Licence granted to ‘Champion of the North’ challenger bank

Sue Hayes

GBB has received its UK banking licence, which means this challenger bank has been authorised and regulated to trade with restrictions by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

Now trading as GB Bank, it says it will support property developers in regions of the UK “that have been forgotten about” by addressing the shortage of funding required to level up and get Britain building again.

It will have an initial focus in Yorkshire, the North East and North West.

GB Bank explains that it aims to lend £3bn over five years and build a £1bn plus balance sheet.

And the bank says it will focus exclusively on providing SME property development loans in key underserved UK regions.

Its leadership team comprises executives who have held senior roles at Barclays Bank, HBOS, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group and Aldermore. Chairman, Paul Rippon, has already co-founded Monzo and Starling Bank.

Sue Hayes, chief executive officer at GB Bank, said: “We are delighted to have gained the confidence of the regulator and receive our banking licence.

“This is a landmark day for GB Bank, bringing to fruition the hard work of our team to build a new specialist bank that provides much needed financial support to property developers in underserved regions, as well as savings rates that the UK public will love.

“I’d like to thank all our shareholders for their valued support along our journey, as well as all our colleagues, past and present, who have been involved in getting us to this point.

“I would particularly like to thank the Teesside Pension Fund which has supported our vision and journey to this exciting milestone.

“We are determined to be a powerful force in the regions and GB Bank’s purpose goes beyond lending money.

“Our team is passionate about supporting property developers in areas that have been forgotten about.”

Paul Rippon

Rippon said: “As the UK recovers from the pandemic it is becoming even more important that we improve the provision of finance to small businesses.

“GB Bank is perfectly positioned to better serve regional developers who will help Britain build more homes and spaces and drive economic prosperity for all.

“Obtaining our provisional banking licence is real testament to what the team has delivered so far, and I believe with our experience and expertise we are strongly placed to bring about real change to this market.”

Dr Emma Black, GB Bank co-founder, added: “When we founded GB Bank we were fuelled by a desire to make a difference.

“We wanted our customers lives to be improved when they banked with us; we pictured a bank working at the heart of the community, together with its savers and borrowers to bring towns, cities and regions across Britain back to life.

“We must thank all those past and present who have helped and supported the bank in reaching this incredible milestone.”

GB Bank says it will:

  • Provide property development loans of between £1m and £5m to support regional property developers, small and medium sized businesses, and construction companies across the North East, Yorkshire and North West.
  • Fund almost 20,000 homes and several million sq ft of office space, supporting the creation of over 100,000 jobs.
  • Offer competitive fixed rates for savers, which will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

In 2020 GB Bank (then GBB) confirmed it had secured £20m worth of investment from the Teesside Pension Fund (TPF). It has since secured a further commitment from the TPF of £28m.