Gbb ... The New Player On The Block

Issue 57

GBB has applied for a banking licence in a bid to increase the supply of property development finance in the UK, specifically in the regions and starting in the North. Here we find out more from GBB’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Deutsch.

GBB will be a new name to many. Give us the low down. GBB is the interim name for a new bank to be headquartered in Newcastle, which when launched will provide highly competitive fixed rates for savers and secured property development loans of between £1m and £5m to regional property developers and SME construction companies.

We wanted the name to resonate with people and celebrate everything that’s good about being British – to be a bit of a unifier. GBB stands for the Great British Bank, but once we are licenced we will use GB Bank, and for now GBB for short!

You’re the CEO. What experience do you bring to the role?

My real interest is in shaping and building businesses and with over 30 years of experience in financial services, I have a deep well of knowledge to draw upon. For example, my last role was as the CEO of a bank which I took through a huge transformation journey from being a small retail focussed bank to a growing specialist commercial bank targeting SMEs.

This included the launch into new markets, the development of new products, the introduction of new systems, the acquisition and integration of an existing business and the wholesale restructuring of the teams.

To be able to build a bank from scratch is a huge honour and I am tremendously excited to be part of it.

When do you expect to GBB to secure its banking licence and what happens then?

It’s no easy task to get a licence, and many would-be banks fall by the wayside along the way. However, we are confident that we will get a restricted licence in Quarter 3 2020 and are targeting a full licence by Quarter 2 2021, at which point we will be fully open to the public.

Why did you choose property development finance as the focus of your lending?

This is a hugely underserved market with lots of opportunity for a lender focussed on supporting regional property development at good rates, with great service. To be able to support regional property developers and small construction companies will also bring new jobs and homes for people in the regions. Tell us about your management team I have great team with a broad range of experience in financial services and other sectors drawn from such companies as Lloyds Bank, Santander, Virgin Money, Wesleyan, Atom Bank, PWC, IBM and BP. We are very focussed on building the bank but we do also have fun along the way.

What are the plans for the next few months and how can people get in touch?

We’re now very much into the build phase of the bank as part of which we will be seeking to triple our workforce over the next 18 months or so, both at our HQ in Newcastle upon Tyne but also across the country as we build our sales/relationship management capability.

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