Metro Bank Founder Thomson to Set Up Online Bank in 2015

Metro Bank Plc founder and former Chairman Anthony Thomson is setting up a new U.K. online consumer and business bank called Atom.

Thomson, 59, will be chairman of the bank, while Mark Mullen, who runs First Direct, an online lender operated by HSBC Holdings Plc, will become chief executive officer, according to an e-mailed statement today. Atom will have no branch network and will offer a “full range” of personal and business banking services when it opens next year, the firm said.

Metro became the first new U.K. consumer bank in more than a century when it opened in July 2010. It is attempting to win clients from the U.K.’s biggest banks by opening longer and providing better service than competitors.

“There is a significant market for a new bank,” Thomson said in a telephone interview. “People don’t like the existing incumbent banks. People are asking why they should pay for branches that they probably won’t ever use. We can deliver better service and better value digitally.”

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