Yorkshire Bank commits £100m in lending to West Midland’s SMEs as part of Birmingham expansion
Yorkshire Bank has announced plans to expand into the West Midlands as it opens a next generation B store in Birmingham city centre.
The new store will showcase the Bank’s digital innovations and commit £100m a year in lending to SMEs in the region.
Yorkshire Bank, which is owned by CYBG PLC alongside Clydesdale Bank, launched its digital banking service, B, in 2016.
B is built around a smart current account and linked deposit account app designed to help customers manage their money. The B store on Birmingham’s New Street will be a digital showcase for B.
Innovations designed and tested in Studio B will be showcased for customers in the new B store, offering an insight into the sorts of technologies and services that could be available to bank customers in the future.
This includes new voice activation technology being developed by the Bank using Amazon’s Echo device.
Within the B store, Yorkshire Bank will also be opening a business banking centre for its Yorkshire Bank business customers. This will house the business team, as well as facilities for customer use, including meeting rooms, conference facilities and event space.
David Duffy, CEO at CYBG, said: “Our core strategy is to support our customers’ ambitions and sustainably grow the business both in the North of England and Scotland, as well as selectively on a national basis. The launch of our next generation B store in Birmingham is a hugely exciting milestone on this journey.
“B continues to go from strength to strength - we now have over 100,000 B customers and our new store provides an exciting and inspiring new location to let customers experience the digital innovations we are delivering right across our business.
“It also enables us to increase our SME banking presence in one of the UK’s most vibrant regional economies.”
Speaking about selecting Birmingham as the new choice for CYBG’s expansion, David explained: “Expanding into Birmingham is a natural extension of our existing business – it’s a market that is growing significantly.
“The number of businesses setting up in the city is twice the national average, it’s home to a wealth of skills across both manufacturing and services sector, and the tech and creative industries are emerging as a hub for top new talent. Not to mention the fact that Birmingham has been named the most investable city in the UK for the past two years.”
Yorkshire Bank’s new Business Banking Centre will be the home for the Bank’s Commercial and Corporate & Structured Finance teams.
The centre will be led by Paul Reeves, who has been appointed as head of customer banking in Birmingham. Paul will work alongside Steve Pamely, heading up Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks Corporate & Structured Finance, and Gareth Jones, running the Bank’s commercial banking team.
Paul Reeves, head of customer banking in Birmingham, added: “We recognise the important role local businesses have in forming the backbone of the UK economy. We have been acting as a regional economic champion for over 175 years and we have a history of supporting businesses at critical moments in their growth and the funding pledge we made earlier this year reinforces our commitment to the region.
“The initial feedback from businesses and the local community has been extremely encouraging – everyone is pleased to see us opening in such a prime location and we believe our enhanced range of services and facilities are a great addition to the city.”
Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, commented: “SMEs are vital to fuelling the West Midland’s economy and we need to be working with businesses to ensure they have access to the right support and finance at the right times.
“I’m delighted that CYBG has made supporting SME’s in the region a strategic priority and has committed to make at least £100m of lending available to business in the Midlands.
“The opening of their flagship branch in the middle of Birmingham is not only a vote of confidence for the West Midland’s economy, but it will also provide the services businesses need in order to succeed.”