OakNorth– the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has today published its 2017 Annual Report, revealing that it made £10.6m profit last year. Launched inSeptember 2015, OakNorth offers loans of £0.5m to £30m to fast-growth UK businesses and established property developers and investors. Since its launch, the bank has grown its loan book to £1bn with clients across multiple sectors and regions, including: LEON, Brasserie Bar Co., Padella, NetPay, ICP Nurseries, Galliard, Frogmore, and The Collective.
OakNorth achieved several notable milestones in 2017 – in addition to profitably tripling its loan book, it also launched several new savings products including easy access and fixed-rate cash ISAs, and savings accounts for businesses. It became the first bank to complete a loan under the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow Programme and received full authorisation from the Bank of England to join its Term Funding Scheme. Meanwhile, the holding company closed a £250m investment round with GIC, Toscafund, Clermont Group and Coltrane Asset Management, and began commercialising its fintech platform, ACORN machine, to lenders around the world.
ACORN machine is a fintech platform that helps automate the way banks provide bespoke lending to SMEs, by leveraging process excellence, machine learning and technology to fuel data-driven decision making across the loan lifecycle. The ACORN machine has now been embedded with banking partners around the world, and is enabling them to replicate OakNorth’s success in the UK in their own markets.
Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth, commented: “It has been another exceptional year for OakNorth; we have solidified our position in the SME lending market, providing over £1 billion of gross lending in the UK, helping hundreds of businesses achieve their growth ambitions. Despite the exceptional growth of our loan book, we have ensured that the quality of credit has not been jeopardised, as evidenced by the fact that we’ve not had a single default to date.
“The next 12 months will present some unique challenges for UK businesses as the Brexit deadline approaches and the nation prepares to finally leave the EU. While some lenders will use this as an excuse to slow down decision-making even further and put SME lending on the back burner, we plan to continue building on our loan book, achieving higher levels of net lending by 2020 than some of the UK’s largest banks.”
Lloydsplans to increase net lending to SMEs by £6bn by 2020. This is on par with what we hope to achieve by then.