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Business & Economy

GBB appoints Monzo co-founder as non-executive chair

GBB, which aims to provide finance to UK property developers and offer an innovative approach to savings, has secured an industry leader as it’s non-executive chair, subject to regulatory approval.

Paul Rippon, who founded one of the UK’s first mobile-only challenger banks in 2015, has joined Newcastle-based GBB to lead the board and ensure it is effective and transparent.

Paul co-founded Monzo, which made headlines when it achieved the fastest ever crowdfunding round in just 96 seconds. Today the digital bank has more than 4 million customers and was recently valued at £2 billion.

Paul stepped down from Monzo at the start of the year to spend time with his wife Debbie at their Alpaca farm in Northumberland. Now, he is hoping to draw on his experience to help GBB achieve its goals.

After already raising £10 million from investors, GBB has made good progress with its banking licence and hopes to receive approval before the end of this year.

Upon launch, the bank will offer secured property development loans of between £1 million and £5 million, with 90 per cent of lending supporting regional property developers, SMEs and construction companies.

For savers, competitive fixed rates will be offered, fully protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Paul Rippon has 28 years’ experience in the UK banking industry, having held roles such as risk director, head of banking and deputy chief executive at listed companies, mutuals and private, charity and venture capital-funded institutions.

Paul said: “Six months ago, I stepped down from Monzo in order to dedicate more time to enjoying life. While I needed time to recharge, I said I intended to come back to banking.

“Around 200 opportunities came my way which was very flattering, and I wanted something that would span business, banking and provide a way to help others from more humble beginnings like me.

“Following meetings with the team, I saw and liked the business model which allows GBB to build new homes and businesses and deliver safe and fair savings in a modern and sustainable way.

“The combination of cutting edge technology and relationship managers on the ground to provide support to customers is what property developers are in desperate need of.

“The plan is now to bring my entrepreneurial expertise, storytelling and coaching abilities to bear as we secure the banking licence and build out the bank.”

Steve Deutsch, GBB’s chief executive officer, added: “This is a huge coup for GBB and indeed the North East where we are based.

“Paul’s expertise is second to none and comes at a critical time as we fundraise and move, upon receipt of our licence, to being fully operational.

“Paul joining us at this point in time is testament to the strength of the offer and wider management team and we’re thrilled to be working with him.”