Press releases · SME lending · Banking

LHV Bank opens its Northern office in Manchester


London, 15 September 2023 - LHV Bank, the UK’s newest licenced bank, announces the official opening of its Manchester office. The location will serve as the Northern office for the bank’s SME lending business line, offering commercial property and trading loans to UK SMEs, with values from £0.5 million up to £5 million.

LHV Bank entered the UK SME Lending space last year by acquiring Bank North’s SME lending business and started issuing loans from the beginning of 2023. Challenger and specialist banks now control 55% of the UK SME lending market, as per data from the British Business Bank . This underscores the growing demand among UK businesses for diverse financing avenues.

Commenting on the Manchester expansion, Erki Kilu, the CEO of LHV Bank, said: “In a short space of time, our SME lending team has already built a solid loan book, positioning ourselves well for growth and highlighting the market demand for competitive loans in the region. According to LHV’s updated financial plan, we now project a £100 million loan book by year-end, doubling the forecast from the start of this year.”

Central to LHV Bank’s lending strategy is its regional focus; this strategy drives economic growth in often underserved business hubs and ensures that the directors fully understand the specific needs of local borrowers. In addition to providing funding to the Northern businesses from its Manchester base, LHV Bank intends to start issuing loans in the Southeast from its London headquarters.

LHV Bank’s strengths lie in its faster lending process, utilising loan managers’ long-term experience and the latest technology to speed up the lending process. Notably, at the beginning of September, LHV Bank transitioned to a new cloud-based loan system, allowing the SME Lending team to quickly develop new lending products and processes.

LHV Bank is well positioned for further growth in the space, supported by its strong balance sheet. In addition to the readily available capital from its parent company, LHV Group, the bank recently entered the personal savings arena with Raisin UK. The funds from saving deposits will be used to directly support the SME Lending business.

In addition to SME Lending and personal savings, LHV Bank provides Banking Services to over 200 global fintechs. LHV Bank gained its UK banking licence in May and reported a £1.4 million profit for the second quarter of 2023.

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