EBay Founder Joins Backers of U.K. Digital Startup Tandem Bank

  • Pierre Omidyar's philanthropic vehicle buys unspecified stake
  • Tandem Bank working to start offering products later this year

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of EBay Inc., has joined investors in new online British lender Tandem Bank as it works to begin offering products to customers this year.

Omidyar Network, the EBay founder’s philanthropic investment vehicle, bought a stake in the lender in a funding round, London-based Tandem Bank said in a statement Monday, without disclosing the financial details. Other investors include Neil Utley, founder of British insurer Hastings Group Holdings Ltd., and venture capital firms Route66 and eVentures.

Tandem Bank won a license from the Bank of England last year to join a growing number of small British lenders pushing to crack the dominance of the nation’s four-largest banks, which together control about 80 percent of the market. Founder Ricky Knox, who previously started online remittance firms Azimo and Small World, has hired former Santander UK Plc director Michael Amato and ex-Lloyds Banking Group Plc executive John Maltby to join the board of the digital lender.

The company will start offering checking accounts, credit cards and loans this year, according to the statement.

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