City of London Group ("COLG"), which applied for its banking licence in December 2017, has said it will offer leasing products as part of its lending business.
Echo Financial Services, a West Midlands-registered company, will become the challenger bank, providing loans and leases to businesses, funded by retail deposits. It is understood that the lending business is likely to launch under a new name rather than retaining "Echo" as its moniker. The team for the bank will be headed by Jason Oakley, formerly managing director for commercial banking at Metro, and will also include Bryce Glover, previously in banking roless at Santander and Nationwide, and Adrian Golumbina, who brings with him two decades of advisory experience in the field of leasing.
COLG says it will provide additional funding of up to £2.5m to set up the bank, and has also talked about providing shareholder loans of £0.75m, to be matched by Jason Oakley.
Michael Goldstein, chief executive officer of COLG, said, "There is a strong desire to break the banking oligopoly and this is further strengthened by advances in technology, making a ‘bricks & mortar’ network of branches less significant as a barrier to entry. We are all very excited about the prospects of this business...[and the team is] incentivised to build a first class challenger bank offering a real choice in commercial, SME, bridging, and development finance."
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