B-North, the Manchester-based challenger building an SME lending bank for the UK has further strengthened its team with five important hires in its finance and risk teams.
David Travis joins as Company Secretary and General Counsel, Andrea Harrison has been appointed Head of Financial Reporting and Control, Simon Nicholson joins as Risk and Compliance Manager, Faye Comerford joins as Financial Crime Manager and Deputy Money Laundering Reporting Manager, and Sarah Hewitt joins as Underwriter, Credit Risk, as the company moves towards securing its banking licence.
David Travis will support B-North as a member of the executive team to ensure strong corporate governance and provide effective management of legal risk as the business continues to grow. Before joining B-North, David was General Counsel and Company Secretary of tech-advisory and investment firm GP Bullhound. David, who also serves as the Joint Honorary Secretary of Manchester Law Society, has previously worked at leading financial services firms including Interactive Investor, RBS, the Co-operative Bank and Citigroup. David began his career as a solicitor at law firm DLA Piper, holds a degree in Law and French from the University of Sheffield and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Governance Institute.
Andrea Harrison, an accomplished finance leader, was previously Head of Finance at UK Asset Resolution, where she worked for a decade in different roles in the finance function. Andrea will support B-North establish its financial framework, processes and controls to support all the bank’s financial reporting and operational obligations, and will draw on her coaching and mentoring background to help the business grow. Andrea has previously worked at Bradford and Bingley, where she served as a Senior Finance Manager. Andrea holds a Law degree from the University of Sheffield and began her career on the KPMG graduate scheme where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Simon Nicholson will support the B-North team across operational risk management and compliance to help ensure the business can scale efficiently. Before joining B-North, Simon worked at RBS as a Risk Partner (Commercial), after serving as Operational Risk Manager SVP at Bank of America, where he led the implementation and delivery of a new operational risk framework. Simon has worked at other major financial services businesses including, UK Asset Resolution, Capita and Citigroup, acquiring significant operational risk management experience, and building a track record of helping organisations improve their risk management capability.
Faye Comerford will work with the B-North team to prevent and detect potential financial crimes, such as fraud and money laundering. This role is vital to the smooth and secure operations of the bank, protecting the business and customers. Faye is an accomplished Senior Manager specialising in compliance and Financial Crime Risk Management. Faye joins B-North from the Yorkshire Building Society, where she began her career on the graduate scheme and gained over 17 years’ experience in various roles, latterly as Senior Financial Crime Risk Manager. Faye, who has also gained experience at AXA UK, holds a History degree from The University of Hull, and an ICA Diploma in Anti-Money Laundering.
Sarah Hewitt will play an important role in supporting B-North through the initial planning and then the mobilisation stage, helping to make loan delivery to SME clients as smooth as possible. Before joining B-North, Sarah worked at Yorkshire Bank as a Commercial Relationship Manager. Prior to this, Sarah worked across several Risk, Regional Management & Front-line roles at RBS. Sarah began her career at HSBC, joining their Commercial Graduate Scheme. Sarah holds a degree in Business Studies from De Montfort University.
The five new hires come as B-North continues to accelerate towards securing its banking licence, and completion of a £20 million ‘Series A’ fundraise. The firm aims to disrupt the UK’s £150 billion SME lending market by establishing the first truly regional lending bank in 150 years. Through its network of regional ‘lending pods’ combined with a state-of-the-art cloud-based banking system, B-North aims to deliver loans to business 10x faster than the industry standard. The first of B-North’s pods are expected to open in Manchester later in 2021.
Jonathan Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO of B-North said: “We are delighted to welcome David, Andrea, Simon, Faye, and Sarah to the B-North team, they bring a vast range of knowledge and experience gained at some of the biggest names in financial services. We have always prided ourselves on building an expert team, and these five new hires are just the latest example of B-North attracting the best and the brightest. There couldn’t be a better time to join the team, as we move through our ‘Series A’ fundraise as well as continue to work with the FCA/PRA to secure a banking license, all while working hard to build the best possible model we can to deliver much-needed support to UK SMEs.”
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