Let’s be honest, we could have all done with escaping the British weather this summer!  

As a bank on a mission to build a better future in regions that need it most, we often talk about our commitment to building and regenerating communities externally. 

But what are we doing internally to help grow and nurture our own GB Bank community? 

One thing that makes GB Bank special is our wonderful team. And it is important that we always look for ways to demonstrate our trust and help our team feel fulfilled in all areas of life. We believe that our people know how and when they work best and providing flexibility enables them to find a productive rhythm between their priorities at work and at home – This is one of the reasons why GB Bank was recognised by Flexa as being one of the Top 100 most flexible employers in the world!

 As part of this, we’ve enabled ‘Work from Anywhere’ leave so our team are encouraged to work from a location abroad or elsewhere in the UK for a set period each year. 

But don’t just take our word for it….From Teesside to Texas, savings accounts to sailing the Turkish coast, hear from some of our team members where they have ‘Worked from Anywhere’ this summer. 

Head of Treasury in Turkey 

Eddie Trahearn, our Head of Treasury, used his leave to sail around the beautiful Turkish coast. He said: “I enjoyed a wonderful new experience and learned more about sailing at the same time as completing work commitments – I found out that sailing can be exhausting but it was also a great way to switch off and de-stress from work as you really need to concentrate. 

“Working from Anywhere really allows you to spend precious time doing things you like whilst also performing optimally for GB Bank. I split my time by combining annual leave and Working From Anywhere – this allowed me to have the experience for longer but still gave me time to fully switch off and enjoy it as a holiday too.

“The change of scenery also led to some better idea generation, clarity of thinking and clearing of brain fog.”

Teesside to Texas 

Head of Information Management, Maria Laden, has utilised the scheme on two separate occasions to visit her son, daughter-in-law and gorgeous new-born grandson, Duke, in Texas. 

Maria said: “As my grandson is still a very young baby it was wonderful to be able to utilise Work From Anywhere so I could spend precious time with him during his first months, and to also help my daughter-in-law with our new baby, which gave her a break. 

“I combined Working From Anywhere with my annual leave.  As Texas is six hours behind the UK it allowed me to join work from 12pm UK time each day (6am Texas time), complete 3hrs 30 mins Work From Anywhere and then take annual leave to enjoy the rest of the day with my daughter-in-law and grandson.

“Apart from the obvious benefit of being able to combine a visit with my family and work, working from anywhere also allowed me to save enough annual leave to enable me to have a relaxing non-work-related holiday just for me. It’s been a real win-win all round!”

Sarah’s seaside retreat 

Sarah John, our Company Secretary, was in the process of selling her house and renovating a new home. Unfortunately, the renovation fell behind schedule and the new home was not ready to move into when the other house’s sale was completed. 

Sarah explained: “Rather than risk the sale, Work from Anywhere allowed me and my family to be able to rent a cottage by the coast for a week where I was able to work remotely while our new home progressed to a liveable state.

“In between working hours, we were able to go for lovely walks on the beach with our dog and enjoy the good weather. It was fantastic to be able to have a change of scenery and enjoy a much-needed break from moving home, the renovations and all the dust!” 

Sunshine and family time for Graham 

Our Financial Crime Manager, Graham Goodwin, got a break from the weather this summer with a trip over to Spain and our Work from Anywhere policy meant he could attend his son’s wedding in South Africa. 

Graham said: “The scheme enabled me to work full time from our holiday home in Spain. It was a nice change of scenery and I managed to escape the British downpour and enjoy the sunshine while I worked.

“Earlier in the year I also Worked From Anywhere in South Africa.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my son and his family in Johannesburg. This was extra special to me as my son got married whilst I was there, so it was fantastic to be able to be part of my son’s wedding celebrations and still fit work around it.”

At GB Bank, acting with kindness and succeeding together are two of our core values. We believe that by encouraging people to learn where and when they work best we will help support a happy and productive team which  ultimately enables us to achieve our business goals and deliver on our purpose.. You can read more about our values here: https://gbbank.co.uk/our-purpose/ 

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SPECIALIST bank GB Bank has appointed a new Board Chair and recruited two new Board members as it continues to drive forward its ambitious growth plans.

The North East-based bank has appointed SME lending expert Mike Kirsopp as Chair with property and banking industry figures Andrew Telfer and Ian Henderson joining as Non-Executive Director and Investor Director respectively.

Mike Kirsopp has over 40 years of experience in SME lending. He was CEO at Cambridge & Counties Bank Ltd from 2014 to 2021, where he was part of the team recruited to mobilise the bank and gain its full banking licence, also taking the bank through break-even and to profitability.

Prior to this he ran his own consultancy business, Mike Kirsopp Associates, and had a long career at Lloyds TSB as a Strategy and Change Director and Mid-Corporate Real Estate Director.

Mike joined GB Bank as a Non-Executive Director in July 2021 and has been acting as interim Chair since November 2022.

Mike said: “It is a great privilege to have an opportunity to lead the Board of GB Bank, especially as we accelerate our plans to bring much-needed support to the businesses delivering future growth in under-served areas across the country, starting in our native North East.

“We have assembled an experienced and talented group with deep knowledge of banking and property markets who are all committed to building on the great foundations laid which helped bring the bank to life in 2022.”

Andrew Telfer joins as Non-Executive Director after a career spanning over 30 years in the construction and property development sector.

Andrew joined Wilmott Dixon, one of the UK’s largest construction and property services businesses, in 2002, subsequently becoming a main board member in 2008.

