Challenger bank Monzo has rejected two acquisition offers in the last month, the firm’s CEO revealed last night.
Tom Blomfield told an audience of customers at the startup’s HQ that selling out to a bank “is not why we’re here”.
“We’re here because we believe we can build something that genuinely improves the lives of millions of people around the world, and ultimately a billion,” he said. “If we sell out to a big bank we will not achieve that goal.”
The firm is considered to be the UK’s leading challenger bank after signing up more than 300,000 users since its launch in 2015.
It currently offers customers a pre-paid debit card, but is in the process of rolling out current accounts to all users by the end of the year.
Unlike traditional banks, Monzo can offer expenditure information instantly and provides customers with budgeting tools.
But Blomfield said last night that he doesn’t envisage the company as a bank.
“We don’t necessarily want to build a bank,” he said. “A bank is an enabler of the stuff we really do want to build, which is a single tool that lets you visualise and control all your money wherever it sits.
“That might mean aggregating all of your different current accounts into one place. It might be visualising your student loan and the repayments.
“You might have a mortgage. You might have ISAs or savings accounts with other banks. Again, you should be able to visualise and control that within Monzo.”
The CEO also responded to questions about how the firm will start to generate revenue. One route is through providing unsecured personal loans, but Blomfield also hopes to take commission on budgeting tips.
If, for example, Monzo can find a way to reduce mortgage repayments by switching providers, it would take a 10-15% cut of the savings made.
“What we’re trying to do is not just a current account,” said Blomfield. “It’s to build an extremely powerful financial control centre that uses all of the data there to either make your life simpler, save you money or earn money on the surplus funds you have.”