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OakNorth: SME Lending in Modern Banking

OakNorth: SME Lending in Modern Banking

Welcome to our analysis of OakNorth's journey in SME banking. Since its inception, OakNorth has set itself apart from traditional financial institutions with a unique SME lending approach.

Our report explores OakNorth's ethos, growth strategy, financial performance, competitive position, and future initiatives, providing a holistic view of its impact on global banking.

OakNorth Bank has made a mark in digital lending, achieving profitability in its second year.

Prioritizing SMEs through a customer-centric approach, it stands out in this competitive market.

Founded by Joel Pearlman and Rishi Khosla in 2015, OakNorth Bank aims to create a better bank for SME lending.


OakNorth Bank received its UK banking license with FCA protection for its customers in 2015 and achieved unicorn status in 2017.

The bank's entrepreneurial spirit targets the "Missing Middle," addressing their unique needs with tailored products and services. It supports lending with competitive savings products, offering appealing online and app-accessible interest rates to help customers achieve financial goals, fostering business growth, job creation, home building, and economic strengthening.

Through its ON Credit Intelligence suite, powered by extensive commercial loan data, OakNorth employs a data-driven approach to serve customers granularly and proactively.

OakNorth specializes in SME loans, deposit acquisition, and leverages its On Credit Intelligence technology for a robust and profitable approach.


OakNorth’s unique strategy is key to its profitability and continued growth. 

OakNorth launched its Bank and ONCI after obtaining its banking license, quickly gaining global investor trust, achieving Unicorn status, and profitability within 2 years.

With 214k+ organic savings customers, OakNorth partnered with digital banks and platforms to expand its savings products' availability. It also deployed ONCI in the US through early bank partnerships.

OakNorth offers tailored loans for entrepreneurial businesses, avoiding one-size-fits-all solutions, and serves diverse sectors with an analytical framework covering 270+ industries. To date, OakNorth has financed over £9.7B, with deposits surpassing loans in 2022, maintaining stable credit quality through proactive ON Credit Intelligence management.


Our report finds that OakNorth Bank promotes the benefits of slow and steady growth to other Neo-banks.

Sustainability is integral to OakNorth's mission. With a tech-first, customer-centric approach, it boosts customer confidence, attracts referrals, and successfully raised funds until 2021 during the pandemic.

OakNorth plans to expand its ONCI technology globally, possibly through an IPO. M&A evaluations with mission-aligned firms are also considered for future growth. These strategies will enhance OakNorth Bank's ecosystem and market position, driving profitability in the coming year.


C-Innovation Research

OakNorth's recent 12-month financial report informs our analysis, complementing previous reports. We've also reviewed OakNorth Bank's blog entries, press releases, and reputable media sources like Forbes, Business Insider, FinXtra, and the Financial Times.

This report targets FinTech businesses, enthusiasts, and corporate banks seeking actionable insights into OakNorth's growth strategies, including lending plans, ONCI platform expansion (SaaS), and partner FinTechs through the OakNorth Marketplace for savings products.

We examine OakNorth Bank's revenue diversification, product development, partnerships, and funding, drawing parallels with market competitors.

For more on OakNorth Bank's journey, download the full report or subscribe to access our FinTech deep-dives. Our deep-dive report unveils the intricacies behind OakNorth's success in the SME banking domain. Presented here is a curated outline of our comprehensive coverage:

1. Business Update: OakNorth's achievements, company profile, leadership, valuation, investors, services, paradigm, and accolades.

2. Growth Strategy: COakNorth's expansion, global market goals, and strategy for scaling offerings and market share.

3. Financial Metrics: OakNorth's financial health, revenue, expenses, sources, deposits, lending, overheads, and customer income.

4. Competitors: SME banking landscape, challenger banks, market shifts, UK rivals, client acquisition, UK leadership, profitability, and financial sustainability.

5. Future Trajectory: OakNorth's forward-looking strategies, international expansion, tech advancements, and potential mergers & acquisitions.


Detail of Report Contents 

  • OakNorth’s Breaking Milestones 

  • Banks core values 

  • Team & Investors 

  • ESG initiatives

  • Awards & Recognitions

  • Early Strategy & Initial results 

  • Unique Selling points

  • Approach to Marketing & Partnerships 

  • Lead Generation Partners

  • Funding & Customer Growth 

  • Lending journey

  • Acquisition timeline and Synergies

  • Business Model & Revenue Model

  • Diversification of Products 

  • Proprietary Platform, expansion, and Use Cases 

  • Total Income, Profit, Loss, Costs & Operating Loss 

  • Deposits, Loans

  • Loan Book tenure, Loan to Deposit Ratio

  • Expected Credit Loss Provision in Loan book

  • Loan and cash balances at banks 

  • Cash Flow Trends, Administrative Costs & Funding 

  • Revenue by Business Line & Revenue Breakdown  

  • Number of savings Customers  

  • Staff Growth 

  • Digital Lending Market In Europe 

  • Digital Business Banking Market In Europe

  • Local Competition and Global Green Banking Market 

  • Valuation 

  • Deposit Volume Comparison

  • Loan Book Comparison Digital Banks

  • OakNorth and OakNorth Performance Comparison 2022

  • SME lending book Comparison – OakNorth and OakNorth

  • Total SME lending share in the UK 

  • Number of Features Compared with direct Digital competitors

  • SME finance products offering comparison with digital and traditional lenders

  • Business Banking Approach 

  • Expansion Plans and Future perspectives


If you want to learn more about OakNorth Bank, why should it come from us? 

  • ☺️ Reliable Sources: We provide up-to-date information with transparent sources.

  • 🔨 Simplified Data: We've condensed complex data into easy-to-read, actionable insights.

  • 🏝️ Clear Themes: Our stand-alone points ensure quick and independent understanding.

  • 🏠 Expert Support: Our in-house analysts are readily available for your questions.

  • 👃Unbiased Analysis: Our opinions are objective, free from affiliations, and driven by curiosity.

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