CEO departs City of London Group challenger bank

CEO departs City of London Group challenger bank

The chief executive of Recognise Bank, a lender owned by City of London Group which landed its full banking licence in September, has announced his departure.

Jason Oakley, a former blue chip banking executive and current owner of a financial advice firm, co-founded Recognise Bank back in March 2017.

In his place, Bryce Glover has been appointed interim CEO with immediate effect while the bank’s board begins the process of selecting a new boss.

Recognise Bank is targeting the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market. Since the Financial Conduct Authority upgraded the bank’s status from a restricted to fully licensed entity, the firm has been able to launch a handful of products in the savings and lending markets - including a buy-to-let mortgage for landlords with at least four properties.

Upon his departure, Oakley said today (March 15): “It has been a privilege to lead Recognise Bank over the last five years and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved, creating a new kind of bank for the UK’s SMEs and proving that our digitally-enabled relationship banking model can be a success.

“Having achieved all of this, now is the time to hand the baton over to a new CEO who will lead Recognise Bank into its next phase.”

Oakley previously spent 18 years at Royal Bank of Scotland’s business arm, where he was head of business banking for both RBS and Natwest for the majority of his career.

He also spent three years managing commercial banking at Metro Bank.

Alongside his banking career, Oakley set up a whole-of-market advice firm called Acorn to Oats Financial Services, which advises on pensions, protection and mortgages.

Philip Jenks, chairperson of City of London Group, thanked Oakely on behalf of Recognise Bank’s board for being “the driving force” for the challenger bank “from day one”.

“We have already built a successful new bank for the UK's SMEs,” said Jenks.

The bank has also announced the launch of its ‘Innovation Hub’, which it intends to use to develop new products and services, create new revenue streams, and help deliver cost efficiencies.

“The acceleration of Recognise Bank's digital programme will ensure the bank remains strong as we enter the next exciting chapter, using our technology and innovation to develop new opportunities,” said Jenks.

City of London Group posted a pre-tax loss of £5.6mn in the six months to September 2021, up from a £2.8mn loss in the previous six month period. In its results, published at the end of last year, the challenger bank owner said this loss was “in line with its business plan”.