Masthaven Finance has unveiled plans to become a new UK retail bank offering online, fixed interest savings and specialist mortgages.
The planned bank has already met the strict UK regulatory capital rules and is preparing to launch in the summer of 2016.
Former Saffron chief executive Jon Hall will lead Masthaven Bank as managing director.
He said: “This is a hugely exciting time to launch a new retail bank in the UK.
“For too long, savers and borrowers have had to dance to the tune of the big banks. The Masthaven approach will be different, recognising that ‘no one size fits all’ and that everyone’s individual financial backgrounds and requirements vary.”
Masthaven Bank will be flexible in its approach and offer savings and mortgages that put people in control of their own financial goals and that recognise not all customers are the same.
From launch, Masthaven Bank will offer a range of competitive online fixed-interest savings products, enabling customers to tailor maturity dates and interest rates in a way which suits them. It will also provide specialist mortgages for UK borrowers who don’t necessarily fit neatly into the rigid and uncompromising rules of the big, established lenders.
Hall added: “By being flexible in technology and product design, we will enable savers to make financial choices which better suit their goals.
“Most financial institutions offer savings products over a fixed period, whereas we will offer savings which allow customers to select maturity dates and interest rates that suit them. So, if someone is getting married in 19 months’ time, they can have a savings product that matures in 19 months’ time and earn a fixed rate of interest that reflects locking their money away for that length of time.’
“Equally, when it comes to mortgage lending, we don’t believe in crude tick box or computer electronic score-carding.
“For instance, take a customer who is currently on a very low base rate tracker or fixed rate but who wants to extend their property with a loft conversion.
“To use the equity in their property they may have to refinance away from their low rate. Whereas our underwriters will make a lending decision based on each customer’s financial circumstances, along with having a wide range of mortgage options, this means we could potentially lend the cash on a capital and interest basis alongside the existing mortgage.”
A stake in the Bank
As part of its commitment to challenging convention and putting people at the heart of the bank, Masthaven will give share options in the business to its employees. Unlike other companies, these share options will be distributed throughout the business and up to 80% of current and future employees will be eligible to benefit from them.
Andrew Bloom, Masthaven Finance’s founder and Masthaven Bank’s majority shareholder, said: “We want our employees to hold a stake in the business that we will be building together, because as a bank we’re only as good as the people we employ. We appreciate that motivated, talented and engaged employees mean a better customer experience for the people we are here to serve.”
The new bank will be majority-owned by Andrew Bloom, with the remaining ownership held by the Pears family and Masthaven’s employees.