Has Monzo peaked?

I have been thinking about this. Obviously Tom was at Starling in the beginning so would have been aware of the initial course of direction. I. E instant notification, pots etc.

He then left from what I have read because of differences in the direction. So he goes and hires some software developers and aims to beat Starling to the punch. With some excellent Marketing they have done a great job.

However with Anne she has run Big Banks and knows what she is doing. She has found income streams from payment systems, business etc.

Is Tom out of his depth at the top, does he have the experience to run a bank? I know he ran the DD collection company but that is not banking. With all the VC money the pressures must be getting in the way of clear strategy.

From the outside looking in, Monzo are feeling around in the dark trying to work out a way to be profitable and making some quite basic business mistakes.

I worry for them a bit and I am glad that I am with Starling. Some of the latest comments saying they are a Tech Company as well as Bank make me really concerned.

I am probably way off the mark but the last 6-9 months at Monzo have seen strange.


A fair interpretation. Whether correct or not perhaps we’ll never know, but what you say is plausible.

Monzo are desperate to make money, that is very clear by how its behaved this year. Starling doesn’t seem to need to push money making to the public.

Until Monzo, Tom was not an FCA approved person, and it would be impossible for him to know the important bits of running a bank, in the few years Monzo has been about, so that would means others have to have an active lead in Monzo.

However nowadays its getting the publicity which is important to start ups and there is no doubt Monzo got that right at the start. With more banks coming along, more banks doing things differently, that will be the real thing that needs watching with Monzo, whether they can adapt and change, or just become another bank that isn’t anything special.


I don’t think you are. Some interesting points.

With Monzo Plus they appeared to be striving to be nothing special.

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Maybe Revolut’s old motto is the one Monzo should’ve followed.

Maybe he is, maybe he is not, but his move in getting Gary Hoffman in as chair was a wise one and offers a lot of experience and guidance, as was discussed a few times at Investival

Starling say on their own website that they are a technology company, but you are glad to be with them. What is your concern there that only applies to one of them?

Everyone is a tech company doing something else nowadays. Uber are a taxi company pretending to be a tech company, deliveroo are a delivery company pretending to be a tech company, hell even my VoIP provider calls themselves a tech company that deliver
VoIP. That’s just what people do now

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When I was applying for grad schemes just before I left uni I had an interview at Ordnance Survey - they said they were a tech company.

They did have a nice building, though.

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I think there is an obvious outside difference between the two companies. In my opinion (not everyone will agree), Starling is a bank first, it is in effect a modern legacy bank and wants to be that but a really good one.

In my opinion Monzo is starting to “feel” to me more a Tech company than a bank. The comments on the Freemium is a prime example.

There is room for all but for me I would want my Bank to be a good bank with Technology which is why currently I am happy with Starling.


I actually think the more pertinent question would be does he have the skills to run a successful business? The kind of business is less important, the right people working for you can fill that knowledge gap but having a person with the skills and motivation to lead effectively in charge is critical and often the difference between two businesses.