Challenger business bank backed by Tory donor is now up and running

William Turvill
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Redwood was founded by chief exec Gary Wilkinson (left) and Jonathan Rowland (right) (Source: Redwood Bank)

A challenger bank backed by a Conservative party donor is today open for business.

Redwood Bank, a small business lender, said today that it had completed its “mobilisation” phase after securing its initial banking licence earlier in the year in April.

The lender is owned by Redwood Financial Partners (RFP), which is controlled by Tory donor David Rowland and his son Jonathan. Warrington Borough Council also owns a 33 per cent stake in RFP.

The bank, which has a 100 per cent cloud-based infrastructure, offers mortgages for business owners, as well as for commercial and residential property owners.

Redwood Bank is headquartered in Letchworth and it will initially focus on Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, as well as Warrington, where it has opened a regional office.

Co-founder and chief executive Gary Wilkinson said:

We are delighted to be open for business so soon following the issuing of our initial banking licence. We aim to offer a real alternative for small and medium sized organisations, providing them with simple transparent loans and savings accounts, great service and a promise that our money is being invested into British businesses and our local communities.

“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.”

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