• Hampshire Trust Bank plans new office in Leeds to open in H1 2018
  • Annual study finds SMEs in Leeds and Greater Manchester will see fastest growth

Hampshire Trust Bank, the specialist challenger bank, will open a new office in Leeds in the first half of 2018, in response to the surge in growth from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) based in the Northern Powerhouse.

The bank has already made three key appointments in the North to support its Property Finance team. The team is led by Neil Leitch, Regional Director (North), and supported by the wider bank. Further to Neil, who is based in Consett, County Durham, and is responsible for covering the North East, David Whitehouse, who is based in Doncaster, and Paul Fellowes, who is based in Wilmslow, have both been appointed as Regional Lending Managers (North) and are responsible for covering Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West respectively. Hampshire Trust Bank is witnessing strong growth from SME housebuilders in the North of England as more people and businesses choose to be based outside of the Capital.

The bank’s business strategy reflects its annual SME Growth Watch research, conducted in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The new study identifies SMEs in the top 10 UK cities are forecast to contribute £241bn1 to the economy by 2025. Firms in Leeds and Greater Manchester are set to boost their contribution the most, with 26% growth expected in both cities in the 2016 – 2025 period. Bristol follows closely behind, predicted to increase its SME contribution by almost a quarter (23%).

Mark Sismey-Durrant, Chief Executive at Hampshire Trust Bank, said: “SMEs are forecast to grow their economic contribution significantly over the longer-term, which serves as a critical reminder of the important role these businesses play in ensuring the success of the UK. The strength of firms based in the North is a trend we intend to be on the ground to support. SME housebuilders need to work with a bank that employs experts with specialist knowledge of specific locations and markets and that’s what our Northern team will provide.

“We are committed to serving SMEs in the sectors in which we operate. We call on the Government to keep the spotlight on smaller companies by creating conditions which will support their continued growth, as our research demonstrates how much we need these companies to develop and achieve their ambitions.”