Founded in 2015, Tandem Bank used to be among the ranks of U.K. challenger banks Monzo and Starling. But Tandem Bank has remained relatively quiet for the past year-and-a-half– seemingly sidelined from the digital banking race taking place across the globe.
“I think this is a really exciting business combination,” said Tandem Bank Group CEO Susie Aliker. “We have a shared and common purpose to create a greener and fairer banking proposition. We want to build on our digital and technology capabilities to really create a really exciting but also profitable challenger bank.”
Oplo was founded in 2004 and has since lent over $1.2 billion (£900 million) to mainstream customers. The U.K.-based fintech offers car finance, personal loans, and secured loan products as alternatives to traditional bank loans. When it combines with Tandem, the digital bank will have $1.64 billion (£1.2 billion) in assets.
Tandem is very focused on the ESG initiative that has been sweeping the fintech industry; this includes digital banking players in particular. Tandem Bank currently holds $315 million (£230 million) in its Green Loans, a product that helps accountholders “save the planet whilst saving money.” Last year, the digital bank provided customers with loans for home improvements that contributed to over 12,000 tonnes of CO2 reductions.
The Green Loans product comes courtesy of Tandem Bank’s 2020 acquisition of Allium Money, an alternative lender that offers consumers financing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
“By joining forces, we will be able to offer a wider range of products and higher quality of service to more people than ever before,” Oplo said in a blog post announcing the change. “And together, as Tandem, we will build a fairer and greener bank for all.”
In a video, Aliker described the company’s recent shift to double-down on its ESG focus. “Our target market going forward will be what we call The New Mainstream.” We want to give them the choices so that they can also help contribute towards a fairer and greener future.”