A start-up founded in 2017 by Ashkin Mittal and Manhad Narula, Ashman is now authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated to trade with restrictions.
The company said it planned to focus at first on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which it termed a £90bn market opportunity, on deals from £100,000 to £5m in the commercial real estate sector. It planned to provide loans for what it considered to be “conscientious businesses and simple savings for conscious consumers”.
Ashman is led by chief executive James Leach, the former global chief operating officer of Maple Financial. Among his senior team is the chief risk officer, Lisa Nowell, formerly with the digital bank Monzo; the chief commercial officer, Caroline Luxmore, who was with Aldermore Bank for a decade; and Matt Cowan, chief financial officer, who has worked at Deutsche Bank, HSBC and RBS. The chief operating officer is Simon Healy, previously one of the founding members of Aldermore.
“Our banking licence is an important first step in realising our ambitions to support SME borrowers and personal savers alike”, Leach said, “with a different approach to lending that delivers the service and range of products we know SME developers need.”