OakNorth Bank strengthens its lending teams across the UK with new hires in the North West, Yorkshire and East Anglia

  • In 2020, the Bank lent £1.1B to the Missing Middle[1], supporting hundreds of businesses and helping to create and protect thousands of jobs;
  • The new hires will see Dan Hewitt (formerly of Virgin Money) join Martin Williams in East Anglia, Tom Jessop (formerly of AIB) join the Debt Finance team in Manchester, and Matthew Gudgeon (formerly of Christie Finance) join James Espley in Yorkshire;
  • Already this year, OakNorth Bank has closed over £550m in new loans – a clear demonstration of ongoing demand for debt finance from British businesses;
  • OakNorth Bank is also an accredited lender under the recently launched Recovery Loan Scheme.

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – is continuing to strengthen its regional footprint with three new hires to its lending teams in the North West, Yorkshire and East Anglia.

OakNorth Bank’s 2020 Annual Report revealed that, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, it lent £1.1B to the Missing Middle last year, supporting hundreds of businesses and helping to both protect and create thousands of jobs. This year, it has got off to an equally busy start with c.£550m of new deals closed so far.

The new hires include Dan Hewitt, who joins Martin Williams in East Anglia as an Associate Director of Debt Finance, having spent the past five years at Virgin Money. Tom Jessop joins the lending team in Manchester as an Associate Director of Debt Finance, having spent the past five years at Allied Irish Bank. Matthew Gudgeon joins James Espley in Yorkshire as an Associate of Debt Finance, having spent the last two years at Christie Finance.

Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank said: “Given the challenges of the pandemic on society and the economy over the last year, our mission – to empower the Missing Middle – has never been more important. We have continued to lend, supporting hundreds of businesses across the UK from a variety of sectors. The hiring of Dan, Tom and Matthew will enable us to continue providing on-the-ground, local support with people who are familiar with the region and the unique challenges and opportunities facing it.”


[1] The Missing Middle is the unique market segment that we support – these businesses are the most significant contributors to economic and employment growth. They have developed productive and profitable business models, so by giving them access to finance, we are enabling them to scale and in doing so, improve productivity, employment and GDP growth across the country.

Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

It has borrowers across a variety of sectors, including: healthcare (nursing homes and retirement villages), consumer goods, vehicle and parts manufacturing, capital goods manufacturing, household professional services (including educational services), nurseries, business support services, hospitality and recreation (including hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars, fast food outlets and limited service restaurants), SME residential and commercial property development and investment.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Visit wordpress-test-website.oaknorth-it.com for more information.


Tom Pavey-Smith, Associate Director – Growth & Communications: tom.pavey-smith@oaknorth.co.uk / press@oaknorth.co.uk / 0791 716 5588

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