New challenger set to serve SME developers appoints CEO

Ahead of its official launch later this year, new challenger GBB has recruited Sue Hayes (pictured above) as its CEO, subject to regulatory approval.


The Middlesbrough-based lender will serve SME property developers in key underserved UK regions, with a focus on regional developers, initially in the North East.

It is currently in the process of gaining a banking licence, having secured £20m of investment from the Teesside Pension Fund (TCF) in 2020.

Upon launch, it will offer property development loans of between £1m and £5m, with 90% of lending supporting regional property developers, small- and medium-sized businesses, and construction companies. 

It aims to lend £3bn over five years, building a £1bn-plus balance sheet. 

GBB’s goal is to fund almost 20,000 homes and several million square feet of office space, supporting the creation of over 100,000 jobs. 

It is expected to launch in the second half of 2021, once it receives its banking licence.

Sue will lead GBB through the regulatory process of becoming a bank.

She brings a wealth of financial services and fintech experience, having spent more than three decades in banking.

Prior to GBB, Sue led the retail finance business at Aldermore.

She also held executive positions at Barclays Bank, where she led business banking; HBOS; and Santander.

“Accessing finance still remains a challenge for many developers, and it’s my ambition to make that a much easier, more straightforward process,” said Sue.

“GBB’s purpose goes beyond lending money and that’s why I joined. 

“Our team is passionate about supporting property developers in areas that have been forgotten about. 

“We want to drive and support the movement to level up the North, get Britain building again, create more homes and spaces, and drive economic prosperity for all.

“I am delighted to join an incredibly passionate, talented and committed team who are all united by our purpose and I’m very much looking forward to the exciting journey ahead.”

Paul Rippon, non-executive chairman at GBB, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Sue as CEO at GBB. 

“As a well-respected leader in financial services and a staunch customer champion, I could not be more thrilled to have her lead GBB as we set our sights on launching later this year. 

“Her energy, passion and experience mean we will supercharge our success and I know GBB is going to have a real impact under her leadership.”

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