Dubai Investments
Dubai Investments has been widening its role beyond operating investment parks. Now, it has built a steady presence in financial services, including in the Dubai insurer NGI. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: In a tactical move, Dubai Investments has bought a 9 per cent stake in the UK digital bank, Monument Bank ltd., which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Monument Bank is focused on the 'overlooked' mass affluent’ consumer in the UK. (The bank was founded by Mintoo Bhandari.)

Dubai Investments has in the recent past has been vocal about expanding its presence in financial services. There was the buying of a sizeable stake in the Dubai insurer NGI (National General Insurance) from Emirates NBD. The company also owns Al Mal Capital, which operates a DFM-listed Real Estate Investment Trust.

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“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," said 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.

"With Monument Bank combining traditional and established banking products with innovative solutions, the group is looking forward to be a part of the evolving and the continued growth phase of digital banks while expanding horizons and diversifying strategically."

Stock - Khalid Bin Kalban (Dubai Investments)
Khalid Bin Kalban, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Investments

There was always speculation that Dubai Investments would take a role in digital banking through a strategic investment. But the impression was that such an exposure would be within the UAE, keeping in mind the rush of new digital banking launches.

Monument's basket of services

Monument Bank is into property investment lending as well as savings products, which use 'in-app capabilities for client interactions'. "The bank is working on a broader suite of products and services that can help make mass affluent lives easier, both in the UK and globally and underpinning the bank’s initiatives are fundamentally innovative technology," said a statement from DIC.

"We are already supporting thousands of customers with our deposit products and have lent nearly 100 million pounds 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, whilst also leveraging our best-in-class technology with partners and clients around the world.”