy the loss-making 120-year-old Harrods Bank from the Qatar Investment Authority, which also gave it £80m of working capital.  In the year to 31 January 2016, the top people's bank, which only has one branch on the second floor of the Knightsbrige department store, lost £6.3m, and £3.9m the year before. 

During the previous year the bank said it launched a number new products including credit cards, personal loans and fixed-term saving accounts.

The business promised 2019 would be a “pivotal” year, which would see it launch new accounts and enter new markets in  Western Europe and Asia.

In November, Tandem raised £15m after striking a deal with Hong Kong financial services business Convoy to launch a ‘virtual bank’ in the region. The UK lender will provide the technology, while Convoy plans to take advantage of its distribution network and local expertise.

Tandem co-founder and chief executive Ricky Knox said: “We are looking to capitalise on the wave of virtual banking around the world. New digital banks are finding their feet and breaking in to the mainstream in the UK so the natural progression is to move into Western Europe where the sector is already gaining momentum, as well as growing markets in Asia.”

Tandem made a pre-tax loss of £23.6m in 2017, saw losses narrow in 2018, and expects to turn a profit in 2020.

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