Masthaven gets retail banking licence

Bank of England
Masthaven Bank has become the first challenger bank of 2016 to be granted a retail banking licence.Borne out of Masthaven Finance the new digital bank aims to disrupt the market with a customer-led flexible savings and mortgage proposition and employee partnership structure.A spokesman said: “The authorisation of the banking licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority will enable us to start to deliver on our vision to build a bank that puts people in control of their own financial goals.”

Masthaven Bank will enable customers to build their own products from launch. Savings customers will be able to determine maturity dates and interest rates, through a competitive online fixed-interest savings range. This philosophy will also be applied to mortgages, building on the foundations put in place by Masthaven Finance to support mortgage customers who don’t fit neatly into the rigid rules of traditional lenders.

Jon Hall, managing director of Masthaven Bank, said: “In a world of ever increasing personalisation, many people want to take more control of their money and make it work harder for them. We’re determined to buck the ‘one size fits all’ approach to banking by helping retail customers play a bigger role in tailoring products to best suit their needs.”

Masthaven will give share options in the business to its employees. The new bank will be majority-owned by founder and majority shareholder Andrew Bloom, with the remaining ownership held by the billionaire Pears family and Masthaven’s employees.

Andrew Bloom, Masthaven Bank’s founder and majority shareholder, said: “We want our employees to hold a stake in the business that we will be building together, because as a bank we’re only as good as the people we employ. Our new team combines great talent and experiences with a shared vision to change banking for the better, working with our customers to help give them greater control of their finances.”

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin added “Incentivising new banks to come to market is a key part of the government’s drive to increase competition in banking. We want to ensure that the UK financial services sector remains the best and most diverse in the world.

“It is great to see Masthaven successfully taking the leap from specialist mortgage lender to a new retail bank focused on digital services – I look forward to seeing how this transforms its offering for UK customers.”

Masthaven Bank will be led by managing director Jon Hall who joined the business in December 2014. Previously Hall was chief executive of Saffron Building Society where he grew the mutual’s ranking from 31st to 13th largest in the UK and the largest in Eastern England.

Peter Harrison, ex-CEO of the UK Financial Services Practice at KPMG, chairman of the Audit Committee of a FTSE 250 Company and ex-chair of the Audit Committee for CIT Bank Ltd, has been appointed chairman of the new Bank. Anne Gunther, previously chief executive of Norwich & Peterborough Building Society and Standard Life Bank, joins as non-executive. The newly authorised bank will be making further appointment announcements shortly.

Masthaven Finance started lending in 2003 and has specialised in first and second charge residential and buy-to-let mortgages and short term loans, including a full range of products including regulated and buy-to-let bridging loans, renovation and refurbishment regulated loans and regulated development (including self-build) loans. Masthaven Finance were included in 2015’s The Sunday Times‘ Virgin Fast Track 100, the annual awards designed to recognise Britain’s top 100 private companies with the fastest growing sales over their latest three years. Masthaven Finance, the bridging division of Masthaven Finance Group, were listed as number 81 in the list of 100 companies.

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