Atom poaches second First Direct marketer with CMO hire

Digital-only bank Atom has secured its second First Direct marketer with the appointment of Lisa Wood as its chief marketing officer, a move it hopes will help adapt the financial firm’s customer-centric strategy to grow its own business.

Atom Bank will let customers manage accounts entirely via their mobile devices.
Atom Bank will let customers manage accounts entirely via their mobile devices.

Wood, the former head of marketing at First Direct, takes control of marketing, PR, product and proposition development.

She was responsible for growing First Direct’s reputation with younger consumers through more social media-powered customer service initiatives. It is likely Atom will look to replicate the strategy as it hopes to win customers through its pledge to be the UK’s first all-digital bank and be “truly customer-centric”.

Wood’s hire continues Atom’s raid on First Direct following the appointment of its boss Mark Mullen as chief executive in April. Mullen, who was previously First Direct’s head of marketing, will work closely with Woods to ensure the customer values permeate throughout all parts of the business.

He adds: “We’re delighted to have Lisa onboard, helping us create a new digital bank that’s truly customer-centric. She understands how a bank without branches works, and knows what today’s consumers want from their bank. She also has a great deal of experience in developing propositions and bringing them to market in a way that can challenge people’s views of the banking industry. Lisa’s arrival is yet another major building block in our drive to build a truly revolutionary proposition for customers.”

Atom launches next year subject to regulatory approval and will have no bank branches or telephone banking services. Instead, customers will manage accounts entirely via the internet and mobile apps.

The proposition places a greater onus on ease of use and speed for customers at a time when banks have been slow to adapt their offerings to mobile devices. While online banking has been a big focus for the sector, banks such as Barclays with its Pingit app – which lets people send money you someone using only their mobile number – are only now beginning to innovate around the channel. Additionally, technology firms such as Apple and Pingit are looking to rival traditional banks’ dominance with mobile payments services of their own.

Online banking is set to rise significantly in the coming years, boosted by the proliferation of smartphones. According to figures from the British Bankers’ Association, there were 18.6million transactions a week last year through apps, up from 9.1million in 2012.

The appointment comes after the bank raised £20m last month. It hired digital agency TH_NK earlier this month to help shape its design and digital strategy.

Hide Comments1 Show Comment

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here