Bank North, a UK hybrid bank that only gained its banking license in late 2021 is calling it quits, according to multiple reports.
Bank North co-founder Richard Baker posted on LinkedIn this past week that the challenger bank “has failed to raise the capital it needed to progress from its ‘AwR’ banking license to become a fully regulated bank.” Baker stated that he left the bank as a manager over a year ago.
Baker said he learned of the decision via a letter from the Board Chair Ron Emerson.
At the beginning of 2022, it was reported that Bank North had commenced its lending operations leveraging a unique model of physical pods, aiming to deliver loans up to 10x faster than traditional banking firms. The pods would house lending specialists and decision makers to quickly provide credit to regional economies – a segment of banking management believed was underserved.
In January, a Crowdcube securities offering raised £1.75 million at a pre-money valuation of £65.4million. The Crowdcube round was described as part of an ongoing funding round by the company that included Growth Capital Ventures, another platform, as well as a possible VC investment. In the end, the money was not sufficient to keep the doors open.
Reportedly, Bank North intends on selling its existing loan book of approximately £17 million as it winds down operations. Bank North Chairman Emerson was quoted explaining:
“Completion of this transaction is critical to ensuring a solvent wind-down, where the priority will be to ensure full payment of our creditors, including staff, and that all outstanding liabilities are paid.”
— Bank North (@BNorthuk) September 16, 2021