New banks

Challenger bank OakNorth triples profits

  • OakNorth is a UK challenger bank that's really focused on lending.
  • It also announced it would donate 1 percent of future profits to charity and social entrepreneurship.
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Challenger bank OakNorth triples profits

UK challenger bank OakNorth announced a £33.9m profit for 2018, up 220 percent from 2017.

What’s going on: OakNorth has taken a different approach to scaling a challenger bank — one that contributes to its early profitability. Instead of creating a bank for the masses, OakNorth is really a lender at heart. It uses its digital current account offerings to help fund its lending portfolio. The bank claims it has 40,000 savings customers, compared to N26 and Revolut which have each opened millions of accounts.

The heart of a lender: OakNorth is a selective underwriter, lending £0.5M to £40M to profitable, scale-up, British businesses, like LEON, Brasserie Bar Co., NetPay, TritonExec, Regal London, Baird Capital, Rockpool Investments, Galliard, Frogmore, and The Collective. The bank has lent out £3B since its launch in September 2015.

Introducing a social componentt: OakNorth also announced it would donate 1 percent of future net profit to charitable causes and social entrepreneurship.

“To date, we’ve lent £3B to growth businesses across the UK, helping them achieve their ambitions whilst simultaneously enabling the creation of 10,000 new homes and 13,000 new jobs,” said Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth.

“The companies we are lending to are home-builders, job-creators, productivity-boosters, and drivers of GDP growth, which have a transformative impact on our community and the health of the wider economy. To continue reinforcing this positive cycle, we will be donating 1 percent of group profits to supporting charitable causes and social entrepreneurship.”

The company published its 2018 financial results yesterday.

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