OakNorth responds to growing demand for SME loans by launching lending operation

Funding | North West

OakNorth has announced that it will be expanding its lending operations to Manchester to deal with increasing demand for its loans across the North of England.

The lender has had an operations team based out of Manchester which since its launch in September 2015, however, as more SMEs in the North of England approach the bank for loans, there is a need to have a local lending team who can make credit decisions based on their knowledge and experience of businesses in the region.

This year, OakNorth has done several transactions with businesses in the North, including: a £40.2m loan to Select Property to develop 356 new homes in the city, a £33m loan to Mabec Property to develop 742 new student bedrooms in Nottingham and Sheffield; as well as providing The Inn Collection Group – one of North East England’s top leisure operators with seven sites across Northumberland, County Durham and Teesside – with finance to fund their expansion.

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance at OakNorth, commented: “Since our launch in September 2015, we have helped hundreds of businesses across the UK achieve their growth ambitions, creating thousands of new homes and jobs in the process.

“We have done numerous deals with businesses in the North of England, transacting loans from our headquarters in London. However, given our pipeline for 2019 and the demand we are seeing from businesses in the North, there is a need to have a local debt finance team with the ability to make credit decisions on the ground in the North.

“We currently have a world class technology and operations function managed out of Manchester, so we want to continue building on this, tapping into the local talent pool, to broaden our regional offering to lending as well.”

This news follows OakNorth’s recent lending to Z Hotels – providing the hotelier with funds used to acquire office space which will be converted into a hotel in Trafalgar Square, London.

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