OakNorth Bank sees exceptional growth in 2021 with pre-tax profits up by 73% to £134.5mn

OakNorth Bank has today published its 2021 Annual Report, revealing a 73% increase in pre-tax profits to £134.5 million[1] (up from £77.6 million in 2020), and a 60% increase in new lending to £1.8 billion (up from £1.1 billion in 2020). By delivering this growth, OakNorth Bank deepened its support for UK businesses, powered by its data-driven approach.

Key financial highlights include:

  • Delivering an exceptional experience for customers helped drive £1.8 billion in new lending, resulting in total facilities growing by 20% to £4.2 billion (2020: £3.5 billion)
  • Cost to income / efficiency ratio continued to improve to 26% (2020: 29%), driven by scale and product investments
  • 30.1% Return on Required Equity (2020: 19.3%)
  • Low cost of customer acquisition with c.80% of new lending coming via referrals, and 40% repeat borrowers
  • As a result of its strong profitability, the Bank’s capital position (CET1 ratio) strengthened to 20.5% (2020: 19.9%) without any additional capital raisings and while delivering a 20% growth in total facilities

Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth Bank, said: “2021 marked a significant period of growth for our business, during which we surpassed the £100 million milestone in net income after just six years of operation. We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum and supporting the change-makers, productivity-drivers, job-creators, and innovators who are helping fuel the economic recovery, even as uncertainty lingers. We have come an incredibly long way in a short amount of time, and are really excited about what the future holds for our customers as we continue on our mission to empower the Missing Middle.”

Since its launch in September 2015, OakNorth Bank has lent over £7 billion to some of the fastest growing and most successful businesses across the UK, directly helping with the creation of more than 31,600 new jobs and over 22,300 new homes – the majority of which are affordable and social housing. In 2021, OakNorth Bank lent £1.8 billion, which directly supported the creation of 6,600 new homes and 9,000 new jobs. The bank’s leading customer proposition has resulted in c.80% of new lending coming directly through referrals, creating a flywheel effect with minimal marketing spend.

The ON Credit Intelligence Suite[2] provides OakNorth Bank with a data-rich understanding of each business it lends to and the ability to develop a forward-looking view of their performance, identifying potential headwinds early on. This is evidenced in the Bank’s credit track record to date. Since inception over six years ago, the Bank has had twelve cases in default, six of which have been resolved with 100 percent recovery. The total expected credit loss provision on the remaining six is £13.6 million – equating to an average annual cost of risk of 0.07%[3] compared to an average of 0.32% for UK banks[4].

Having offset its Scope 1 and 2 emissions to be net zero since 2019 and setting a target to achieve net zero by 2035 for all its emissions, OakNorth Bank is committed to supporting businesses to make the necessary changes and investments in their models and operations to reduce their carbon footprints. OakNorth Bank is also one of the first banks globally to have stress tested the possible impact of climate risks on its loan book, enabled by the ON Climate Impact Framework (part of the OakNorth Credit Intelligence Suite). The details of this analysis are available in the annual report and concluded that OakNorth Bank’s loan book has minimal exposure with regards to climate risk.



About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015, OakNorth Bank helps the UK’s most ambitious businesses access the fast, flexible finance (loans of £250k up to tens of millions) they need to scale, while also helping savers make their money go further.

To date, the bank has lent several billion pounds to businesses across the UK and across a wide range of sectors, achieving performance metrics that place it amongst the top 1% of commercial banks globally. Its loans have directly contributed to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, as well as tens of thousands of new homes – the majority of which are affordable and social housing. Through delighting customers – 80% of OakNorth Bank’s new lending comes from referrals – its growth has been driven by word of mouth.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Visit www.oaknorth.co.uk for more information.

Full 2021 Annual Report can be viewed here.

About OakNorth Credit Intelligence (sister entity)

OakNorth Credit Intelligence is the creator of the ON Credit Intelligence Suite, software that transforms commercial lending by helping banks lend faster, smarter and more to businesses.

Credit Intelligence is a data-driven technology that gives lenders a granular, forward-looking view of a business based on expansive and dynamic data sets and scenarios specific to that business, using automated, continuous analysis of multiple drivers across the business, its peer group, and the wider economy. This provides an independent, consistent, detailed framework offering deep contextual insight that enables rapid underwriting, real-time scenario analysis, and more agile and targeted strategic lending.

Built over five years by an engineering and credit science team of over 250 people, the ON Credit Intelligence Suite is being leveraged by leading banks, including: Capital One, PNC, Fifth Third, SMBC, and OakNorth’s own bank in the UK (OakNorth Bank).


Valentina Kristensen, Director – Growth & Communications – [email protected] / [email protected].uk / +44 757 234 9009 

Nick Cosgrove / Simone Selzer – Brunswick Group

[email protected] / +44 207 404 5959

[1] Includes write-back of ECL provisions of £3.7 million

[2] The commercial lending software developed by OakNorth Bank’s sister entity, OakNorth Credit Intelligence

[3] Annual specific impairment charge divided by average facilities outstanding for each year from 2016- 2021

[4] Source: Bank of England – Quarterly amounts outstanding UK resident banks and building societies sterling and all foreign currency Loans including CDs, CP and bills, but not reverse repos (for write-off aggregates) private non-financial corporations (in sterling millions) not seasonally adjusted 


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