Dubai Investments acquires 9% stake in UK-based digital lender Monument Bank

DFM-listed company says move will help its foray into digital banking in a regulated market at an early stage

UK-based digital lender Monument Bank is seeking to grow its products and markets. Getty
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Dubai Investments, a Dubai-listed company in which the sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai holds a stake, acquired 9 per cent of UK-based digital lender Monument Bank as part of efforts to diversify into the booming financial technology space.

Monument Bank, which launched in 2021, is focused on the overlooked “mass affluent” segment in the UK and provides core banking and other related services, Dubai Investments said in a bourse filing to the Dubai Financial Market on Thursday.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The “accelerated global shift” to digital banking has been very positive for neobanks and the growth has been fuelled by “waves of customers” who have adopted digital banking’s expanded range of products, Khalid bin Kalban, Dubai Investments’ vice chairman and chief executive, said.

“Investment in Monument Bank provides the group a unique opportunity to foray into the digital banking space in one of the most advanced and regulated markets at an early stage,” he said.

“With Monument Bank combining traditional and established banking products with innovative solutions, the group is looking forward to being a part of the evolving and the continued growth phase of digital banks while expanding horizons and diversifying strategically.”

The concept of digital-only banks is gaining traction in various markets worldwide on the back of an increasingly digital-savvy consumer base and the rise of FinTech opportunities.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which led to lockdowns around the world, accelerated the move into digital services as consumers switched to cashless payments and online shopping.

Monument Bank has lent nearly £100 million ($123.9 million) in its first year of operation, Ian Rand, chief executive of the bank, said.

“With this investment and partnership with Dubai Investments, we will accelerate the scale-up of our UK business, launching innovative solutions to our target segment and growing our market share, whilst also leveraging our … technology with partners and clients around the world,” he said.

Monument Bank’s property investment lending and savings products use in-app capabilities for client interactions.

The bank said it is currently working on a broader range of products and services to support its client base.

The partnership with Dubai Investments can “help us advance our strategic plans, leveraging our technological capabilities, to extend our operations and spheres of influence in other markets around the world”, said Mintoo Bhandari, head of institutional relationships and founder of Monument Bank.

Dubai-based financial firm Alpen Capital was the adviser on the transaction.

Updated: January 26, 2023, 7:52 AM