Redwood Bank hails ‘resilience of British business’ as first profit revealed

WARRINGTON-based Redwood Bank says it has reaped the rewards of continuing to lend to British businesses throughout the pandemic by reporting its first profit.

When other lenders pressed pause on plans to support businesses in the wake of COVID-19, Redwood Bank continued to invest in local companies as it looked to help ‘power up the North’.

Since its inception in 2017, the Bank has loaned more than £140 million to people and properties based in Warrington and the North West, representing approximately 28 per cent of Redwood Bank’s lending. This compares to an industry average of 10 percent – underlining the Bank’s commitment to its roots.

Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, 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 to deliver vital funding to the area, is something we are extremely passionate about.

The fact that we made our first profit, in 2021, is testament to the robustness of our business model. We reached this milestone because we continued to offer vital lending support to British businesses during the various COVID-19 lockdowns, when many other lenders retrenched. We are proud to have played our part in bolstering the resilience of British business.”

Due to the demand in the region, Redwood is moving to bigger offices within the Base in Dallam Lane, Warrington, where up to 30 staff will be based.

The specialist lender, renowned for having its finger on the pulse of SME funding requirements, recorded a pre-tax operating profit of £2.2 million in the year to December 31, 2021 (2020: Loss £1.7m), while its loan book increased by 14 per cent to £370m (2020: £324m) and deposits rose by 15 per cent to £438m (2020: £380m).

The results illustrate the resilience of Redwood Bank’s business model at one of the most challenging times for UK businesses, with shareholders investing a further £9.9m of Tier 1 capital in the Bank during the year, increasing the total invested to £47.9m.

The Bank recently increased its maximum Loan to Value (LTV)s on mortgages up to 70 per cent for commercial loans and to 75 per cent for residential loans. These changes are part of the Bank’s plans and commitment to facilitate greater lending options and to drive investment into and by SMEs.

Mr Wilkinson said: “We are an established specialist bank focused on simple commercial property loans and business savings accounts, offering secured mortgages to professional landlords, and business owner-occupiers. We are experts in our chosen markets and use that expertise to deliver superior results for our customers and investors.

Redwood Bank plugs a gap in the market where mainstream banks prefer not to lend. We dare to be different, as we truly understand the challenges of British businesses, responding to their concerns and supporting their need for flexibility and resilience in the face of a crisis.”

Warrington Borough Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Cathy Mitchell, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic presented a lot of challenges to many lenders who ultimately decided to pause, but Redwood Bank continued to invest in local companies as it looked to help support Warrington and the wider region.

“The bank continues to perform highly despite the difficult current market conditions and it has done exceptionally well to produce a profit in its fourth year of trading.

“What is more important however, and what as a council our policy for the bank focuses on, is that since its inception it has helped to provide vital support to SMEs in Warrington and beyond, and we’re pleased to see that more than £140 million worth of loans have been made to businesses in Warrington and the North West.”

Redwood Bank was ‘born in the cloud’ in 2017, with its forward-thinking infrastructure helping it achieve one of the fastest ‘licence-to-launches’ in UK banking history. Having started with a team of 12, the Bank now employs more than 125 employees.

Redwood Bank

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