Upmarket neobank Monument gears up for next funding round as launches savings products

By John Reynolds on Friday 10 December 2021

Savings and Investment

Monument, which plans to do mass affluent banking better than its competitors, aims to reach profitability within 24 months of launch.

Upmarket neobank Monument gears up for next funding round as launches savings products
Image source: Fred Kearney/ Unsplash

New upmarket bank Monument is gearing up for its next funding round, it is launches is first tranche of savings products and app with “hundreds” on its waiting list.

Monument’s plan is to do mass affluent banking better than its competitors, and to reach profitability within 24 months of launch.

Details of the challenger bank that wants to target Britain's wealthy savers, entrepreneurs and property investors emerged at the start of the year after it raised close to £30m ahead of its launch.

This week, it has launched its first suite of savings products, which includes a 12 month, two and five year Fixed-Term Deposit product with Easy Access savings product to follow in early 2022.

It is also offering clients buy-to-let and bridging loans to support experienced and busy landlords to manage and grow their portfolios. 

Clients will be able to borrow up to £3m for buy-to-let property investments, supported by specialist relationship managers.

The app has also been launched this week, though Monument says it’s too early to say how many downloads it has had.

Chief operating officer John Saunders heralds the app as “very clean, very uncluttered, not quite Monzo” that will allow clients to sign up in minutes.

The app’s standout features, says Saunders, are two-fold.

One is that it is an entirely in-app experience, so clients can switch communication channels with Monument advisers, be it from video to email, within the app.

Allied to that, it offers a co-browsing facility, so clients can be aided by Monument advisers on investment decisions or if they are having trouble with the app.

On Monument’s launch, Saunders says: “We are being cautious and careful and appropriate”.

It is not a big bang launch, he says, but points out: “We are not in the same place as other banks that set out to raise as much cash as they possibly can in the shortest period of time. 

“That’s not our business model. Because our deposit taking is really about funding our lending back. It’s a really old fashioned business model.”

Our mantra is more about “value over volume”.

Last month, it received its full banking licence, allowing it to start taking in deposits.

The bank wants to capture a slice of the £200bn affluent savings market in Britain.

Its core market is individuals that it believes have been “undeserved” by, at one end ,the  premier banks and the other the private banks.

Depositors must hold a minimum balance of £25,000 with Monument across all savings accounts.

Saunders says that its waiting list in its “hundreds”.

But he qualifies the definition of a waiting list, pointing out that those individuals on its waiting list are people who want early access to its products or might want to test products, not necessarily potential clients.

To date the bank has raised around £60m and is now gearing up for is Series B round which will be a “traditionally institutional round”.

"You will appreciate that as a bank you always need capital to grow. That is just the reality, " Saunders says.

Monument ,which has a staff headcount in its forties, will not be launching current accounts.

“We are not running current accounts. And the reason for that is that people frankly tend to stick largely with one current account," Saunders adds.

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