Ashman announced in a press release yesterday that authorities in his native Britain had given him the power to lend money.
The Birmingham, England-based company said it wanted to serve small and medium-sized businesses – a market the company values at $111 billion. Approvals, with certain restrictions, came from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Ashman was founded by real estate entrepreneurs Ashkin Mittal and Manhad Narula and will initially target the commercial real estate sector with loans between $123,000 and $6 million.
Ashman is led by James Leach, former chief operating officer of Maple Financial. The company plans to expand into Birmingham, according to today’s announcement.
“Our banking license is an important first step in realizing our ambitions to support SME borrowers and personal savers, with a different approach to lending that offers the service and product range we know SME developers need. “, Leach said in a prepared statement.
Other Ashman executives include Chief Risk Officer Lisa Nowell, who hailed from Monzo; Commercial Director Caroline Luxmore, who came from Aldemore Bank; and chief financial officer Matt Cowan, who has worked at Deutsche Bank, HSBC and RBS. Simon Healy is the chief operating officer.
The license comes at a busy time in online financial services.
Revolut, a digital banking platform based in London but with a global customer base, announced an update to its app yesterday to extend the ease of transferring money to a number of countries.
See also: Revolut launches simplified version of app in five countries
Mastercard yesterday announced more details about its Smart Path Open Banking, which aims to make it easier for banking startups to scale.
Read more: Mastercard launches global Start Path Open Banking initiative
And PYMNTS research released yesterday suggests there’s more to come. A new report says: “Digital and online technologies have steadily increased competition and innovation across industries, a trend that suggests white label banking will continue to grow in popularity.
Read the research: PYMNTS Intelligence: How open banking developments are shaping the future of BaaS