Our Journey

OakNorth was created to help the UK's growth businesses and entrepreneurs reach their potential by providing them with bespoke, no-nonsense debt finance solutions.

Oak trees can live for 1,000 years, oak wood is one of the strongest and most durable of all woods, and having a “north star” symbolises knowing where one is headed. The name OakNorth represents strength, staying power, and clarity of direction. The entrepreneurs and growth businesses we support are characterised by these attributes.

For far too long, entrepreneurs and growth businesses in the UK have been underserved by their banks. In 2006, our founders Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman were trying to secure working capital to support their growth business, Copal Amba (now part of Moody´s Corporation). Despite having a good business with healthy cash flow, they found that banks were unwilling to help because the business had no property to act as security. As they built their business they came across many other entrepreneurs in the UK who faced the same challenge. That's why OakNorth was created.

OakNorth has been founded and is run by entrepreneurs not bankers. We therefore understand entrepreneurs and owned-manager's needs, and appreciate the fact that their requirements often don't fit into standardised models.

We believe that a funding partner needs to be able to understand the dynamics of a business and structure lending to suit that business as-opposed to the other way around.

Example

We have an efficient credit process with early stage yes/no decisions to avoid wasting the borrower's time (and our time)

 

 
Example

Borrowers meet the bank's Credit Committee (the decision makers) for face to face discussions

 

 
Example

We provide flexible and bespoke funding structures, focusing on the specific business requirements and situation.

2006...How it all started

2006...How it all started


In 2006, Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, our founders, faced and uphill struggle while trying to secure working capital to support their rapidly growing business, Copal Amba.


Their business was in a good shape with a healthy cash flow, and strong projections for the future, yet none of the banks were willing to lend to them because they didn't have any property to act as security.


As Copal Amba kept growing, Rishi and Joel realised that there are millions of other businesses in the UK facing the same struggles in securing growth finance.


The idea for OakNorth began to form.


After scaling Copal Amba to almost 3,000 people and selling it to Moodys Corporation in 2014, the two set out to launch a bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.



March 2015

March 2015


We secured the third new banking licence in the UK in 150 years


May 2015

May 2015


We announced the appointments of Lord (Adair) Turner and Robert Burgess as Non-Executive Directors.


July 2015

July 2015


We appointed Cyrus Ardalan, former Barclays Vice Chairman of Public Policy & Government Relations, as Chairman


September 2015

September 2015


We launched after being granted full authorisation from the PRA and FCA


November 2015

November 2015


We secured £66m equity investment from Indiabulls, India´s largest non-bank SME lender


May 2016

May 2016


We became the first UK bank to have its core systems fully-hosted in the cloud in what the Financial Times called a "landmark move" for the industry


September 2016

September 2016


We became the first new bank* in the UK to break even and achieve profitability within one year of launching


December 2016

December 2016


We complete our largest deal to date, a £20m loan to Whittlebury, bringing our loan book to £300m


January 2017

January 2017


OakNorth becomes the first non-incumbent bank to join the British Business Bank´s Help to Grow Programme


March 2017

March 2017


OakNorth completes first deal under the British Business Bank's Help to Grow Programme, a £600k loan to Notes


April 2017

April 2017


We’re named on The 2017 Leap 100: the definitive list of the fastest-growing and most exciting companies in the UK


May 2017

May 2017


We win Property Week RESI’s Residential Financier of the Year Award


July 2017

July 2017


The team climb to the peak of Mount Snowdon in a challenge that tested us both mentally and physically!


October 2017

October 2017


We secure a £160m investment from Coltrane, The Clermont Group and Toscafund, valuing the company at over $1bn and enabling us to lend a further £1.5bn in the UK in 2018


November 2017

November 2017


GIC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, invests £90m in OakNorth, making the combination of our primary and secondary investment (£250m), the largest UK fintech raise to date


November 2017

November 2017


We're named Bank of the Year at the City A.M. Awards


December 2017

December 2017


We are approved by the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme


March 2018

March 2018


We are named on Tech City UK’s Future Fifty


March 2018

March 2018


We secured one of 15 places on the Department of International Trade’s fintech trade mission to New York City


May 2018

May 2018


We won the PROPS Award for Property Lender of the Year