UK challenger BankNorth preps for launch
UK-based challenger BankNorth is readying for launch as it sets its sights on the highly popular SME lending market.
The new bank, based in Leeds in the north of England, is the creation of five founders – all with plenty of experience with the old order and one challenger bank in particular.
Nancy Butler (commercial director) has worked at Atom, Santander and RBS. Craig Iley (chairman) did a stint at Atom; while Jonathan Thompson (CEO) has experience at Santander.
Jon Hogan (director) worked at Atom. In addition, Richard Baker (MD savings) was employed at Atom and Metro.
It is understood that Paul Hanks, ex-CTO and founding member of Atom, is also involved in this venture as a consultant.
On its website the bank says it is “aiming to transform the way SME lending is delivered”.
In terms of specifics, it asks for a minimum investment of £25,000 and interested parties can download an investment memorandum. It is also looking for expressions of interest and people can reserve their allocation in its investment round.
The forces behind the new bank are GrowthFunders and G.Ventures. These in turn are the trading names of Growth Capital Ventures, based in County Durham.
Like many banks it is vague when it comes to details and timelines.
It hasn’t got a banking licence yet, but says: “Barriers to entry – gaining a banking licence and launching a challenger bank requires a combination of human capital, intellectual capital and significant financial resources at key stages.
“The Regulator (Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority) is keen to encourage healthy competition, but the process is rigorous with only a small proportion of potential entrants succeeding. BankNorth have a team with proven success in achieving banking licences and launching and scaling successful businesses.”
It will be interesting to see when that happens.
FinTech Futures has contacted the bank for more details.
Want to know who’s who in the challenger bank space in the UK? Our comprehensive list is here.