In our recent webinar, Sam O’Connor, General Manager of Transaction Banking, and Kristjan Kaar, Chief Product Officer, explored the challenges faced by mid-sized, growing businesses in the UK when dealing with traditional banks, and how OakNorth is breaking the mould. They were also joined by Amit Lakhani, VP of Finance at Omaze and an OakNorth customer, who shared his real-world experiences as a finance leader.
The session began with a quick check-in with the audience – which was made up of finance leaders, entrepreneurs, accountants and other key decision makers – that revealed 60% felt as though a ‘lack of tailored products adapted to their business needs’ was their primary challenge when it comes to their banking, closely followed by ‘slow and time-consuming processes to get simple things done’. These pain points also resonated with Amit, who is no stranger to the complexities of dealing with traditional banks.
Amit also touched on the experiences of so many mid-sized businesses in the UK who have come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and the ensuing surge in interest rates still standing. He emphasised how Omaze is focused on a balanced approach to growth and needed a banking partner that understood that.
Kristjan then spoke to the changing landscape of the banking industry with the rise of neobanks. While high-street banks typically don’t take mid-sized businesses seriously, digital-first institutions have transformed customer experiences for smaller business users. Ultimately, this has resulted in a void for mid-sized businesses like Omaze. At OakNorth, we’re working alongside Founders, CFOs, CEOs, and Directors, to build a tailored banking offering for businesses in “the missing middle” void from the ground up that scales with their aspirations.
The webinar also touched on the value of human connection and the importance of having a strong relationship between bank and customer. The majority (60%) of our attendees said that having a dedicated business partner would play a crucial role in their business growth – and we agree. Having a partner you can lean on while you’re figuring out who you are and how you should pitch your business is crucial to fast-tracking growth. But a partnership shouldn’t stop there, mid-sized businesses deserve a holistic banking offering that grows with them, with access to debt financing, current accounts and savings vault, cards, payments and more, all in the one place. This sentiment aligns with our vision of offering digital-first solutions backed by strong relationships, simplifying complex financial processes for ambitious businesses.
“At Omaze, we share a startup mindset with OakNorth, and value their proactive approach to making things happen for their customers. It’s not just a banking relationship; OakNorth is a solutions-focused partner we can trust. Being an early adopter allows us to actively shape the future of OakNorth’s business banking offering, and we’re excited to be part of this collaborative journey.” – Amit Lakhani, VP of Finance at Omaze
Looking ahead, Kristjan anticipates consolidation in the fintech industry and a shift toward businesses demanding better experiences from their banks. But, as digital-first solutions continue to evolve, maintaining the relationship aspect will become the challenge and is one we aim to solve at OakNorth.
It’s clear to us that everyday banking for most mid-sized business is a necessary evil, and high-street banks aren’t the solution. So, for entrepreneurs who want their bank to put growth at the top of the agenda, check out our business banking solution. We’re helping business leaders beat everyday banking blues by building the things they actually need and would love for you to join us on this journey.
Thank you to Amit Lakhani, VP of Finance at Omaze, Kristjan Kaar, Chief Product Officer and Sam O’Connor, General Manager of Transaction Banking for an insightful discussion.