Posted on January 27, 2020 by staff

London FinTech OakNorth appoints Philip Hammond to board


FinTech credit platform OakNorth has announced the appointment of Phillip Hammond, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, to its Advisory Board.

In the role he will work with OakNorth’s clients alongside senior policymakers.

Before becoming a politician, Hammond ran an SME housebuilding business. As Chancellor, he led initiatives including the Bank Referral Scheme, the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee and ENABLE Build Programmes.

Hammond also launched the government’s first Fintech Sector Strategy, appointing Fintech Regional Envoys and establishing Fintech Bridges with Australia, China and South Korea.

In 2018 Hammond as part of his role has Chancellor, Hammond announced the launch of a UK cryptocurrency ‘task force’, to help Britain better use the navigate the risks surround the new technology.

OakNorth already licenses its credit analysis and monitoring platform to commercial banks in six countries across North America, Europe and APAC, supported by its offices in New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Delhi and Bengaluru.

OakNorth said Hammond’s past initiatives were “very much aligned” with its attempt to support small and medium-sized businesses through finance.

In the UK, OakNorth uses its platform to lend directly through OakNorth Bank, which launched in 2015. To date it has lent $5bn, which the firm said has helped to create of 13,000 new homes and 17,000 new jobs.

Over the last six months, OakNorth Bank has established additional lending teams in Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham to further support businesses in those regions.

“During his time as Chancellor, Philip proactively advocated for small and medium-sized businesses and the fintech sector – two areas that have clear synergies with OakNorth,” said Rishi Khosla, co-founder of OakNorth.

“He brings both an international perspective, having worked with Finance Ministers across the globe, as well as a deep understanding of the British economy.”

Kholsa said Hammond’s role will involve spending time with clients and policymakers, as well as advising the firm on the expansion of its UK loan book.

“We’re delighted that he’s joined us and look forward to working together to change commercial banking globally, so it can truly address the financing requirements of small and medium-sized business.”

Hammond added: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy and communities globally.

“The development by OakNorth of a platform to deliver cost-effective lending to them is a major boost to the potential of not only the British economy, but economies worldwide.

“I look forward to being part of both OakNorth’s growth story in the UK and its expansion into international markets, licensing its platform to partners across the globe.”

The latest major hire follows the appointment ex-GoCompare CTO Jackson Hull as the firm’s CTO and COO in August 2019.