January 25, 2018 / 9:53 AM / a year ago

After turning "big idea" into bank, Atom chairman steps down

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The chairman and founder of Britain’s Atom Bank stepped down on Thursday, saying his job was done after helping the business grow from a big idea in 2012 to an established lender.

Anthony Thomson, who previously co-founded Metro Bank , one of the most successful challengers to Britain’s big four lenders, will be succeeded by Bridget Rosewell, chair of Atom Bank’s audit committee.

Since opening for business in 2014 as a digital-only bank focused on savings accounts and mortgages, Atom has collected more than 1 billion pounds ($1.43 billion) in deposits and lent the same amount to small businesses and homeowners.

It is one of a number of branch-free banks that have sprung up in Britain in recent years to take on the likes of Barclays , HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.

Atom has gone from “being a big idea disguised as a small bank to a big idea and a big bank”, Thomson said in a statement.

“I have loved doing this with Atom but, as the bank moves into a new phase of development, I feel the time is right for me to step down from the role of chairman.”

While attracting less limelight than some of its peers, such as app-only bank Monzo, Atom has quietly raised significant funding from high-profile backers including Spanish lender BBVA .

So far it has received 250 million pounds from investors and is planning a further fundraising round. ($1 = 0.7018 pounds) (Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by David Goodman)

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