New UK-based start-up Project BankNorth has launched with the aim of disrupting the SME lending market.
Project BankNorth has been founded by Craig Iley (pictured above, right), previously managing director of business banking at Atom bank, and Jonathan Thompson (third from left), formerly of Santander and Deloitte.
The company has already begun its regulatory journey to become a challenger bank and is currently in the process of a seed capital raise with Growth Capital Ventures to drive forward regulatory approval.
Project BankNorth – the working title of the company – said the bank launch is still someway off and does not expect to go live for another 18 months while it goes through the regulatory journey and builds the proposition.
Craig will act as chairman of BankNorth, while Jonathan has been named as CEO.
It hopes its innovative model will transform the way SME lending is delivered by focusing the whole business around the frictionless delivery of tailored debt solutions for UK businesses.
“It’s no secret that SME owners have been short on love from many of the established players in the SME finance market,” said Jonathan.
“There is a clear opportunity to set new standards for delivery and simultaneously transform the expectations of entrepreneurs and business owners alike.”
BankNorth will launch with a physical presence in three core locations, which include Leeds and Manchester, with discussions ongoing regarding the location of the head office.
“SMEs are the backbone of [the] UK economy, they need banking partners who understand their needs while efficiently and proactively supporting them and helping them to grow,” said Craig.
“That’s why we’re launching Project BankNorth – a customer-first, flexible and fast-paced lender.
“The initial response to our funding drive has been above expectation with both institutional and individual investors supporting the team and our unique approach.”
Also pictured (l-r): Jon Hogan, David Broadbent, Robin Churchouse, Nancy Butler, Richard Baker.
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