The UK has the most extreme regional inequalities in the OECD and one of the most centralised governance and financial systems all controlled from London.
How can the finance and banking world help level the playing field and shift all focus and control away from London? When it comes to finance and banking - why are they so important to levelling up? What has gone wrong with local access to finance? And what is needed to resolve this problem?
Join Ron Emerson, Chairman of Bank North, & Professor Colin Mayer, Lead Researcher on the Oxford Martin Initiative on Regional Levelling-up, as they discuss the above and in what ways does Bank North’s business model address these needs?
Chairman, Bank North
Ron Emerson is currently Chairman of Bank North, a new fintech challenger bank aimed at serving SME’s in the UK. It is the first truly regional bank to be established in the UK for many years, with locally based units delivering loan approvals up to ten times faster than the traditional banks, thus reversing the centralisation of decision making that has been the trend in the major banks. He was the founding chairman of the UK government’s new economic development bank, The British Business Bank which was established to improve access to finance for UK SME sector.
He has spent most of his career in banking, principally with Bank of America and Standard Chartered Bank, where he was Global Head of Wholesale Banking. Subsequently he pursued a plural career with has included a period as a Senior Advisor to the Bank of England, and a variety of non executive roles across a broad range of industries. He spent 20 years, part time, as an Associate Fellow at The Said Business School, University of Oxford where he designed and delivered programmes on leadership and strategic change for global organisations.
Professor Colin Mayer
Lead Researcher, Oxford Martin Initiative on Regional Levelling-up
Colin Mayer is Emeritus Professor at the Saïd Business School & Visiting Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the European Corporate Governance Institute, a Professorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford and St Anne’s College, Oxford.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Playhouse, and he was a member of the UK Government Natural Capital Committee, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and the International Advisory Board of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. He was chairman of Oxera Ltd. between 1986 and 2010 and a director of the energy modelling company, Aurora Energy Research Ltd between 2013 and 2020. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours. He leads the British Academy enquiry into “the Future of the Corporation” and his most recent book Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good is published by Oxford University Press.