Redwood Bank opens for business

Cllr Russ Bowden, Warrington Borough Council’s deputy leader and executive board member for corporate finance, said: “We are gaining a fantastic reputation for our innovative financial practices, which are supporting the growth of the local economy and helping us protect council services”.

He said: “Yorkshire is an important region for Redwood Bank”.

Redwood Bank has opened its doors with secured SME mortgages for business owners as well as experienced commercial and residential property investors.

Redwood is owned by Redwood Financial Partners, a company controlled by Jonathan and David Rowland, in which Warrington Borough Council has a 33% stake.

Redwood, which secured a banking licence four months ago, claims to be the first business bank to operate 100% on cloud-based infrastructure.

The launch of Redwood Bank comes at the same time as Blend, a startup created to make the online mortgage process easier, has secured a $100m investment from Silicon Valley investor Greylock, taking its total funding to £160m and its market valuation to $500m. It has also launched a competitive business deposit account.

The bank opening is an example of the growing momentiume behind so-called proptech as the property market and mortgage sector becomes the latest to be targeted by tech-led startups and challenger institutions.

Gary Wilkinson will oversee the day-to-day running of the bank, and will be supported by an experienced management team.

Redwood is backed by David Rowland, a Conservative party donor, and his son Jonathan.

Buckley has held various senior roles in financial services companies including Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley Bank International and Goldman Sachs and is now independent non-executive director and audit committee chairman for CIBC World Markets.

It will lend between £50,000 and £1.5m up to 70% loan to value (LTV) and requires net rental income to cover at least 130% of monthly repayments. Redwood Bank is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the UK’s deposit protection scheme, which protects customers’ eligible deposits up to a total of £85,000.

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