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Friday, September 20, 2019

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Allica targets ‘several billion’ pound balance sheet within next seven years

Sam Monk | 09:00 Wednesday 11th September 2019

Allica has announced that it aims to achieve a balance sheet of “several billion” pounds in five to seven years.

The SME bank — which is aiming to begin trading in the coming weeks after securing its bank licence — intends to operate and distribute products through a traditional broker panel model, but also plans to take applications and enquiries directly, as well as through a digital channel.

In an exclusive interview with Specialist Banking, Mark Stephens, chief executive officer at Allica (pictured above), said: “In the first 12 months, the lending target will be steady … which is a standard requirement of any bank coming to market.”

He explained that prudence and ensuring that things were done correctly was the name of the game with the regulator.

“Anybody can come [in] and pile it high, but history is littered with those that get that wrong.

“We're sub-£100m in the first year, but after that we've got some quite ambitious targets.

“The balance sheet — over five to seven years — will be several billion.”

Mark also claimed that some of the large banks have “lost their way” in the SME finance market.

“It's been primarily through cost reduction, reducing relationship managers in the field and poor legacy systems that they are hampered with.”

In terms of Allica’s progression, Mark concluded: “[We can become a genuine banking alternative] when we've got the product suite, current account, asset finance [as well as] commercial loans in place, and we can offer the SME customer genuine access when they want it and come up with financial solutions that they want.

“The launch is just the first step along that road.”

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