Challenger GB Bank Forges Ahead with Banking Licence

Now trading as GB Bank, it will provide property development loans with an initial focus in the North East, Yorkshire and North West.

This is not a fabrication but GBB has grabbed a restricted banking licence – and got a new name – as it seeks northern exposure and to support property developers.

Today (26 October) it has been authorised and regulated to trade by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Now trading as GB Bank, it will have an initial focus in the North East, Yorkshire and North West.

Following last week’s news that it went live on the nCino Bank Operating System, GB Bank says it aims to lend £3 billion over five years and build a £1 billion plus balance sheet.

Sue Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, GB Bank, explains: ““We are determined to be a powerful force in the regions and GB Bank’s purpose goes beyond lending money. Our team is passionate about supporting property developers in areas that have been forgotten about. We want to lead and support the movement to level up the North and get Britain building again.”

Paul Rippon, Chairman, GB Bank, adds: “As the UK recovers from the pandemic it is becoming even more important that we improve the provision of finance to small businesses.”

According to the challenger bank, currently only about 245,000 of the government’s annual 300,000 housebuilding target is being met.

It will provide property development loans of between £1 million and £5 million to support regional property developers, SMEs and construction companies.

It has been making progress prior to today’s announcement. In 2020 it picked up a £20 million investment from the Teesside Pension Fund (TPF). While in August this year, it secured a further commitment from the TPF of £28 million.

The challenger was founded by brother and sister co-founders Stephen and Emma Black and technology entrepreneur Stephen Lancaster. The bank has a leadership team comprised of executives who have held senior roles at Barclays, HBOS, Santander, Lloyds and Aldermore. Rippon co-founded Monzo and Starling Bank.

As noted last week, nCino’s cloud-based platform will be used to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and speed up its workflow processes.

The bank will have “no legacy systems” and “no costly branch network”. According to LinkedIn, GB Bank is based in Middlesbrough, while on Twitter it says Newcastle.

Late last month, the challenger turned to SaaS cloud banking platform Mambu to help power its digital offerings for clients.

GB Bank is just one of many challenger banks currently existing in the UK financial market. Recent examples include SME digital banking startup mibanc planning a 2021 launch and Starling’s BaaS-ic ambitions in the EU.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK and has 17 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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