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Challenger Bank continues to drive North West investment

Award-winning bank has pledged to continue to “make a discernible difference” to the North West economy by continuing to invest in the region’s burgeoning business community.

Warrington-based Redwood Bank has become one of the fastest Challenger Banks to reach profitability and puts its success down to a commitment to supporting the businesses closest to them.

In the last year, the Bank has loaned over £30 million to people and properties based in Warrington and the North West. Since launching in 2017, the Bank has loaned a total of £133 million in the area.

Approximately 29 per cent of Redwood’s lending is to the North West, compared to an industry average of 10 per cent – underlining the Bank’s commitment to its roots.

CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, Gary Wilkinson, said: “Where we are from is important to us, we are a part of the community. Giving back to Warrington and the North West and helping strengthen the area is something we are extremely passionate about. We want to continue to make a discernible difference.”

After attracting more than 5,000 customers and lending more than £400m to support British businesses, with deposits of over £400m, Redwood Bank has now achieved monthly profitability.

Redwood Bank was ‘born in the cloud’, with its forward-thinking infrastructure helping it achieve one of the fastest ‘licence-to-launches’ in UK banking history and enabling it to pivot seamlessly to remote working at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having started with a team of 12, the Bank now employs more than 100 employees.

Gary Wilkinson 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.

“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. We have reached this milestone because we were able to continue to offer vital lending support to British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the lockdown, when many other lenders retrenched.

“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.”

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