HUNDREDS of new jobs will be created after the announcement a new bank is to be based in the North East.
Atom Bank says up to 400 people will be employed at its headquarters in Aykley Heads, Durham City.
The bank will have no branches – all services to account holders will be offered online and by telephone.
By keeping overheads low, Atom says it will be able to offer high levels of service without high charges.
The company deliberately chose the North East as its base because property and labour costs are relatively low.
Atom chairman Anthony Thompson said: “Identifying our headquarters is a great step forward for us.
“Durham has the perfect combination of accessibility and talent.
“I am sure it will prove to be a fantastic working environment for our business that needs to challenge an industry, and offer a great level of service all day, every day.
“Having settled on Durham as the ideal location for Atom, we found the county council and the Business Durham organisation to be very welcoming.”
Atom will occupy space in Northumbria House, which is owned by Durham County Council.
Council leader Coun Simon Henig said: “This is a very significant step in the development of what is a key area of County Durham.
“We believe the site has the potential to be a powerful economic driver for the county and wider region. Alongside the creation of hundreds of jobs, attracting businesses such as Atom sends a strong message that Durham is a forward thinking, business-minded county.
“We are ready and waiting to do what it takes to help companies deliver on their ambitions.”
Atom is due to start trading in the first half of next year. It will join a number of other companies who now offer current accounts, such as Virgin Money and Tesco.