Thursday 19 February 2015 10:44 am

New challenger bank OakNorth set to open its doors in summer 2015

Challenger bank OakNorth expects to secure a license shortly, meaning it could open as soon as this summer, with a strategy that aims to attract fast growth small businesses by mixing digital services with traditional lending.

The new bank would be joining other challenger banks such as Aldermore, Virgin Money and Metro Bank, as they battle to attract customers away from the big four high street banks Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS.

It will offer a range of loans specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses, as well as providing competitive savings products for retail customers.

OakNorth also aims to shake-up the lending landscape, using advanced financial technology to improve its service offering, and accepting a broader range of collateral for its loans.

Rishi Khosla, founder of OakNorth, said: "Growth companies provide half of all employment growth in Britain, but have been neglected by banks in favour of big business."

"When smaller growth companies have tried to access loans, they have often been refused, required security against property or been served at a glacial pace."

"That's why we're launching OakNorth – to use financial technology and a new approach to lending that gives smaller growth companies a banking service on would normally associate with larger corporate clients."

It was founded by Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, who built Copal Amba into a global brand and industry leader, which was acquired by Moody’s last year.