UK-based Recognise Bank has raised £14m in the latest round of funding, which includes £10m investment by the existing shareholder and entrepreneur Ruth Parasol.

The SME-focused lender noted that the latest round clears the way for the removal of deposit restrictions by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Once the restrictions are removed, Recognise Bank will be able to offer a wide range of services to business and personal customers.

Recognise Bank plans to launch savings accounts for personal and business customers, which will allow it to increase its business lending to SMEs.

It currently offers unregulated funding options for SMEs, including commercial mortgages, bridging loans, working capital loans and specialist professional practice loans for architects and solicitors, healthcare sectors.

The lender claims to have received £750m in lending enquiries since November 2020 when it received its authorisation with restriction and aims to provide £1.3bn in lending to over 5,000 SMEs over the next five years.

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Founded in 2018, the lender is creating a network of regional hubs with relationship managers who will work directly with customers.

The bank leverages nCino Bank Operating System and the Mambu SaaS cloud banking platform to streamline its lending operations.

Parasol added: “Recognise is the right bank, with the right team, to change SME business banking in the UK. Recognise combines personal service with the cutting-edge digital banking technology to increase speed and service to its customers.”

Recognise CEO Jason Oakley said: “We set out on a mission to help the UK’s growing small and medium-sized businesses, who need expert support more now than ever before. This successful capital raise is proof that we are on the right trajectory.”