Digital Bank Tandem Secures License from the Bank of England

Tandem, a digital banking startup led by Azimo founder Ricky Knox and Capital One's Matt Cooper, has been granted a license by the Bank of England. The startup will now begin the process of constructing its technology platform and meeting capital requirements.

The startup joins players like Atom, Starling, Mondo, Secco and CivilisedBank in the quest to build mobile-centered alternatives to the small collection of giants that have dominated British banking for decades.

Knox, who co-founded money transfer service Azimo, and Cooper, who co-founded US bank Capital One, have had no trouble attracting backers for their new venture, raising close to £100 million in funding, according to the Financial Times.

This license gives the bank permission to launch a full range of services starting from current accounts, credit cards, savings and loans through mobile and Web, backed up by a call center out of London HQ next year. As with many of its contemporaries, Tandem is stressing its commitment to helping customers manage their finances and save money from their phones.

Knox said, "We are very excited to take full advantage of today’s digital technology, however, we are far more than a digital bank—above all, we are here to build a good bank. What does that mean? For too long, traditional banks have made money at their customers’ expense—for example by letting them borrow long term on credit cards, or not advising them to move money into newer savings products carrying higher interest rates.

"We want to build a bank that challenges this model by putting our customers’ interests first and by working in Tandem with them as their partner in money. It means we can be a bank that truly champions its customers, and we plan to prove it at every point."

UK is going through a chain of developments in digital-only banking. Many new startups are coming forward with the perspective of combining banking with technology. The financial regulators are encouraging competition in the retail banking.