OakNorth has revealed that it plans to lend a further £3bn to UK SMEs in 2019.
The announcement comes after the specialist bank launched a new nine-month, fixed-term deposit account offering 1.85% and revealed that its savings customer base has passed 30,000.
The minimum balance for the account is £1,000, while the maximum is £250,000 with interest calculated daily and paid gross in full on the maturity of the customer’s account.
OakNorth hopes this new savings product will boost its savings customer base to allow it to increase lending to SMEs in the new year.
The bank – which focuses on lending between £500,000-40m to fast-growth businesses and established property developers – has built a loan book of £2bn with no defaults to date.
Stella Demades, director of product at OakNorth, said: “Since our launch, we have attracted over 30,000 deposit customers whose savings have helped fund our lending and have enabled us to build a profitable £2bn SME loan book here in the UK.
“As we look ahead to 2019, we are keen to continue building on this, lending a further £3bn to SMEs next year, so we felt now was the right time to expand our product range and hopefully attract even more customers.
“We decided to launch a nine-month, fixed-term deposit account as our research shows that many customers feel uncomfortable locking their money away for a full year, but still want to earn better interest than they can get with a three- to four-month notice account or a six-month, fixed-term account.
“Hopefully this product provides these customers with a happy medium and will enable them to make their money go further.”
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