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Ashman wins UK banking licence

Ashman wins UK banking licence

Ashman Finance, a startup offering savings accounts to personal customers and lending to SMEs in the commercial real estate property market, has been granted a restricted banking licence by the FCA and Prudential Regulatory Authority.

Ashman, which is headquartered in Birmingham and plans to grow its headcount in the city over the course of this year, is led by James Leach, former global chief operating officer of Maple Financial.

Says Leach: "We are delighted to have received regulatory approval. Our banking licence is an important first step in realising our ambitions to support SME borrowers and personal savers alike, with a different approach to lending that delivers the service and range of products we know SME developers need."

He says the bank will provide competitive rates for savers and will lend on deals from £100k to £5 million in the real estate market.

Leach is supported by an experienced senior team: Chief risk officer, Lisa Nowell, joined the new entrant from digital bank Monzo and spent time at Barclays and Nationwide; chief commercial officer, Caroline Luxmore, spent 10 years at Aldermore Bank with 25+ years’ experience in the industry; CFO Matt Cowan has worked at Deutsche Bank, HSBC and RBS; and chief operating officer, Simon Healy, was previously one of the founding members of Aldermore and managing director of its savings arm responsible for originating £15bn customer deposits.

“We are proud to be the first new entrant to be licenced this year and to be doing so from Birmingham, which is the perfect city for us to build a business we know can have a lasting impact on the market," says Leach. "Birmingham has an incredibly strong talent pool and is a hub that provides all the supporting expertise we need to deliver our ambitions.”

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