Loot CEO Ollie Purdue hopes to re-connect with his university days as he expands the fintech outside of the London bubble, with plans to create at least 50 new jobs in Bristol

Bristol Kristoffer Trolle via Flickr

Bristol and Clifton Suspension Bridge (Credit: Kristoffer Trolle via Flickr)

Mobile banking disruptor Loot is expanding its UK presence to Bristol and will launch a fresh recruitment drive in the city.

The new office will build on Loot’s existing presence in London, increasing the size of its customer operations and tech teams, and drawing upon the local talent pool in Bristol and the South West of England.

The fintech start-up offers a digital current account that is primarily aimed at millennials and students looking to keep a close eye on their budgeting.

Loot CEO Ollie Purdue said: “2019 has been a bumper year already for us and we’re only continuing this upwards incline, so in order to maintain a great service to our customers, expansion was the obvious choice.

“Having gained my degree at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, I have a powerful connection to the city.

Loot Bristol
Loot CEO and founder Ollie Purdue (Credit: Loot)

“Building the business in a place close to my roots – where no other fintech company has explored – was fundamental for us in being able to continue to drive our commitment to empower young people to know more about their money.”

Mr Purdue founded the financial disruptor in 2014 after identifying a gap in the market for a product to help young people take more simplified and flexible control over their money management.

In January, Loot secured £2m in funding from the Royal Bank of Scotland, which added to a prior £3m investment by the bank and gave it a 25% share in the start-up.


How Loot is recruiting for tech jobs in Bristol

To staff its Bristol office, Loot is launching a recruitment drive in the city as it looks to find more than 50 new recruits to add to its existing 60-strong team – with this figure expected to rise in accordance with the company’s future growth.

An innovative approach is being taken by Loot in its hiring process, with the company adopting a referral scheme to connect directly with people in the local area – something Mr Purdue is keen to emphasise.

Referral cards will be handed out that offer people demonstrating strong customer service skills with an invite straight to interview.

Loot Bristol
Loot will use referral cards to spearhead its recruitment drive in Bristol (Credit: Loot)

Mr Purdue said: “Loot has incredibly high expectations for customer support.

“We want to recruit the best people for the job, and we thought a more personal approach was a great way to acknowledge them, and introduce them to our playful brand.

“In practice it’s very simple. Wherever we experience great support, we would hand out a card.

“This will encourage potential talent to get in touch with us, and discuss interview opportunities.”

The digital bank hopes to take advantage of an emerging tech scene in the region, as well as the talent available at Bristol’s two well-regarded universities.

It will also no doubt hope to increase exposure to the Loot brand among the city’s large student population, which constitutes its core target audience.

“We’re not a London-centric business,” added Mr Purdue, “so it’s important to have a presence in other culturally rich and exciting cities.

“There’s so much talent outside of London, and bringing different perspectives and ways of working into the business will contribute to our growth.

“Bristol has a growing tech scene, and there’s loads of amazing developers we’d love to meet and bring on board.

“Also, in terms of customer support, Bristol is surrounded by universities, and we want to tap into this fantastic pool of talent, offering both part and full-time roles to upcoming stars.”


The Loot app targets students and millennials looking to take better care of their finances

Students, in particular, have a demand for digital budgeting tools as they look to find the right balance for their finances and increasingly use cashless ways to make purchases.

The Loot mobile current account features real-time spending notifications and savings goals that can be individually tailored.

It also contains money management tools such as the “budgeting circle”, which is a visual display that gives spending insights and changes colour depending on the user’s spending rate, as well as estimating left-over cash flow from a specific budget – the monthly payment cycle, for instance.

Loot Bristol
Loot’s ‘budgeting circle’ tool (Credit: Loot)

The initial stage of the regional expansion will be located in a temporary working space while the new premises are finalised over the coming months.

Loot is not the only UK fintech looking to widen its operations outside of its London base, with Starling Bank last month announcing plans to open a new office in Southampton that will create 150 new jobs.