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Exclusive: Atom Bank hits £1bn of SME lending ahead of target

Chief customer officer and co-founder Edward Twiddy confirmed the milestone will be hit “today or tomorrow”.

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Edward Twiddy/Atom Bank.

Lender Atom Bank has reached its milestone of lending £1bn to SME customers earlier than expected.

The achievement comes five months after Atom Bank’s chief customer officer and co-founder Edward Twiddy first revealed that the bank would achieve it “by the turn of this year”.

Speaking exclusively on AltFi’s Digital Banking: What is the State of the Market? webinar yesterday, Twiddy confirmed the milestone had been as good as reached.

“Either today or tomorrow, we’ll hit £1bn of SME lending since we launched,” he said.

Alongside its already £3bn of mortgage lending, the news means Atom Bank has a substantial loan book which helped it reach monthly profitability this June, an achievement that Twiddy confirmed had continued in subsequent months.

Unlike its peers Monzo and Starling Bank,Atom Bank never launched a current account, instead focusing purely on savings and lending to SMEs and mortgage customers.

Twiddy said Atom’s lending milestones and profitability justify that decision as current accounts would have been a costly venture.

“That’s a cost that actually drags down our focus on mortgage customers and giving SME customers a better price, and importantly giving savers a better price,” he said.

Earlier this year Atom Bank teamed up with Funding Circle in order to deploy £300m to SME customers, on top of an earlier commitment of £350m.

In April, Atom Bank raised £40m from Toscafund and BBVA to see the business through to profitability and towards a potential IPO that is on the cards for 2022.

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Edward Twiddy

Chief Customer Officer

Atom Bank

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