UK challenger Redwood Bank launches
Redwood Bank, a new UK-based SME challenger, has launched four months after securing its banking licence.
The bank is now offering secured SME mortgages for business owners, as well as for “experienced” commercial and residential property investors. It has also launched a business deposit account.
As reported in April, Redwood entered its mobilisation phase and said it expected to launch to customers later in 2017. This followed on from October 2016, when Acorn Financial Partners (AFP) submitted a banking licence application to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). On authorisation, AFP became Redwood Bank.
Like almost every other new fintech business, Gary Wilkinson, co-founder and chief executive of Redwood Bank, has a dig at the big players: “As many traditional banks are hampered by poor lending practices from their past and their legacy systems, we are perfectly positioned to help British SMEs take advantage of property opportunities by offering a highly-tailored service for clients that is built around our very experienced regional managers.”
The bank is wholly-owned by Redwood Financial Partners, in which Warrington Borough Council has a 33% stake. (Warrington is a town located between Liverpool and Manchester.) As part of this, the council’s executive board has approved an investment of £30 million in Redwood as part of the bank’s capital funding.
Redwood is headquartered in Letchworth (a town in Hertfordshire) and its main focus will initially be in that county – and Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Warrington, where Redwood has also opened a Warrington and North West regional office.
With so many new entrants trying to muscle into the UK banking sector, Banking Technology has put together a comprehensive list of the known challengers to date and the technology they are using.
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