North East investment firm Middleton Enterprises is backing a new digital bank through a six-figure deal as part of its strategy of supporting growing businesses in the region.
The £50m investment company, founded by high profile businessman and philanthropist Jeremy Middleton, has selected Atom Bank for investment based upon its potential to add value and growth to the North East.
The Newcastle-based investment firm has a strong track record of supporting growth businesses.
However, the bank deal represents a variation on its normal strategy, giving it is a start-up venture.
Middleton said: “This investment in Atom Bank reflects my belief that we need more high quality national businesses in the North East.
“The efforts of organisations such as the North East LEP are helping to create an environment in which such businesses can thrive and Atom Bank is leading the way in recognising this and acting.
“Not only does Atom Bank fit the bill in this respect; I believe it can bring real growth to the region and add value to our economy, and I am proud to be getting behind Anthony Thomson and his team.”
Thomson, who also founded Metro Bank, is taking the role of chairman in the new venture.
A pioneer when it came to spotting the decline of the high street bank, he is hopeful that the branchless, digital-only Atom will make a strong impact on the UK banking scene through its focus on providing the best possible customer experience
The firm will be established with 120 people in 2015, but headcount will grow over time to around 300, the vast majority of the jobs being created in the North East.
The location of the new business is yet to be confirmed.
Thomson said: “Support and investment from organisations such as Middleton Enterprises and influential individuals such as Jeremy will help to get Atom Bank off to a great start.
“This is a very important endorsement for the bank, not only because of the finances involved, but because investors and business leaders in the region recognise that Middleton Enterprises support businesses they believe have great potential to improve the economy in the North East.”