Tandem plans to float on the stock market within the next five years.

The loss-making London-based bank, which has almost half a million customers, also said it is to go on a hiring spree in the next 12 months as it takes on fellow challenger banks Starling, Revolut and Monzo.

Tandem was expecting to have 150,000 customers by the end of 2018 but smashed those expectations. Monzo has around 1.3 million customers while Revolut has about three million.

Tandem product and marketing director Matthew Ford said an IPO would “make sense [as there is] clearly potential for multiple unicorn valuations in the digital banking space, as evidenced by recent capital raises”.

"We want to build this customer-centric business and then an IPO makes perfect sense, having the public buy into that business and it grow further,” he told the Press Association, adding that the timeframe for a float would be “three to five years”.

Tandem rolled out six new products in 2018 including a cash-back credit card and savings accounts.

"We have grown incredibly quickly. I don't think there's any bank in the UK that has rolled out six financial products in a year. It's been unbelievable if you think about it," Ford added.

“The pace of progress we have been making has been fantastic and just sitting in the call centre listening to some of the calls and some of the feedback – customers are really liking what we are doing.

"[An IPO] is probably one [path] that aligns closest to our mission.”

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The bank currently employs about 120 people and is moving from its Pentonville Road office in London to new premises in Bernard Street.

There is room at the new base for 220 people, with Tandem planning to hire 60 people in 2019.

Parent company Tandem Money reported a pre-tax loss of £23.6m in 2017 compared with £20.4m a year earlier.