OakNorth expands in Manchester

Challenger bank OakNorth, which has backed developments by Fortis and Select Property in Salford, is aiming to double staff numbers at its Manchester office next year including the addition of a number of senior roles.

The lender launched its Manchester office in September 2015 and this team has grown to 15 people in the last three years.

OakNorth has now announced its intention to add a specialist local lending team to support its business across the North of England, and this will see the company hire another 15 staff next year. The current team is based on the first floor of the Alexandra Buildings on Queen Street.

Roles the company is hiring include director-level positions in debt finance and property finance.

Developments the bank has supported in the past six months include Fortis’ 387-apartment Adelphi Wharf on Chapel Street, where the company backed the developer with a £20.7m loan.

OakNorth has also backed Select Property Group with a £40.2m loan for two of its towers, Laurence Place and Exchange Point, next to CitySuites. Designed by architect CallisonRTKL, Sir Robert McAlpine is currently on site at this project.

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance at OakNorth, said: “We have done numerous deals with businesses in the North of England, transacting loans from our headquarters in London. However, given our pipeline for 2019 and the demand we are seeing from businesses in the North, there is a need to have a local debt finance team with the ability to make credit decisions on the ground in the North.

“We currently have a world-class technology and operations function managed out of Manchester, so we want to continue building on this, tapping into the local talent pool, to broaden our regional offering to lending as well.”

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