LHV Group plans to acquire a share in the financial company B-North
AS LHV Group confirmed a plan to place an investment of £4.455 million in the UK financial undertaking B-North and acquire a share of 9.9% in the company. Prerequisites for the transaction include completing the necessary investment round by the company and granting of a licence from the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority.
Commercial and Northern Ltd, currently bearing the business name B-North is a Manchester based tech-enabled financial company, currently in the process of applying for a full UK banking licence from the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority and Financial Conduct Authority to start providing financing to regional SMEs. With an experienced team and high growth ambitions the company has a strong readiness to commence business activities, and aims to disrupt the £150 billion UK SME lending market.
The mission of LHV is a better access to financial services and capital; the United Kingdom is one of the home markets for LHV, where the company is seeking growth opportunities. One can see clear parallels between plans of B-North and the journey of LHV bank so far. This provides LHV with the opportunity to contribute to fulfilling B-North’s ambitions, applying the experience of building a bank while gaining insight to the UK credit market. B-North’s plan to provide necessary credit to small and medium-sized enterprises more efficiently than competitors, combining the best technological solutions with relationship banking is a business of great growth potential, as proven by LHV.
Existing investors in B-North include Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Channel 4 Ventures. Together with LHV Group, B-North is taking in capital from other investors, including pension funds managed by LHV Varahaldus.
B-North is planning on completing its investment round in Q2 of 2021, after which the licensing process of the UK Regulators would have to be concluded. The exact detail of the investment and its impact on LHV's financial plan will be disclosed by the company after the conditions of the transaction have been met.
B-North is a challenger that is being developed to serve the UK business lending market. Founded in 2018, B-North is in the process of applying for its banking licence. The team is taking its deep insight into the market for lending to UK businesses and using this to place the customer right at the heart of its business model. The result will be flexible, fast-paced and borrower-friendly.
LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV Group’s key subsidiaries are LHV Pank, LHV Varahaldus, and LHV Kindlustus. LHV employs over 540 people. LHV’s banking services are used by 269,000 clients, and pension funds managed by LHV have 179,000 active clients. LHV’s UK branch offers banking infrastructure to 140 international financial services companies, via which LHV’s payment services reach clients around the world.
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