Edward Twiddy, director of innovation at Atom Bank, the UK’s first digital only bank, took Service Network members through a fascinating talk about the launch of the Durham based bank.
With no branches or call centres, all contact for Atom Bank is via an app through which customers can talk to a 30-strong service team. The bank, which launched in April 2016, began with only six founding directors, and has grown to a 300-strong organisation which is on the brink of introducing new products to build on its current accounts, loans, savings and mortgage accounts.
Edward stressed the importance of building the bank carefully, piece by piece, listening to customers and focusing on superb service as it grew. The ongoing process of fund-raising is a necessary pain to ensure the bank has the backing it requires for its licence. The majority of its funders are from the North East. Edward believes that disruptive challenger banks such as Atom benefit from being free of any legacy or technology problems which can create huge problems for traditional banks, where there have been well-publicised IT meltdowns.
The Apprenticeship Standards and the new levy for employers was explained clearly and comprehensively by Gillian Miller, North East Regional Director, Association of Colleges and Julie Sloanes, Assistant Principal, South Tyneside College. They gave details of how employers will be affected by the apprenticeship funding system the government is introducing from May 2017.
Next Network Leader meeting
Tuesday 28 February at 11.30am Greggs plc’s retail director, Raymond Reynolds. RTC North, Sunderland.