Jason Oakley, Recognise Bank

PRA removes deposit restrictions at Recognise Bank

The PRA has today (20th September) removed Recognise Bank’s deposit restrictions.

The new SME bank was set up in 2018 and received its authorisation with restriction in November 2020.

The latest announcement follows a £14m funding round in August, bringing total investment to £54m.

Recognise Bank opened its doors and started offering unregulated commercial loans at the end of 2020, but the removal of deposit restrictions means it can now provide a much wider range of services.

FSCS-protected savings products for personal savers are due to be launched this week, while business savings accounts will follow later in the year.

The business plans to support more than 50,000 business and personal savers over the next five years.

The flow of funds into the bank from its savings products is set to enable Recognise Bank to increase lending to the UK SMEs.

“This is a magic moment for Recognise Bank and the culmination of a three-year journey to build a new bank and provide much-needed support to the UK’s SMEs who have been increasingly let down by the mainstream banks,” commented Jason Oakley, CEO at Recognise Bank (pictured above).

“We have stuck to our plans and ambitions to be a fully regulated bank and, while other new entrants have either stumbled or fallen, Recognise Bank is already working with SMEs in the regions, lending and supporting their business ambitions.

“While the lifting of deposit restrictions is a successful milestone for Recognise Bank, it also marks the start of our next exciting phase: we can now offer savings accounts for personal savers, as well as business customers whose savings needs have been completely ignored by the big banks for years.’’

The bank has used cloud-based technology to create its lending platform, while also recruiting a team of experienced relationship managers to offer growing businesses a personal-banking style relationship.

Instead of using centralised call centres, Recognise Bank has created a network of regional hubs with relationship managers who work directly with small businesses and their advisers.
It offers a range of unregulated funding options for SMEs, including commercial mortgages, bridging loans, and working capital finance, in addition to specialist professional practice loans for firms such as architects and solicitors, as well as the medical and healthcare sectors.

The bank has already received £750m in lending enquiries since it opened its doors in November 2020 and aims to provide £1.3bn in lending to more than 5,000 SME borrowers over the next five years.

It is due to launch BTL products for professional property investors later this year.

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