Monzo appoints former boss of Northern Rock as non-exec Chairperson

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • Northern Rock ex-boss has been appointed as Monzo’s new non-executive Chairperson
  • Digital bank Monzo currently has over 1 million active users, based on the latest numbers from the fintech
  • The fintech unicorn aims to grow its number of users by another 2 million before the year ends


British fintech firm Monzo recently appointed the former boss of Northern Rock to its board. The development, observers say, marks a new chapter for the young company.  

Gary Andrew Hoffman once headed the failed bank, according to reports, but the bank’s collapse was not due to his incompetence. In fact, Mr Hoffman is considered to be one of the best leaders in banking and finance.            

Back in 2008, Hoffman was appointed as Northern Rock’s new chief. His appointment was primarily to help the bank stabilise. This was during the financial crash and Northern Rock wasn’t in good shape.

Northern Rock was one of the biggest home loan providers in the United Kingdom but it failed because it no longer had enough in its coffers. The bank was later nationalised after it went to the Bank of England to get emergency funds.

This week, Monzo said that the company wants the brand to grow, noting that the former Northern Rock boss is the right replacement for Baroness Denise Kingsmill, Monzo’s Chairperson since 2015.

A Sky News report says that Hoffman has years of experience in brick and mortar banking as he also served as Chairperson of Barclaycard. He also served as Vice Chair of Barclays.

The news of Hoffman’s appointment comes after Monzo raised a whopping £105m in last year’s fundraising round. Reports note that the digital bank now has a valuation of over £1bn hence its unicorn status.

The fintech became popular as it allows users to transfer money internationally at affordable overseas transfer rates. According to Monzo, the brand is “a bank that lives on your smartphone and built for the way you live today”. Apart from being a convenient way to send money, Monzo is also known for being transparent. Today, Monzo has over a million active users.

Based on Monzo’s data, the app itself is popular with the younger generation but the company has plans to offer other banking services. This includes investment products as well as savings accounts as these products are expected to attract older customers.

Monzo’s website says: “Since we started we’ve been busy building the best current account in the world. We now have more than one million customers using our debit cards to manage their money and spend around the world.”

Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield notes though that the company would like to reach 3 million active users by the end of 2019.

Hoffman also chairs Hastings Group and Coventry Building Society. Based on Hoffman’s CV, he started his career in banking and finance before Monzo’s CEO Tom Blomfield was born. Gary Hoffman was born in 1960.

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