Birmingham lawyers advise on £20m investment for new bank

The Wilkes Partnership corporate team in Birmingham has advised GBB on a £20m by the £5.3bn Teesside Pension Fund.

Currently a ‘bank in waiting’, GBB expects to secure its provisional banking licence later this autumn when it will trade as GB Bank and provide bespoke development finance to SME property developers in underserved regions across the UK.

The investment comes at a good time for GBB, which recently announced it will headquarter its operations in Middlesbrough. An initial team of 60, growing to 120, will be based in a new 11,000 sq ft space in the town’s purpose-built 2 Centre Square, Grade A office development.

Once formally up and running it expects to lend £385m in the North East to kick-start residential and commercial projects.

As GBB then expands across the North, Midlands and other parts of the UK, it aims to lend circa £3bn over 5 years building a £1bn-plus balance sheet. It will fund almost 20,000 homes and several million square feet of office space, along the way supporting the creation of well over 100,000 jobs.

Steve Deutsch, CEO of GBB, said: “This is a landmark moment in our journey. Middlesbrough has a reputation as a hotbed for digital tech innovation, making it a natural fit. 2 Centre Square is a hugely impressive building and will make a great base for the team.

The bank will meet a real need for SME commercial and residential property developers, as we’ll deliver the finance and relationship support that’s lacking at the moment.

Establishing a bank in the region benefits everyone, from the people we employ to the jobs created by the property developers we work with. We now have an excellent base, the investment that we need – the next stage is to secure our licence and have the full infrastructure in place ready to launch late 2021.”

Jeremy Parkin, partner in the corporate team at Wilkes said: “We were delighted to work with Steve Deutsch again and help GBB in financing its mobilisation plans. There is a great opportunity for GBB to capitalise on the gap in the market for funding SME builders and in turn to help address the chronic shortage of housing.”

Parkin was supported by Gareth O’Hara, Mike Linford and Matt Hartas from The Wilkes Partnership corporate team.

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