Bank North strengthens board after licence award

Source: Bank North

Bank North, the UK's first truly regional bank of the modern era, has appointed Deepak Haria and Madis Toomsalu to its board.

Deepak Haria joins as Independent Non-Executive Director and chair of Bank North's Board Audit Committee, bringing 32 years of audit, advisory, and governance experience in banking and financial services across the globe. Deepak is currently a Senior Advisor at Meghraj Capital, an investment banking advisory company. He also advises businesses in the UK, Africa, and Asia, mentoring early-stage Fintech and start-up ventures. Deepak is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Madis Toomsalu will join the board as Non-Executive Director bringing extensive experience in financial markets and credit, having helped create a €2.5 billion credit portfolio. Madis is CEO of AS LHV Group, the biggest financial group in Estonia and an anchor investor in Bank North, his work at the group also brings invaluable real-world fintech experience to the board. Madis also serves as chairman of the supervisory board of LHV Bank, LHV Insurance and LHV Asset Management, as well as being chairman of the board of LHV UK Limited. Madis also sits on the management board of MTÜ FinanceEstonia, a Non-Governmental Organisation working to support internationalisation and innovation in the Estonian financial services sector.

The two appointments follow Bank North being granted Authorisation with Restrictions (AWR) by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), completing the first phase of an intensive regulatory journey which coincided with the closing of Bank North’s Series A funding round. The capital from this round will support the bank’s ongoing development during mobilisation, as well as providing capital to support initial lending activities.

Commenting on the new appointments, Ron Emerson CBE, Chair of Bank North, said: “These new appointments to our Board bring valuable expertise as we progress through this next critical phase of the Regulatory process and commence lending. Deepak's experience working with central banks and regulators across the world will be invaluable as we move through our mobilisation phase when engagement with regulators is paramount to building a robust bank. Madis brings considerable banking knowledge, having built a multi-billion-euro credit portfolio, driving LHV Group to be a clear leader in its home market. LHV Group is a leading fintech operation in Estonia, together, these skills will allow Madis to help us build the best products we can, while acting as a strong voice for our investors."

Deepak Haria, incoming Independent Non-Executive Director, commented: "The team at Bank North has shown extraordinary skill in the run-up to securing a licence, and it is exciting that the vision to create a new regional lending bank for the UK is becoming a reality. At this stage of the company's journey, a high-quality regulatory relationship and audit rigour are key priorities, and I look forward to supporting Bank North as the business continues to build momentum."

Madis Toomsalu, incoming Non-Executive Director, added: “Bank North will bring a unique proposition to SMEs across the UK, combining cloud-native banking technology with regional empathy, allowing borrowers to access capital more efficiently. I look forward to working with Ron and the rest of the Bank North team to help guide the company through this critical mobilisation phase and commencement of initial lending activities.”

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