B-North, the firm building an SME lending bank for the UK, has announced the appointment of Rebecca Owen as its first regional managing director. Rebecca will help to develop and launch the firm’s first ‘lending pod’ – which will be based in Manchester.
Rebecca’s skill set is perfectly suited for the challenges of delivering a new regional SME lending bank, the UK’s first in 150 years, as she has both extensive experience in delivering meaningful SME lending and working at a challenger brand.
Rebecca brings with her more than two decades of business and commercial banking experience – leading teams through demanding environments, such as the global financial crisis, a large scale integration and a following disintegration some time later all while building strong relationships with her team to ensure delivery for her SME customers. Most recently head of origination at a challenger bank for the past 12 months following over 20 years at RBS Group Plc where she spent the majority of her career working with SME’s in various senior positions.
Tapping into the UK SME lending market valued at over £150 billion per year, B-North’s model is built upon the premise of operating regional ‘lending pods’ of underwriters, brokers, and account managers across the UK for faster lending and to build face-to-face relationships with growing businesses. Through its model of rich client relationships and utilisation of cloud banking technology B-North aims to deliver lending up to 10x faster than the market standard.
B-North continues to make strong regulatory, commercial and technical progress and expects to commence lending activities later in 2020.
Rebecca said: “I am excited to start work with the B-North team at what is such a critical and exciting time on their journey to building a truly regional SME lending bank. With the UK economy eager to get moving after what has been a very damaging time both socially and economically, B-North’s vision for personal and fast SME lending has never been more critical. I am looking forward to working with the team as we establish B-North’s first lending pod.”
B-North, which last year appointed the founding chair of the British Business Bank, Ron Emerson CBE as its chairman, is led by a team who have held numerous senior positions at some of the UK’s biggest high-street banks.
B-North CEO and co-founder Jonathan Thompson said: “We are delighted to be adding Rebecca to our talented team – her appointment is another demonstration of B-North attracting top talent to help us in our mission to fuel the county’s vital SME’s. Rebecca’s appointment comes at a vital stage in our journey as we look not just to aid a post-Covid economic recovery, but also to help the rebalancing of the nation’s economy with the provision of financial services across the country.”