Belfast Telegraph

Monzo to hire industry veteran as new chairman

The challenger bank is to name former Northern Rock chief executive Gary Hoffman as its new non-executive chairman.

Monzo is known for its coral pink bank cards.
Monzo is known for its coral pink bank cards.

Monzo is to appoint the former boss of collapsed lender Northern Rock as its chairman, months after the challenger bank raised enough cash to reach coveted unicorn status.

Digital start-up bank Monzo is to formally announce on Wednesday Gary Hoffman as its non-executive chairman, according to Sky News.

He will replace Labour peer Denise Kingsmill who left Monzo in May having chaired the bank since it was founded in 2015.

Monzo chief executive Tom Blomfield tweeted the announcement later on Tuesday.

“I’m delighted that Gary Hoffman will be joining @monzo as chair of the board of directors from next month”.

Mr Hoffman, an industry veteran, in 2008 became chief executive of Northern Rock, then one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders, and is credited with steering the bank through its bailout at the height of the financial crises.

Queues had formed outside Northern Rock branches after the Bank of England said it would guarantee all deposits at the beleaguered lender, which was the first run on a British bank in 150 years.

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Mr Hoffman, the former boss of Barclaycard and vice-chairman of Barclays, left Northern Rock in 2010 and set up investment vehicle NBNK Investments.

His appointment at Monzo highlights the growth ambitions of Monzo, which in October raised £85 million from venture capitalists and saw its valuation rise to over £1 billion, reaching the so-called unicorn status for private companies.

Monzo is one of a slew of fintech firms that has gained banking licences in recent years with the aim of poaching customers from the traditional high street lenders.

The start-up, like rival challenger banks Starling, Revolut and N26, does not have any bricks-and-mortar branches but operates solely online through its app.

Loss-making Monzo currently has over one million customers with ambitions to hit three million by the end of this year.

Monzo is also moving into business banking as it was recently one of 11 banks that was approved for Royal Bank of Scotland’s alternative remedies fund.

Monzo will be entitled to a share of a £350 million incentivised switching scheme aimed at encouraging small business customers to ditch their RBS account for rivals.

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