New digital bank targets mass affluent market

A new digital bank, Monument, has announced it is in the latter stages of its application for a banking licence.

It plans to launch the bank of choice for mass affluent clients in the UK who have a net worth of between £250,000 and £5 million.

Monument claims that this client demographic has been largely unaddressed by the challenger bank boom in the UK until now and underserved by premier and private banking.

It will offer savings and property investment lending products to clients, via an app-based and online platform - with a digital journey for buy-to-let and property investment lending of up to £2 million.

The bank also aims to give top quartile savings rates, with a model designed to reward loyalty - so if a saver deposits money for a subsequent fixed term, they will get a better rate than a new customer.

Customers will be able to use live chat, video and co-browsing features, or meet relationship managers in city-centre Monument Lounges.

In building its business over the last 18 months, Monument conducted multiple surveys, interviewing over 1,800 people in the mass affluent demographic. One of those surveys revealed that 93 per cent of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with their current banking provider.

Chief executive Mintoo Bhandari said: “Clients want the ability to bank effectively at their convenience and wherever they are, on their phone or computer and more robustly than they would have imagined possible just last year.

“Increasingly, private banking is focused on the ultra-high net worth and lags when it comes to embracing modern technology, and Premier banking really only exists in name only," he continued, adding: "We recognise there is a substantial community who deserve far more than they currently experience from their existing bank."

The bank is built on cloud and microservices technology – which enables a plug and play approach to new tech innovations as they are developed and as client requirements evolve.

Over £10 million has been raised by Monument Corporation in seed funding thus far, with working capital for about 15 months.

The bank submitted its application for a licence in December 2019 and is currently going through the latter stages of the regulatory approval process.

Its board have held senior roles in HSBC, Barclays, McKinsey, Apollo Global Management, PwC and Coutts.

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