Monzo losses up 54% in the last 12 months

Monzo’s latest annual report revealed that losses rose to £47.2 million, up 54 per cent on the previous year, as the chief executive admitted there was “still plenty of work to do” to achieve profitability.

The financial accounts for the UK’s second most valuable FinTech showed that the loss after tax was up from £30.4 million in 2018.

The report confirmed that Monzo had passed the milestone of two million customer accounts and stated a long term goal of gaining more than one billion customers.

It also showed that the challenger bank launched a hiring spree last year, with 413 new employees appointed across three offices, taking total head count to 437 (up from 183 in 2018), and driving the firm’s people costs to £25.7 million, up from £9.2 million in 2018.

Customer deposits increased to £461. 8 million, up by £390.5 million from £71.2 million in 2018.

Operating costs were up from £25.4 million to £33.4 million, which the company said reflected the cost savings from running the current account on their own proprietary technology, compared with the previous prepaid scheme.

The challenger bank also raised more than £200 million of additional capital in the last 12 months, from investors and crowdfunding raises, with a recent round of investment led by US tech backer Y Combinator valuing the company at $2 billion.

The digital bank announced plans to launch its app based services in the US earlier this month.

Tom Blomfield, Monzo’s founder and chief executive, said the pace of change in the last year had been “staggering”.

He highlighted the company’s achievement in reaching £40 million of annual run-rate revenue, but admitted that there was “still plenty of work to do to get to profitability”.

Blomfield indicated that the core of the bank’s growth strategy would be to encourage users to deposit a monthly salary - defined as at least £1,000 a month-into their Monzo account - which currently accounts for 30 per cent of customers, up from 13 per cent a year ago.

“Hitting short-term financial metrics is important, but value is created over the long-term,” Blomfield said. “We’re gaining customers faster than any other UK bank, at a cost that’s an order of magnitude cheaper - our total cost to run an account is also an order of magnitude cheaper than High Street banks.”

He added: “We still need to make more revenue to become profitable as a business, but we’re showing good progress on that front.”

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