Birmingham-based firm receives UK banking licence

Birmingham-based Ashman has received its UK banking licence, authorised with restrictions (AwR).

This mean it has been authorised and regulated to trade with restrictions by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

Founded by real-estate entrepreneurs Ashkin Mittal and Manhad Narula, Ashman says it aims to transform the banking experience for property SMEs which it believes is a £90bn market opportunity. The firm will lend on deals from £100k to £5m.

Ashman is led by James Leach, the former global chief operating officer of Maple Financial, and supported by an experienced senior team.

Leach said: “We are delighted to have received regulatory approval. Our banking licence is an important first step in realising our ambitions to support SME borrowers and personal savers alike, with a different approach to lending that delivers the service and range of products we know SME developers need.

“We are proud to be the first new entrant to be licensed this year and to be doing so from Birmingham, which is the perfect city for us to build a business we know can have a lasting impact on the market. Birmingham has an incredibly strong talent pool and is a hub that provides all the supporting expertise we need to deliver our ambitions.”

Also joining the firm is:

  • Chief Risk Officer, Lisa Nowell has joined from digital bank Monzo
  • Chief Commercial Officer, Caroline Luxmore, spent 10 years at Aldermore Bank
  • Matt Cowan, Chief Financial Officer, has worked at Deutsche Bank, HSBC and RBS
  • Chief Operating Officer, Simon Healy, was previously one of the founding members of Aldermore and Managing Director of its Savings arm responsible for originating £15bn customer deposits.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Ashman Finance’s banking license approval is fantastic news for our region. It confirms the dynamism at play in our thriving financial sector and choosing Birmingham to launch their exciting operation is a real vote of confidence in all that we have to offer in this city and indeed across the West Midlands – from talented future recruits to SMEs ready to grow.

“The UK’s latest new entrant bank has bold ambitions that will be perfectly at home here given the entrepreneurial heritage of our region and the trailblazers that reshaped industries in the past as we will see happen again in the 21st Century”.