Having satisfied customers is a constant source of pride for Redwood’s Director of Products & Strategy, Stuart Davidson.
Over the last three years, Stuart has put customer requirements first when developing new Redwood products.
After spending a successful 30-year career managing products, including mortgages, savings, current accounts, cards and e-payments, Stuart joined the Redwood Bank team in 2018, ready to meet customer needs and deliver financial targets.
Stuart is responsible for the growth of the Bank’s lending and deposit products and for identifying strategic and transformational new business opportunities.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing economic uncertainty, Redwood continued launching new products to help customers during the pandemic. Stuart said: “The Bank launched a number of competitive savings products during 2020, providing customers with a safe haven for their money while they navigated through the pandemic.”
Redwood Bank rose to the occasion by providing financial support for both lending and savings customers during what were dark times for so many small and medium-sized firms.
“Don’t assume that your current Bank will automatically look after you. Keep an eye on what rates the smaller banks can offer, even during this period of low interest rates, because there are good ones to be found.”
He added: “Many customers struggled with lending repayments, but we have found SMEs to be very resilient and we were able to provide financial support for their business in what are the most difficult circumstances faced in a generation.”
“We try and put ourselves in their shoes and consider the customer’s circumstances from their perspective, to try to better understand what they might need,” said Stuart.
He added: “While many other banks retrenched, we increased our staff levels to support both savings and lending customers, remained open for business throughout 2020, and have continued to provide first-class customer service.”
Stuart reveals that amid the ongoing global health emergency Redwood is still providing consistent and straightforward products that customers want and appreciate. He said: “I see Redwood continuing to develop its product range with enhanced features and benefits, but our core products will always aim to mirror one of our core values of simplicity.
“As the Bank grows, I see numerous opportunities, particularly for new and exciting lending products to be launched that will be a natural extension of our existing property backed lending, but always with the customer’s needs at the heart of any decision.”
How important is speed when making product decisions?
“Our customers say it is crucial and we think so too. We have a self-serve online model for savings customers to open and manage their accounts, and we receive excellent feedback about how quick and easy it is. Furthermore, we aim to provide lending decisions within a matter of days, and all this is combined with personal service. Our customers’ time is precious, and we aim to ensure that none of their time is wasted.
“Importantly though, we have the ability as a small bank to react to market conditions, and in particular for savings products, launch new products quickly to ensure that customers always receive a good rate of return for their hard-earned money.
“We have demonstrated this time and time again for our customers since 2017 and will continue to do so. It is probably one of the reasons why we have won 25 awards for our products over the last four years.”