UK-based Bank North has received a banking licence from the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority and has become the country’s first SME bank, media reports said. The bank will soon start lending to businesses in the Manchester area from October this year.
Jonathan Thompson, founder and chief executive of Bank North told the media, “This is a landmark for the team at Bank North who have been working tirelessly to build the most customer-focused bank possible. Our model is groundbreaking, and there has never been a more compelling backdrop to launch a new regional bank for the UK, as the country looks to build back better and recover from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“SMEs will be the lifeblood of economic recovery. We owe it to the UK’s innovators and entrepreneurs to help them access the funding that will enable them to grow and create opportunity across the country. We’re here to help these businesses thrive.”
Earlier this month, UK-based neobank Kroo announced that it has received a restricted banking licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
The bank has been given this opportunity to test out its systems and its infrastructure and make sure that it will be able to handle bigger deposits, more features, and a high number of consumers when it switches to the final banking license. It’s expected that sometime next year, the testing phase will be complete.