Now trading as GB Bank, the lender will provide loans between £1m and £5m to support regional property developers, SMEs and construction companies in key underserved areas, with an initial focus in the North East, North West and Yorkshire.
It aims to lend £3bn over five years and build a £1bn-plus balance sheet, as well as fund almost 20,000 homes and several million sq ft of office space and support the creation of over 100,000 jobs.
Earlier this year, GB Bank — led by CEO Sue Hayes (pictured above) — secured £28m of investment from the Teesside Pension Fund (TPF), in addition to the £20m initially pledged by the fund in 2020.
“We are delighted to have gained the confidence of the regulator and received our banking licence,” said Sue.
“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.
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“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 TPF, 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; we want to lead and support the movement to level up the North and get Britain building again.”
Paul Rippon, chairman at GB Bank, added: “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 that with our experience and expertise, we are strongly placed to bring about real change to this market.”
Dr Emma Black, co-founder of GB Bank, commented: “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.
“We can’t wait to see our vision come to life, truly making a difference in the decades and centuries ahead, serving as a catalyst for creating new jobs, homes, offices and so much more.”