Bó, the digital bank developed by the high street lender Natwest, is losing another senior figure with chief product officer Ollie Purdue saying he is leaving to become a partner at Antler, the early-stage venture capital firm.
The departure of Purdue is the latest in a series of high-profile departures for Bó, with chief executive Mark Bailie stepping down earlier this year. The bank has also been beset by other problems, including a compliance glitch which forced thousands of users to replace their cards
Purdue told Sifted:
“I can’t wait to get started at Antler [in the Spring]. The European technology industry is burgeoning with potential, and I’m keen to help the next generation of founders build world-beating companies.”
The 26-year-old joined Bó last June after his fintech banking app, Loot, went into administration following a collapsed take-over deal orchestrated by Natwest’s parent company RBS.
At its peak, Purdue’s Loot was pitched to be a rising competitor to Monzo — compelling RBS to take a 25% stake in the fintech company. The two then began serious talks for a full acquisition before RBS pulled out unexpectedly. Shortly after, Loot ran out of funds and RBS absorbed much of its tech team into Bó, including Purdue, who helped build a proposition and interface similar to Loot’s.
Natwest’s Bó officially launched late last year but had a rocky start, including a compliance glitch that forced thousands of users to replace their cards. Nonetheless, the £100m experiment puts RBS ahead of its peers in its efforts to catch up with specialised digital banks like Monzo and Starling.
Purdue will be replaced by Ken Johnstone, who currently leads product at Mettle (Bo’s sister digital bank) and will now be chief product officer for both ventures, sources told Sifted.
Bó declined to comment.