OakNorth’s Manchester client-facing office is expected to go live within two to three months, according to its chief operating officer Amir Nooriala (pictured above).
In an exclusive interview with Specialist Banking, Amir revealed that the business wanted to expand the UK bank.
It is currently providing loans nationwide, but these are originated by staff in London.
At present, it has a small operations centre in Manchester, but wants to add a client-facing office in the city from where it can lend.
It has signed a lease for Ship Canal House — a Grade II-listed building on King Street — and has already hired a number of lending directors in the city who will be the local face for the surrounding area.
“We've got a ‘Dragons’ Den’ process, so we actually encourage all of our borrowers to come in and present live to our executive committee.
“The problem is, that means people are coming into London, or they’re doing it on their phone, which is not a great experience.
“Our Manchester office is going to have a fully VC-linked, HD boardroom, so they don't have to come down, they can do it out of Manchester if they prefer, and in real time.”
Amir added that the bank was also looking to launch an office in Bristol.
“…Our third office will probably be [in] Bristol, and then we will have some other locations as well [where] we're going to put lending directors, and then, when it grows to a certain size, we'll put offices there as well.
"…Geographic expansion is a big, key aspect for us for our lending.”
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