By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 15 June 2022
The first new banking licence to be granted in 2022.
An upstart neobank aiming to lend to sustainable property developers has been granted the first new banking licence of 2022.
Ashman Finance, which was founded by real estate entrepreneurs Ashkin Mittal and Manhad Narula in 2017, plans to vet borrowers against criteria including their impact on energy, water, materials, waste, health and wellbeing.
The plan is for Ashman to offer preferential rates to SME property developers who can demonstrate the strongest environmental and sustainability standards.
CEO James Leach said the company was “delighted to have received regulatory approval” ahead of Ashman’s plan to launch its first lending products towards the end of 2022.
“Our banking licence is an important first step in realising our ambitions to support SME borrowers and personal savers alike, with a different approach to lending that places sustainability at the very core,” he added.
“We are building a bank that will sustainably finance the future by providing finance and guidance to what we believe remains a radically underserved market.”
Once Ashman has launched its first products, it Leach said the plan is then to introduce a platform with “support, knowledge and access to skills” to help its borrowers improve on their sustainability.
Not everyone is having such an easy time acquiring a banking licence, however.