Dubai Investments acquires 9% stake in UK-based digital bank

Dubai Investments, a Dubai-listed entity, has acquired 9 per cent of Monument Bank Limited, a UK-based digital lender.

Monument Bank is focused on the overlooked ‘mass affluent’ segment in the UK, Dubai Investments said in a statement on Thursday. The bank aims to offer core banking and other related services, and optimise time by leveraging digital capabilities to expand globally.

The value of the deal remains undisclosed.

“Investment in Monument Bank provides the group a unique opportunity to foray into digital banking space in one of the most advanced and regulated markets at an early stage,” commented Khalid bin Kalban, vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Investments.

“The accelerated global shift to digital banking has been very positive for neobanks and the growth has been fueled by waves of customers who have embraced digital banking’s expanded product suite.”

Monument Bank’s property investment lending and savings products use in-app capabilities for client interactions. The bank is currently working on a broader suite of products and services that can help facilitate customers, both in the UK and globally. The lender is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (UK) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (UK).

“We are already supporting thousands of customers with our deposit products and have lent nearly £100m in our first year of operation,” said Ian Rand, CEO of Monument.

“With this investment and partnership with Dubai Investments, we will accelerate the scale-up of our UK business, launching innovative solutions to our target segment and growing our market share.”

Dubai-based financial advisory firm, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited, is the advisor to the transaction.

Dubai Investments is an investment company, in which sovereign wealth fund, Investment Corporation of Dubai, holds a 11.5 per cent stake. The company’s portfolio consists of more than 30 wholly and partly-owned companies, with a paid-up capital of Dhs4.25bn and total assets worth Dhs22bn.

Digital banking is gaining greater traction around the world, with customers evolving in terms of digital access and demands. The Covid-19 pandemic propelled the shift into digital services, with sectors such as e-commerce and fintech gathering pace.

The wave is getting stronger locally as well. Last year, Zand, UAE’s first digital bank announced that it had been granted a banking licence from the Central Bank of UAE.

Read: Digital lender Zand receives licence from UAE Central Bank