Monzo, a digital bank and a fintech unicorn, has appointed the former head of Northern Rock, a failed bank, to its banking board. The announcement comes as the startup strives for growth this year.
The issue was first reported by Sky News. Tomorrow, the fintech company is set to announce Gary Hoffman as its non-executive chairman. He is set to replace Baroness Kingsmill, the chairperson of Monzo since 2015.
Hoffman will bring with him years of experience in traditional banking. Previously, he has also served as the chief executive and chairman of Barclaycard and as the vice-chairman of Barclays.
He was appointed as the chief executive of Northern Rock in 2008. He helped in bringing stability to the bank as the financial crash took its toll.
Northern Rock was once the fifth-biggest provider of home loans in the United Kingdom. It was also the first British bank in more than a century to fail because of a run on its coffers. It was nationalised by the government in February that same year, having already turned to the Bank of England to ask for emergency funding.
In 2010, Hoffman left his position at Northern Rock to lead NBNK, an investment company which hoped to build a new UK bank by acquiring retail banking assets from others which had yet to be bailed out. By 2015, he had moved on to become the chief executive of Hastings, an insurance business. He is now the chairman of the company.
The news comes after Monzo was able to raise £105 million in a fundraising round in 2018, taking the valuation of the digital bank above £1 billion and landing it with the so-called unicorn status.
With monthly active users of more than 1 million, Tom Blomfield, the chief executive of Monzo, has said that he hopes to reach 3 million active customer accounts by the end of the year.
Monzo refused to release comments regarding the matter.