Tandem Bank has unveiled plans to float on the stock exchange as the digital challenger embarks on a hiring spree and moves into new offices.
The start-up bank launched five years ago in a bid to take market share from traditional high street lenders with a digital only offering, along with Monzo, Starling, Revolut and Atom Bank.
Matt Ford, Tandem’s product and marketing director, told the Press Association that an IPO was the natural next move as the group builds scale.
“We want to build this customer-centric business and then an IPO makes perfect sense, having the public buy into that business and it grow further”.
“Internally we all have a three, four, five-year horizon to say how big can we make Tandem.
“It feels like an IPO is probably one that aligns closest to our mission. But you kind of read the market as you go but I think that would definitely be our aim.”
He said an IPO would probably take three to five years, but if the company takes off “very quickly it might be at the shorter end” but cautioned that “these things take time”.
The bank’s growth this year has been rapid but since its launch in 2014 its journey has been tumultuous.
In 2017, the company bought the banking arm of luxury department store Harrods, which provided £80 million of capital and restored the company’s banking licence, having lost it when a Chinese investor reneged on a £29 million investment.
The following year, the company bought money management app Pariti for an undisclosed sum.
Mr Ford, who was chief executive of Pariti and joined Tandem in February 2018, said the company’s move to a bigger office in London in 2019 demonstrates the company’s ambitions over the next couple of years.
The bank is moving from its Pentonville Road office in London to new premises in Bernard Street in the new year.
The start-up currently employs about 120 people and the new 16,000 square feet office has capacity to staff 220.
Tandem expects to hire 60 people over the next 12 months across the board from its call centre to product development to facilitate growth.
The company rolled out six products this year, including relaunching its mortgages and launching a cashback credit card, and has just shy of 500,000 customers.
Rival Monzo on the other hand has just over 1.3 million customers while Revolut has about three million customers.
“We have grown incredibly quickly. I don’t think there’s any bank in the UK that has rolled out six financial products in a year. It’s been unbelievable if you think about it,” Mr Ford said.
“The pace of progress we have been making has been fantastic and just sitting in the call centre listening to some of the calls and some of the feedback – customers are really liking what we are doing.”
Regarding the UK’s departure from the European Union, Mr Ford said Brexit was more a hindrance than a blocker to the company’s growth ambitions.
He said the company would be expanding internationally but the company’s short-term focus was on the UK.
In November, Hong Kong-based Convoy Global Holdings invested £15 million into Tandem for a share of the company, providing it with access to new customers in Asia.
The company is currently loss making. Its parent company, Tandem Money, reported a pre-tax loss of £23.6 million for 2017 compared with £20.4 million the year earlier.