Stephen Lancaster has been appointed CEO of GB Bank, the purpose-driven specialist bank committed to boosting economic growth and prosperity by providing property development finance in underserved regions of the UK.

A co-founder of the bank, Stephen has played an integral role in establishing GB Bank and its unique cloud-native banking eco-system, which provides a seamless and secure customer experience.

Stephen is the former CEO of Cascade and led the build of its cloud native platform. He has over 30 years’ multi-industry and cross sector experience with particular expertise in FinTech. His core strengths lie in building start ups, business strategy, technology and programme delivery.

The co-author of GB Bank’s regulatory business plan, Stephen’s commercial background complements the banking experience in the Executive Team and Board, which is chaired by Monzo and Starling founder Paul Rippon. His excellent track record in leading and managing business change, as well as in driving business and team performance has been clearly visible with the significant progress GB Bank has made through mobilisation as the bank moves closer to launch.

His appointment has now been formally confirmed by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) with consent from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Developed with co-founders Stephen Black and Emma Black, GB Bank utilises regional knowledge and passion to support, regenerate and build communities in areas which need it most. Delivering bespoke lending products to SMEs and property developers, the bank will offer incentives for sustainable and zero carbon developments and rewards for developers creating local employment opportunities putting GB Bank at the heart of the UK’s property development eco-system.

In the new role, Stephen takes responsibility for the strategic leadership and direction of GB Bank and is focused on the bank’s mobilisation and fundraising, alongside people, financial and risk management.

GB Bank is currently authorised with restrictions (AWR) by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.  This means the bank is not open to trade but is in a period of mobilisation. Stephen and his team are working hard with the regulators to get everything ready to start operating in Q3 when the bank will accept its first customer savings and begin lending for residential and commercial property developments.

Stephen Lancaster, GB Bank’s CEO, said: “Having helped develop the concept for GB Bank and worked with the fantastic team here throughout, it’s a privilege to formally take up the position of CEO to make our vision a reality.

“We are steadfastly committed to delivering on our purpose which is to take property development finance to where it’s needed most and it’s great to see this goal gathering traction as we move ever closer to being fully operational.”

Paul Rippon, GBB’s Non-Executive Chairman, said: “Steve is a visionary, dedicated and well-respected member of the team with a proven track record and whose appointment has been welcomed by us all for the strong leadership, consistency, and values he brings.

“He is passionate about making a tangible difference in the communities we serve and boosting house building and construction at a time where there is a significant undersupply. This really filters down to every member of the team and under his leadership I am confident we will make a huge and positive impact.”

Category Business, Investment, News

The principles of human-centred design might not be what people immediately associate with high street banks, but challenger GB Bank is doing things differently. This new specialist bank is dedicated to regenerating communities across the UK by providing much needed property development finance with incentives for sustainable and zero carbon developments. GB Bank is focussed on building communities and the management team is focused on building its own team community by making its workplace the best its people have ever experienced. Here Chief People Officer Jenna Baker talks about the bank’s progressive journey and its approach to become one of the most flexible employers in the financial sector.

“From day one we have been focused on our culture, creating an authentic people orientated organisation. This is something which I believe sets us apart as a start-up because many organisations only consider this stage when they start to grow. Our people value proposition has been an important part of the business strategy from the start. “Starting out during a pandemic has made this more challenging, adapting to remote working and the fast growth of our team. However, we recognised immediately the increased need to cement our mission, vision, and values. The extra work required to achieve this has been invaluable. This was the first step on the journey to adopting human- centred design; from then on we moved to creating our policies with our people, not for them. It has been a game changer.

“Take flexibility, which is one of the things we have always embraced and is something our team thrives on. Everyone owns their own time, and it can be quite hard sometimes for new starters to adapt to the fact we don’t work a typical 9-5 day. “Everyone, including our senior management team, is responsible for managing how they get the job done to suit their life. We believe this is one of the reasons why everyone at GB Bank feels so passionate about their work. We live and breathe this flexible working environment everyday, so we know how well this works, but we were delighted when it was independently verified by Flexa100’s list of the world’s most flexible companies! GB Bank is #69 in the list and is the only UK bank to have received this recognition from Flexa – something we are extremely proud of.

“Our recent culture survey backs this up and is an authentic and powerful indicator of how our people feel about working for GB Bank. 97% of our people have said they would recommend GB Bank as a great place to work and believe the leaders (Executive Committee) at GB Bank demonstrate that people are important to the company’s success “Our culture is unique and it’s what makes us special. However, we are not resting on our laurels – we are aware it can be hard to maintain this unique culture as we grow, and we are growing at a rapid rate! To help us we have created a ‘Culture Activist’ initiative. Our Culture Activists are colleagues who are accessible to all of the team and listen closely to their opinions and needs. We want our values to be authentic and for every person to understand they play an important part of how we evolve to being the best place to work. “Culture Activists support all people and receive vital feedback on what is and isn’t working. They also generate great ideas – one of the most recent is welcome e-mail. This includes all the smiling faces of our team with tailored welcome messages to make our new joiners feel part of the GB Bank family. We also use a fantastic on-boarding system called HiBob. It’s the little things in there that really make the difference to a new starter, for example there is a specific area that answers all the questions that people often would like to ask but deem a bit ‘silly’. Having these answered up front can help give peace of mind and makes people immediately feel at home and part of the team.

“We’re at such an exciting part of our journey. We recently secured our provisional banking licence and our aim is to launch preferential rates for sustainable and zero carbon developments and developers. Our prestigious new offices have also now opened and reflect our culture perfectly with a fresh design that has created an office space into a creative, agile, and empowering environment to work.

“Our people will always be the foundation of our success and our current recruitment drive is focused on attracting more brilliant talent who will also help us achieve our dream of being of the best team-designed places to work in the UK.”

“We know that a big part of a person’s decision to join, or stay with, a company comes down to its culture and ethos and our journey and approach shows how passionate we are to be the best and most flexible place to work.”

Category Investment, News