UK’s Atom Bank to Appoint Gareth Jones as Chief Risk Officer

Atom bank, which claims to be the UK’s first app-based bank, announced this past week that it has appointed Gareth Jones as its new Chief Risk Officer “subject to regulatory approval. He replaces Chris Sparks, who is retiring after nine years at the bank.”

Gareth joins Atom bank from The Co-operative Bank, where he has “worked for 26 years, most recently as Chief Risk Officer.”

Over the course of his career, Gareth has undertaken “a broad range of roles across product, strategy, finance and risk management.”

In his role, Gareth will ensure that Atom Bank maintains and “further enhances its excellent risk-management culture, which has been an integral part of the digital lender’s growth and success since it launched.”

His pragmatic approach to handling risk responsibilities “will be key to safeguarding Atom’s position as an innovative, efficient and customer-centric business, as it continues to challenge the status quo in UK banking.”

Gareth Jones, Chief Risk Officer at Atom Bank, said:

“The opportunity to join an ambitious and progressive digital business like Atom bank was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’m excited to be working at a company with such strong customer advocacy, supported by an impressive risk management culture and capability. I look forward to getting started and building on Atom’s already significant achievements.”

Mark Mullen, Chief Executive Officer at Atom, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Gareth to Atom at a crucial stage of growth for the business. I’d also like to take this time to wish Chris a happy retirement, and thank him for all his hard work in making Atom what it is today. With extensive experience in the sector and a genuine commitment to both customers and employees, Gareth comes with excellent credentials and a proven track record in risk management, risk culture and leadership. His contributions will be vital to Atom, as we continue to grow our proposition and build sustainable profitability.”

As noted in the update, Atom Bank is the UK’s first app-based bank, “on a mission to make the experience of borrowing and saving faster, simpler and better value than anyone else.”

The bank launched operations in April 2016, and “offers mortgages and savings through its app, alongside commercial mortgages for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Based in the North East of England with a team of over 500 people, Atom is “here to ​​change banking for the good, for the better, and for everyone.”

This means focusing on customers’ needs, delivering better value than the incumbents, providing an exceptional app-based experience, and offering award-winning customer support via phone, chat, email, and social channels.

Based in Durham, Atom is an engaged and “active member of the North East Community. In 2022, Atom signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Durham University to progress key research and diversity initiatives.”

The region has one of the “highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK, and Atom is passionate about addressing the critical digital skills gap and helping develop young people and other groups that are under-represented within the industry.”

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