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British digital bank Tandem raises $78 million - sources

By Iain Withers and Anna Irrera

By Iain Withers and Anna Irrera

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - British digital bank Tandem has raised 60 million pounds ($78 million) from investors including Qatar Investment Authority, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The London-based startup is also buying a lender that helps consumers buy solar panels, the sources said.

Tandem, which provides credit cards and savings accounts to more than 800,000 customers in its home market, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tandem is one of several so-called neobanks based in the UK, including Monzo and Starling Bank, which are seeking to gain market share from existing financial institutions by offering more user-friendly digital services.

Tandem bulked up at the start of 2018 by buying Harrods Bank, the banking arm of luxury department store Harrods, picking up a UK banking license in the process.

The bank then struck a 15 million-pound investment deal with Hong Kong-based financial services group Convoy Global Holdings last November, to pave the way for further expansion.

Late last year, it announced plans to launch in Hong Kong by the end of the year.

The wealthy Gulf state of Qatar is a big backer of British businesses through the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which owns stakes in banking giant Barclays, supermarket chain Sainsbury's, Heathrow Airport, the Canary Wharf business district and London's Shard skyscraper. It also bought Harrods in 2010 in a deal reported to be worth around 1.5 billion pounds.

QIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Tandem investment.

Tandem's latest funding round comes shortly after rival digital banking app Revolut raised $500 million in a fresh funding round, valuing the company at $5.5 billion.



(Reporting by Anna Irrera and Iain Withers; Writing by Lawrence White; Editing by David Goodman and Jonathan Oatis)