Atom earns profit as resi mortgage balance sheet hits £1.5bn

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The app-only bank grew its residential mortgage assets to £1.5billion in the year to March 2022 as it recorded its first operating profit.

Atom Bank said it had expanded its residential loan assets to include prime retail mortgages and had increased its on-balance sheet residential mortgage portfolio by £1bn in the previous year.

The lender also recorded its first month of operating profit in its first quarter and said it recorded operating profit for the remaining three quarters of the year ending March 31, 2022.

Atom’s pre-tax losses narrowed to £14.5m from £62.3m the previous year, while its net interest margin (NIM) increased to 127bps, from 54 basis points in 2021, driven by loan growth in its residential and commercial portfolio.

During the year, revenues increased by 200% while operating costs increased by 6%.

The revenue growth was attributed to the increase in the corporate and personal loan book, with Atom’s total loan book standing at £3.3bn, compared to £2.7bn l ‘last year.

Atom’s corporate loans rose to £1bn, from £0.7bn the previous year, after taking part in the government’s coronavirus business interruption scheme (CBILS).

The bank said all business loans to date have been fraud-free and obtained with a Net Promoter Score of +88.

Atom’s introduction of a four-day no-loss week in November 2021 had so far been a resounding success.

He said that six months later, employees reported being happier and healthier, with increased employee engagement and lower levels of illness and attrition. Customer satisfaction has also increased since the switch, with Atom’s Trustpilot score reaching 4.7/5.0 this year (2021: 4.6/5.0) and Net Promoter Score reaching +87 (2021: 76 ).

Atom also engaged Alectro, an independent carbon emissions expert, to review the emissions that Atom created and was responsible for in 2021. This included all direct Scope 1 emissions, as well as indirect Scope 2 emissions and 3, including the impact of its suppliers. .

The review reported a total emissions level equivalent to 1.09 t CO2e per full-time employee for 2021. Atom said this emissions level was very low compared to other banks.

Mark Mullen, CEO of Atom, said: “This has been a year of significant progress for Atom. We have continued to grow our franchise and are on track to achieve sustainable full-year profitability, proving that this can be achieved while providing both customers and employees a better offer. Banks are taking advantage of rising interest rates to widen their margins. They don’t pass on rate hikes to savers, but more recently they have started to raise the cost of borrowing.

“With a cost of living crisis looming, it is disappointing, but not surprising, to see the big banks behaving this way. This confirms the old adage that a banker is someone who gives you an umbrella when the sun is shining but takes it away when it starts to rain.

“Atom continues to give our customers a better deal, with exceptional service, because we believe it’s the right thing to do. We’re here to make the borrowing and saving experience easier, faster and more cost-effectively than anyone else.Over the past 12 months, we have made remarkable progress on our journey towards realizing this ambition.

“While it may have been out of fashion at one time to focus on the fundamentals of banking and the relationship between savers and borrowers, we believe there has never been a more important time to play the role of a responsible lender. As we all seek growth and support those who invest to grow, banks have a key role to play; after all, leverage makes the world go round.

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