British Business Bank programme: Help to Grow
Founded in 2015, OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs – provides debt finance (between £1m-£20m) to entrepreneurs and mid-sized growth companies.
OakNorth was the third new retail deposit-taking bank licensed in the UK in 150 years, and the first new bank in the UK to achieve profitability within its first year of operations. It obtained its license in March 2015 and began trading six months later.
It breaks from the UK banking norm by providing highly flexible and bespoke loan structures secured against a range of assets including stock, debtors, real estate, intellectual property, and plant and machinery. It also gives clients the ability to discuss their loan requirements and growth ambitions directly with the Credit Committee. This personal and transparent process enables deals – from first meeting to disbursement of cash – to typically be completed in weeks rather than the months it takes at larger institutions.
The bank was founded by Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, themselves entrepreneurs who were inspired to launch OakNorth following the challenges they faced in securing debt finance from high street banks for their previous business, Copal Amba.
The Board is chaired by Cyrus Ardalan, former vice-Chairman of Barclays, and includes Lord (Adair) Turner, Senior Independent Director, and Robert Burgess, Non-Executive Director. Lord (Francis) Maude, former Minister of Trade and Investment, is an Independent Adviser to OakNorth Bank and a member of its advisory board.
OakNorth is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. It has offices in London and Manchester.