Bank North granted banking licence

SME lender Bank North, previously B-North, has been granted a banking licence.

Bank North will open the doors to its first 'lending pod' in Manchester later in the year, before it rolls out across the UK.

The lender is based on a de-centralised model built on cloud-native banking technology which powers a network of regional pods, where the bank claims bankers can deliver finance to SME businesses up to “ten times faster” than the industry standard.

“This is a landmark for the team at Bank North who have been working tirelessly to build the most customer-focused bank possible,” said Jonathan Thompson, founder and chief executive of Bank North. “Our model is groundbreaking and there has never been a more compelling backdrop to launch a new regional bank for the UK, as the country looks to build back better and recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The bank will start lending in October 2021.

“I am delighted that Bank North has secured authorisation from the PRA," said Ron Emerson, chair of Bank North. "This represents a significant vote of confidence in our business model and our team and I am confident that Bank North will be delivering much-needed funding to the SMEs of the UK at speed over the coming months.”

The chair added that the bank's focus on regional pods would help spread opportunities for growth around the country.

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