Dubai Investments has acquired a 9% stake in Monument Bank.
The Emirati investment company announced the news in a Thursday (Jan. 26) press release, with Vice Chairman and CEO Khalid Bin Kalban saying, “Investment in Monument Bank provides the Group a unique opportunity to foray into [the] digital banking space in one of the most advanced and regulated markets at an early stage.”
Monument Bank is a digital-first bank in the U.K. focused on the mass affluent market.
As the bank’s CEO Ian Rand noted to PYMNTS in an interview, this demographic of British society is often underserved by both the major high street lenders and the new school of digital banks, but it’s a gap in the market that Monument is looking to fill.
“This community have lost a lot of the sources of advice that they used to get,” Rand said, adding that “they used to be able to go and talk to brokers and advisors, [but] they do very little of that now because the bar to be able to deliver that service has been set much higher.”
Beyond unique financial advice needs, he also noted that the mass affluent often have complex loan requirements. As such, one-size-fits-all approaches will inevitably fail this cohort of borrowers.
“It’s really hard to digitize the process of lending money to eight flats that are in a building that’s also got a shop on the ground floor, [with] the landlord looking to get a loan against the whole thing,” he said, pointing out that many high street banks pass over more complex loan and mortgage opportunities.
To meet this challenge, Monument Bank packages tailored lending services such as complex buy-to-let and bridge lending into an accessible digital format. And where a digital-only approach doesn’t suffice, the bank is combining “both digital and human support to get complex lending over the line,” Rand added.
Commenting on the latest deal, Rand said that “with this investment and partnership with Dubai Investments, we will accelerate the scale-up of our U.K. business, launching innovative solutions to our target segment and growing our market share.”
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