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‘Consider yourselves challenged’: Monzo CEO takes aim at legacy banks

Monzo banks
Monzo CEO TS Anil. Image credit: Seb Higgins Photography / London Tech Week

Monzo chief executive TS Anil has taken a shot at the “incumbent” banking industry that he said was bogged down by a “legacy mindset”.

Speaking at London Tech Week, a triumphant Anil said that despite the hundreds of years of experience from traditional banking giants and Monzo “being around for minutes in comparison”, the challenger bank was “at the top of the league table”.

“I do absolutely believe that when we describe the ‘challenger bank’, it does mean and it should mean that the incumbents should consider themselves challenged,” Anil said.

Founded in 2015, Monzo has become one of the UK’s most popular banks, with over nine million users.

This month, the fintech reported its first full year of profit after a revenue jump that drove Monzo’s pre-tax profit to £15.4m in its latest company accounts.

Earlier this year, Monzo was valued at £4bn after it secured a £340m funding round led by Alphabet’s growth fund CapitalG. Monzo raised a total of £489.5m at the final close of its last round.

The company has also been named the best bank for customer satisfaction in the annual rankings from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) multiple years in a row.

“The incumbent banks…are burdened by legacy technology, legacy, business models, legacy mindsets,” Anil said.

“The naysayers will always say they might be able to build a good product, but can they actually scale a successful business? We deeply believe that the trajectory we’re on is the proof point of that.”

The Monzo boss, who took over as chief executive from co-founder Tom Blomfield in 2020, described the “race” to transform banking between the “incumbents” and the fintechs.

“The race between these two constituencies is really about will the incumbents deliver on the promise of technology to customers, or whether these challengers understand banking at scale.”