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With a background in financial marketing, Anthony and his partner set out to create the UK’s first new high street bank for 150 years. They fought through arcane and curious rules – for instance, you can’t be a bank unless the IT works with BACS, but you can’t use BACS until you are a bank. Metro became a disruptive force in high street banking, focused on customer service and convenience. Anthony is repeating the success online with his new fintech venture Atom. He shares the lessons learned about entrepreneurship, regulation and service company culture.
With a background in financial marketing, Anthony Thomson and his partner established the UK’s first new high street bank in 150 years. They fought through arcane rules and eventually succeeded in launching Metro Bank - open seven days a week with a promise of unparalleled convenience and customer service.
Having helped disrupt high street banking with Metro and its initial 38 branches and over half a million customers, Anthony then focused on the digital world. He teamed up with the former chief executive of First Direct to create an innovative new bank, Atom. Intended to be the first genuine, wholly online bank with no established bank ‘legacy issues’, Atom was the UK’s first full-service retail bank delivered via an app. It became Britain’s most recommended bank and on its first day of business received over 5,000 customer applications. Anthony then co-founded and chaired Australia’s 86 400, another new digital bank and the first real challenger to the country’s established big four banks. It gives him a uniquely global perspective on the new banking environment.
In presentations Anthony looks at everything from the entrepreneurial journey to dealing with regulators, the future of banking and customer service. He explains how navigating through the regulatory system, raising capital and finding employees was anything but simple, and was often almost comical. But in a world where banks are both essential, yet distrusted, a new way of doing things is vital.
Seeing himself as an entrepreneur and marketer rather than a banker, his aim has been to create something that doesn’t look or feel like a traditional bank. With a message that resonates with any business audience, he explains the decision to avoid over-diversification and concentrate instead on serving the customer.
Anthony sold his first enterprise, City Financial Marketing, to communications group Publicis. He then co-founded and chairs the Financial Services Forum, to share insights on emerging trends and promote best practise among industry professionals. He is the co-author of No Small Change -Why Financial Services Needs Better Marketing, and has appeared in Marketing Magazine’s ‘Power & Influence Top 100’ and the Standard’s ‘1000 Most Influential Londoners.’ He’s served as a Visiting Professor at both London Metropolitan and Newcastle business schools and, an expert on Sky News Money Panel and a member of the ITV Business Club.
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