Monument, a new London-based digital bank for the affluent, has been granted a restricted UK banking licence in the latest example of the boom in new consumer fintechs. 

Monument is aimed at professionals, investors and entrepreneurs with a net worth of £250,000 to £5m, giving it a different focus from the more mainstream new challenger banks which have emerged in the past five years such as Monzo, Starling and N26. 

The lender, which on Thursday said it was also close to closing a Series A funding round,  will offer savings products and loans of up to £2m for buy-to-let and property investments. The bank’s services will be entirely digital, and it hopes to become operational in early 2021, it said.

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Monument’s team estimates that there are 3.5m people in the UK within the wealth bracket it’s targeting, and that together they have £200bn in liquid savings. 

Mintoo Bhandari, founder and chief executive of Monument.
Mintoo Bhandari, founder and chief executive of Monument. Credit: Monument.

The bank is one of several new fintechs trying to tap into the affluent savings market. Alpian, for example a Swiss digital bank focused on the “mass affluent” closed £12m in Series A funding earlier this year, and another UK digital bank, 220, focused on “single-digit millionaires” is set to launch this year. 

The pandemic has prompted an upsurge in licence applications from new digital banking services, with many, like Revolut, still waiting for their licence in the UK to  be granted.

Mintoo Bhandari, chief executive of Monument, said their licence would help them focus on the high end savings market, which he believes is not being adequately provided for by existing banks. 

“We are delighted that we have received our banking licence and are incredibly excited about delivering the exceptional levels of client service that the mass affluent deserve and which has been lacking from existing premier and private banks,” he said.

Monument reports completing a Series A funding round backed by a combination of existing and new experienced investors and, since its inception, the bank has raised £20m in funding.

According to Sky News, Monument is expecting to raise “substantially more” than the £10m of equity it was targeting from its Series A fundraising, with a number of blue-chip investors said to have agreed to participate.