Redwood Bank, a new UK-based lender focused on SMEs, has commenced operations after concluding its mobilisation phase.

The bank is offering secured SME mortgages for business owners, commercial and residential property investors, alongside a business deposit account.

Redwood Bank is owned by Redwood Financial Partners, in which Warrington Borough Council holds a 33% stake. The council will invest £30m in Redwood Bank as part of the bank’s capital funding.

Letchworth-based Redwood Bank obtained a banking licence from the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority in April 2017. The challenger bank’s initial regions of focus will be Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Warrington.

The daily operations of the bank will be managed by its co-founder and CEO Gary Wilkinson.

“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,” Wilkinson stated.