The business lender B-North is hoping to launch a series of loans aimed at small firms over the next four years, should it succeed in getting the banking licence it has applied for.
Under these plans, the company will provide smaller firms in the UK with more than £1 billion in financing during the four-year period, once it is licensed to do so.
At first, it will offer loans totalling around £50 million while the UK banking regulator checks out its systems, with the rest of the financing to follow. The company also intends to change its name to Bank North when it is able to start loaning money.
B-North is targeting lending to smaller firms because the major banks are increasingly focusing on bigger businesses, as their heavily centralised decisions concerning lending are not really suited to the more specialised individual needs of small companies.
As it is based in Manchester, it will start with firms in that area, but it is planning to launch eight ‘lending pods’ for the different regions of the country. Each of these will essentially serve as a localised small business bank, with staff and lending attuned to regional business needs. Furthermore, it is stating that its service will be 10 times more efficient than standard banks, due to cutting edge technology.
Opting for financial services based within their own region can have real benefits for small businesses, which is why many Yorkshire firms, for example, choose a small business accountant in South Yorkshire, rather than a national one.