OakNorth moves into profit

OakNorth moves into profit

UK challenger bank OakNorth is reporting $10.6 million in profit in its second year of operation, moving into the black from a £2.4 million loss in 2016.

One of a host of new entrants to the UK banking market, OakNorth bills itself as a bank for entrepreneurs, providing loans to small firms, and accepting deposits online.

The bank has made a virtue of its cloud-based technology‎ platform, using machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence tools to build a £1.2 billion loan book within two years of launch.

The healthy profit figures arrive just months after the bank raised more than £150m from a trio of investors, valuing the company at close to £1bn.

Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth, says the lender intends to add another £1 billion to its loan book over the next year: "Despite the exceptional growth of our loan book, we have ensured that the quality of credit has not been jeopardised, as evidenced by the fact that we’ve not had a single default to date."

He says the company has also scored deals with a number of banks to license its Acorn Machines AI technology for use, underlining an important growth opportunity and new revenue stream for the company.

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