Atom is looking to develop a range of personal and business banking products and services that will be delivered using mobile apps, with a desktop version to follow.
The bank is one of the first real alternatives to traditional high street banking and is free of the existing banks’ branch and legacy costs.
Having raised £25m to build the bank, chairman Anthony Thomson, CEO Mark Mullen and CFO Dave McCarthy are currently raising the balance sheet capital for Atom’s launch.
Atom Bank’s founder and chairman, Anthony Thomson, said: "It’s a testament to the talent and the dedication of our extraordinary team here in Durham and to the support and vision of our investors.
"It’s also a positive endorsement of our business plan and model from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.
"We now have the mandate that only comes with a banking licence – to change banking permanently for the better."
The Durham-based bank already has 100 permanent and contract staff and is set to employ at least another 60 before the end of the year.
North East business leaders have welcomed the news
Jeremy Middleton, managing director of Middleton Enterprises and a board member of the North East LEP, invested in Atom Bank in 2014.
He said: "The granting of the licence is a great opportunity to deliver upon Atom Bank’s potential to open up new ways of banking here in the North East. It will add value to our regional economy and it is a great example of forward thinking, in respect of creating an environment for businesses to thrive."
Graham Robb, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the North East and senior partner at Recognition PR, said: "The North East is going to be at the heart of a banking revolution. It’s great news. Well done to the team in Durham."
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