App-based bank Atom is to raise £40m from existing shareholders as it eyes a path to profitability and a float on the stock market. 

The Durham firm has fast-growing revenues and expects its lending to SMEs to top £700 million by the end of March following a tripling of business loans in the last 12 months.  

It says this growth has been achieved both within the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and also independent of government schemes. 

Simultaneously, Atom has seen strong and profitable growth in its mortgage portfolio, having already added £362m of mortgages in the second half of its financial year 2020/21.  

Since its launch, Atom has loaned £2.8 billion to UK mortgage customers. The Durham-based lender also confirmed its place in the secondary markets for UK mortgages, issuing a £775m prime mortgage securitisation last year.

Its savings products are now hosted on UK FinTech Thought Machine’s transformational ‘Vault’ platform – part of a transformation to real-time cloud native technology across all of Atom’s technology stack that has also been completed in the last year.  

The bank says this step change in income and technology has been achieved while continuing to hold operating costs flat. 

“We think of Atom as an exceptionally engaging and efficient banking machine that helps and supports customers to own their homes or build their businesses,” said CEO Mark Mullen.  

We’ve been there for new and existing customers during the pandemic, and in a year when we have held our operating costs constant I’m delighted that we have coupled substantial income growth with an enviable record of customer experience.”

Asked about the future and the possibility of an IPO for Atom, Mullen said: “We turn to our shareholders for capital as and when we need it to drive growth.  

Despite it being a difficult environment for all companies that need to raise funding, this capital raise will allow us to continue to progress towards profitability and ever-improving levels of efficiency and engagement.  

The team retains an IPO as our objective – and we’ll take the business there when we and the markets are ready. 

After the year that’s just gone, I’m not going to claim perfect foresight; but we’re looking at the financial year 2022/23 as our IPO target.”