January 28, 2020 @ 17:05 by Steven Hugill
Finance chiefs have launched a bid to create a new North East bank focused on bolstering property development finance.
Newcastle-headquartered GBB has formally applied to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) for a licence to trade as a bank.
Officials say the bank – earmarked to open next year – will create work for as many as 60 staff when it launches and act as an “engine of economic growth for regional SME developers.”
According to GBB’s plans, the bank will provide tailored lending to residential and commercial property developers, offering secured loans of between £1 million and £5 million.
Bosses say new premises are now being secured that will allow GBB to triple its employee headcount to more than 60 ahead of its 2021 launch.
Steve Deutsch, GBB chief executive, said: “The UK’s undersupply of housing offers a clear market opportunity – we know that 66 per cent of property developers are borrowing now, with 90 per cent intending to borrow in the next three years.
“Our ambition is to become an engine of economic growth for regional SME developers by providing bespoke secured finance underpinned by long-term relationships that build trust and generate repeat business.
“This will be funded by highly competitive fixed term savings products, aimed at customers looking to deposit between £5000 and £100,000 of savings. We want to be a reliable source of income for savers in the easiest possible way.
“Incumbent banks lack relationship support and lending appetite for SME development finance,” added Steve (pictured).
“We are going to change that and provide competitive returns for savers.”
Steve added GBB’s plan also includes fixed rate savings products for retail customers.
Stephen Henman, GBB chief lending officer, said the bank’s North East roots and its commitment to building lasting relationships with customers will set it apart from rivals.
He added: “Our regional and property development focus, combined with a relationship-centred approach (and) our specialist underwriting capabilities, local knowledge and market-leading cloud-based technology puts clear water between us and other providers.
“Our locally-based relationship managers will be dedicated to onboarding customers, understanding and managing their ongoing needs and gathering market intelligence to ensure our support evolves with client requirements.”