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Monzo Founder Blomfield Steps Down, Citing Pandemic And Other Stress

Tom Blomfield, founder of Monzo, is leaving the U.K. challenger bank, citing “challenges” from the pandemic, a report from TechCrunch says.

Blomfield served as been CEO of Monzo until last spring, when he became its president.

In a telephone interview cited by the news site, Blomfield said he’d been unhappy at the bank for the last few years, but the pandemic had made pressures worse and strained his personal relationships.

“I stopped enjoying my role probably about two years ago,” he said, according to the report. “As we grew from a scrappy startup that was iterating and building stuff people really love, into a really important U.K. bank. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just that the things I enjoy in life is working with small groups of passionate people to start and grow stuff from scratch, and create something customers love.

“And I think that’s a really valuable skill but also taking on a bank that’s three, four, five million customers and turning it into a 10 or 20 million customer bank and getting to profitability and IPOing it, I think those are huge exciting challenges, just honestly not ones that I found that I was interested in or particularly good at.”

Blomfield had been speaking with Monzo investor Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital, and Monzo Chair Gary Hoffman about changing roles, the report says. And then the pandemic came and “exacerbated things,” including forcing Monzo to cut staff and close offices.

He said “going through lockdown and the isolation involved in that has an impact on people’s mental health” had him “really struggling,” the report says.

Last June, Monzo had to cut 120 jobs due to the pandemic, after starting off the year optimistic about its new funding and planned new hires. At that time, Blomfield also agreed to forsake his own salary.

Monzo was founded in 2015. The company had also seemed to be getting back on its feet as of later in the year, raising 60 million pounds in December.

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