January 21, 2021

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield leaves challenger bank

By Ellen Daniel

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield has announced he is leaving the challenger bank after he stopped enjoying his role.

Blomfield, who co-founded the bank in 2015, announced in May 2020 that he was stepping down as CEO and would take on the role of president. However, he is now leaving Monzo altogether with former Visa head of products and platform TS Anil taking over the role of CEO.

“I stopped enjoying my role probably about two years ago… as we grew from a scrappy startup that was iterating and building stuff people really love, into a really important UK bank,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch.

“I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just that the things I enjoy in life is working with small groups of passionate people to start and grow stuff from scratch, and create something customers love.

“And I think that’s a really valuable skill but also taking on a bank that’s three, four, five million customers and turning it into a ten or twenty million customer bank and getting to profitability and IPOing it, I think those are huge exciting challenges, just honestly not ones that I found that I was interested in or particularly good at.”

As of March 2020, Monzo has racked up over four million users since its launch and is often regarded as one of the top challenger banks.

However, in July 2020 it reported annual net losses of £113.8m after making a £47.1m lost in the previous year.

In a telephone interview with TechCrunch, Blomfield said he struggled with his mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic:

“I think [for] a lot of people in the world — and you and I have spoken about this — going through a pandemic, going through lockdown and the isolation involved in that has an impact on people’s mental health.

“I don’t think I was any different, so I was really struggling. I had a really, really supportive exec team around me and a really supportive set of investors on board and I was really grateful that when I put my hand up and said, ‘I need help,’ they were super receptive to that”.

In a tweet, Blomfield said he was “looking forward to some extended relaxation before the next thing.”

In June 2020, Reuters reported that 120 of Monzo’s UK staff were being made redundant, with its Las Vegas customer support office also closing.

Earlier in the year, Blomfield announced he would be forgoing his salary for one year in order to help the company.

Read More: Over a quarter of Brits now have a digital-only bank account.