Challenger Bank focused on British businesses reaches profitability in less than four years
Redwood Bank has announced that it has become one of the fastest challenger banks to reach profitability in a move to signal its clear establishment as a leading savings and lending provider for British businesses.
The Bank, headquartered in Hertfordshire and with a regional office in Warrington, has now achieved monthly profitability after attracting more than 5,000 customers. It has lent more than £400m supporting British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and attracted deposits of over £400m.
Redwood opened in August 2017 after being ‘born in the cloud’ and achieving one of the fastest ‘licence-to-launches’ in UK banking history. Having started with a team of 12, the Bank now employs more than 100 employees.
Gary Wilkinson, CEO and co-founder of Redwood Bank, said adopting a prudent and controlled approach in managing growth, having a strong focus on customer service, broker engagement, and hiring exceptional industry talent, were the key reasons behind the success.
He said: “For far too long there has been limited choice for British businesses when it comes to banking. That has changed with the arrival of new challenger banks, which can provide a more nimble and dynamic service, with tailored solutions. We are proud to be different and proud to provide a better quality of service to our customers.
“Many traditional banks are hampered by cumbersome lending practices and legacy IT systems. However, Redwood Bank is perfectly positioned to help British SMEs take advantage of commercial and residential property opportunities by offering a highly tailored lending service for customers and brokers alike, built around a team of very experienced regional managers and efficient, nimble, customer-led processes.
“The Bank has navigated successfully the unprecedented challenges that Covid-19 has caused, is currently performing better than was budgeted, year to date, and we anticipate that we will make a profit for the financial year ending 31 December 2021. In response to the pandemic, like other lenders, the Bank created a large impairment provision during 2020 against future potential credit losses, as a prudent and responsible approach. Without this, it would have achieved profitability in 2020. It has reached this milestone because we were able to continue to offer vital lending support to British SMEs during the lockdown, when many other lenders retrenched.”
Meanwhile, the Bank has bolstered its board-level expertise and experience to support its next phase of growth by announcing the appointment of Starling Bank’s founding director Mark Winlow as chairman. He is an experienced non-executive and chair and brings a wealth of experience in banking and insurance, including chairman at Ageas and Personal Group and Tesco Underwriting as a non-executive director.
On his appointment, Mark said: “I am delighted to join Redwood Bank as it continues to grow and support the very best of Britain’s SMEs. It’s clear that the strategy behind achieving profitability has been based on having a clear vision, together with thorough planning. This will continue, as will our measured growth and a hands-on, traditionally tailored approach to customer service. Redwood has quietly achieved what many of its peers are yet to do.”
This follows other recent board appointments of Jerry Loy, as non-executive director and chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee, Robert Endersby, as non-executive director and chair of the Risk Committee, and a new appointment of Maria Darby-Walker, as non-executive director and intended chair of the Remuneration Committee, along with John Lowe who has also joined as a non-executive director. All bring extensive board director experience of financial institutions and financial regulation.