Sustainable neobank Ashman lands UK banking licence
Birmingham-based sustainable challenger Ashman has received an authorised with restrictions (AwR) UK banking licence.
The licence means the neobank has been authorised and regulated to trade with restrictions by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
Ashman says it is not open to trade at the moment and is in a “mobilisation” phase. It plans on achieving full regulatory approval “towards the end of 2022” before it can take deposits and start lending.
Founded by real-estate entrepreneurs Ashkin Mittal and Manhad Narula, Ashman plans to transform the banking experience for property SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which it claims is a £90bn market opportunity, by providing real-estate lending for conscientious businesses and savings for consumers.
Ashman says it will initially focus on lending SMEs in the commercial real estate sector, while providing savers with competitive rates.
The firm will lend on deals from £100,000 to £5 million.
“Our banking licence is an important first step in realising our ambitions to support SME borrowers and personal savers alike, with a different approach to lending that delivers the service and range of products we know SME developers need,” says James Leach, CEO of Ashman.
Ashman says it also plans on growing its headcount in Birmingham over the course of the year.