City of London Group (COLG) has recruited former Metro Bank managing director Jason Oakley to build the team for a new property and financial services business.

The group has applied for a banking licence for the business, which will focus on commercial, SME, bridging and development finance.

While in charge of commercial banking and mortgages, Oakley grew Metro’s lending business from from £65m (€73m) to £2.5bn within three years. Before his tenure at Metro, he was head of SMEs at NatWest and RBS.

Oakley to will be aided by Bryce Glover, who comes from a 36-year career in corporate and commercial banking. He was managing director of commercial banking at Alliance & Leicester, and kept the position after the acquisition by Santander. In 2009 he became director for Nationwide’s commercial division, and was subsequently appointed as corporate affairs director in 2014. He is also a non-executive director at Newcastle Building Society.

As part of their agreement with COLG, Oakley and Bryce received £400,000 and £50,000 worth of shares, respectively.

COLG said in a statement: “The political climate continues to be supportive of these new [challenger] banks. There is a strong desire to break the banking oligopoly and this is further strengthened by advances in technology, making a ‘bricks & mortar’ network of branches less significant as a barrier to entry.”

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