Neobank Ashman receives UK banking licence
Ashman has announced its UK banking licence has been authorised (Authorised with Restrictions or ‘AwR’) and regulated to trade with restrictions by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Ashman, which was founded by real-estate entrepreneurs Ashkin Mittal and Manhad Narula, plans to transform the banking experience for property SMEs, a £90bn market opportunity.
Ashman is initially focused on lending SMEs in the commercial real estate sector, while providing savers with competitive rates. Ashman will lend on deals from £100,000 to £5 million.
The SME commercial lending market remains underserved with 50% of SMEs surveyed saying they are unable to access finance and 84% being frustrated by slow decision-making and inflexible credit offerings. Digital by design, Ashman plans to deliver speed and a personalised service to clients and brokers.
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 and supported by an experienced senior team.
James Leach, Chief Executive Officer of Ashman, said, “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.
“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. Birmingham has an incredibly strong talent pool and is a hub that provides all the supporting expertise we need to deliver our ambitions.”