Spanish banking group BBVA has agreed to acquire a 29.5% stake in British digital-only bank Atom for £45m.
Atom, slated to launch in early 2016, was the first mobile-only bank to have secured a licence from UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority in June.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the investment will make BBVA a strategic shareholder and partner in the digital bank.
The move will help BBVA secure two seats on Atom’s board as well as allow the Spanish lender to participate in future funding rounds.
Commenting on the alliance, BBVA chairman and chief executive Francisco Gonzalez said: "BBVA believes the digital market in the UK offers excellent growth opportunities and that digital banks that put the customer first are the future. BBVA’s investment in Atom backs those beliefs in one move."
Atom chairman Anthony Thomson added: "In the 18 months since the founding team came together, Atom has now raised over £135m.
"This is a wonderful endorsement from investors to the compelling business case that the team has put together, and is a powerful signal to the regulators and most importantly for UK consumers. Now with BBVA as our strategic partner we really do feel that the sky is the limit for Atom."