During his time at Willmott Dixon, Andrew was heavily involved with the successful flotation on AiM of the property services business as CFO.  Later, he helped rapidly grow the company’s property development division, as its CEO, to a £2.5bn pipeline of assets, including the Build To Rent sector.

An accountant by training, Andrew worked at Big Four accountancy firm EY within the mergers and acquisitions team before joining Wilmott Dixon. He currently has his own property development projects and is the Deputy Chair of Robertsons, one of the largest family-owned construction, infrastructure and support services businesses in the UK.

Ian Henderson has over 30 years of executive experience within Financial Services in the UK, having worked in senior positions at RBS, Barclays and Shawbrook Bank during his career.

Ian was the CEO at Shawbrook Bank where he accelerated the integration of the Singer and Friedlander asset finance business and led the due diligence on the acquisition of Centric Commercial Finance.

His last executive position was as CEO for private bank and SME-focused lender bank Arbuthnot Latham.

Ian, who joins GB Bank as Investor Director, is the current Chair of the Risk Committee at challenger bank Metro.

Stephen Lancaster, Co-Founder and CEO of GB Bank, said: “These appointments represent a real step-change in GB Bank’s development and complete a formidable boardroom team.

“Mike has been an integral part of the business since he joined us in 2021 and has been a superb interim Chair so we are delighted that he will now be taking on the role permanently. 

“We are also thrilled to be able to bring on board people of the calibre of Andrew and Ian.

“Their experience and know-how at senior levels in the finance, property and development sectors will prove invaluable as GB Bank expands in our North East heartland and across the country.”

GB Bank was granted a full banking licence in August 2022, making it the UK’s newest bank.

It is a bank with a purpose – committed to supporting property developers with financial solutions throughout their development lifecycle.

GB Bank uses regional knowledge and passion to regenerate and build communities, boosting economic growth in regions across the UK that need it most.

Savers will also benefit as the bank will offer a range of fixed-term saving products with highly competitive rates. To find out more visit: https://gbbank.co.uk/  

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We were delighted to be featured in the January issue of the HRDIRECTOR, the independent, thought-led publication for Senior HR Practitioners.

Jenna Baker, Chief People Officer “Understanding the value in bringing to life GB Bank’s strong societal purpose, we set about creating a unifying message for the whole team. We listened to the team and involved everyone in the refreshing of our purpose, vision, mission and values. This has been invaluable in making sure these are authentic to who we are.”

GB Bank has an incredibly special and unique culture, read the full article to glimpse into how it has been created and how it will grow and evolve with us.

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“I want to leave a long term legacy and the bank to have a real impact”, says Rob Lankey, newly-appointed Chief Commercial Officer at GB Bank, in an exclusive interview with the Yorkshire Post. The banking industry veteran says that providing lending for development on disused former industrial land could help to unlock economic growth in the North of England. In his new role at the UK’s newest fully authorised bank, Rob talks about the passion he and his colleagues have for supporting the regions most in need of investment, providing funding opportunities for SMEs developers and investors. This is particularly the case in the North, where GB Bank is rapidly expanding its reach with its lending and savings products, which Rob says are aimed at having a ”special positive impact on communities.”

You can read the full article here…

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MIDDLESBROUGH-based GB Bank has recruited a new Chief Commercial Officer as it ramps up operations following the grant of its full UK banking licence in August.

Veteran industry figure Rob Lankey joins GB Bank – the UK’s newest fully authorised bank – after more than 30 years in the financial services sector.

Rob has worked in a wide range of organisations in the specialist lending and banking industry and has launched, built and grown a number of short and long-term lending businesses. 

He was one of the four start-up members of Aldermore Bank plc, held senior positions at Shawbrook Bank and Amicus Finance plc and was also the CEO of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB). 

Earlier in his career, at age 28, Rob was the youngest ever Executive Manager at the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society. 

Rob joins GB Bank from specialist property finance company Chordis Capital along with three key members of his team: Assistant Relationship Manager Jacqueline Prentice, Relationship Manager John Pointer and Underwriter Jeveria Tazim.

As part of the move, Rob will be accelerating the Bank’s entry into residential and commercial bridging loans as well as commercial and buy to let mortgages. These steps will enable GB Bank to support a variety of customers with solutions for property-related finance.

Rob Lankey said: “GB Bank represents something really new in the financial services sector – a bank which is focused on lending to SME developers and property investors throughout the property lifecycle, offering innovative finance solutions and truly investing in helping to build local communities.

“Their ethos chimes in with so much of my thinking and experience in the industry so it’s the perfect match.

“I’m really looking forward to contributing to GB Bank’s growth as it embarks on ambitious plans to bring positive impact to communities in areas that need it most.”

The announcement is the latest in a wave of new hires at GB Bank. As well as Rob and his team, GB Bank has recently taken on an additional four members of staff: Financial Crime Manager Graham Goodwin, Head of Enterprise Risk Janie Robertshaw, Credit Risk Manager Matt Smith and Operational Risk Manager Patrick Keelty. 

Stephen Lancaster, CEO of GB Bank said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Rob and his team to GB Bank.  They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in property finance which will support our accelerated growth plans. 

“We’re committed to regenerating communities across the UK and bringing jobs to the region is fundamental to this.  With eight new appointments in three weeks, this really is the perfect start!”

GB Bank was granted a full banking licence in August of this year, making it the UK’s newest bank.

It is a bank with a purpose – committed to supporting property developers with financial solutions throughout their development lifecycle.

GB Bank uses regional knowledge and passion to regenerate and build communities, boosting economic growth in regions across the UK that need it most.

Savers will also benefit as the bank will offer a range of fixed-term saving products with competitive rates. To find out more visit: https://gbbank.co.uk/  

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