Our people are firmly at the heart of everything we do. We understand that when you, our customers, work with us, you want a personal relationship to enable quick decision making and flexible solutions. This is why we've taken some time out to speak to the people that power Redwood Bank.
Leon Marklew, Director of Strategy, Products & Marketing
With over 31 years of banking experience under his belt, Leon Marklew joined Redwood in early 2019 as Director of Strategy, Products & Marketing; responsible for ensuring that there is a robust strategy in place, and that it can be executed flawlessly. Leon has held senior positions at banks including RBS, Santander and HSBC, delivering sustainable growth in retail, private and commercial banking.
What attracted you to Redwood Bank and why did you join?
From the first meeting I had, from the CEO down, I was really impressed by the people. Everyone here wants to deliver for our customers and the business. There’s a real “am doing” mentality whilst ensuring we don’t always take ourselves too seriously!
I couldn’t work in a place where you can’t be yourself every day, get the job done and have a little fun along the way – that’s why I joined and why I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Redwood.
Redwood is a little over two years old; how do you see the Bank evolving in years to come?
We will undoubtedly continue to grow both in size and in terms of the products and services we will make available to business customers. Our brand is becoming widely recognised in the market. However, I see us putting clear water between Redwood and the other challenger banks over the next few years as we become known as the Bank that delivers outstanding levels of service, has flexible funding solutions for its business customers and is a fabulous place to work.
Challenger vs High Street banks - is there a place for both?
Absolutely, I’m a strong believer that competition is a good thing. I’ve also worked for High Street banks in the past and not only do they still have a significant physical presence in the UK, they employ thousands of people and provide services to individuals and businesses not only in the UK but across the globe.
Challenger banks on the other hand can offer speed of response, innovation and flexibility, quicker delivery of funds and funding solutions for customers as well as offering services in markets and segments that the High Street banks have decided to move away from. The best Challengers are blending new technology with a human touch, like Redwood, and I believe will continue to thrive alongside their bigger High Street rivals.
What advice would you give to someone starting off in banking? And what should we watch out for in the industry?
Go for it! I’ve loved just about every minute of the past 31 years and have had the privilege to work with and help some truly amazing people, visit and support some extraordinary businesses and travel to some fantastic places (like Worthing and East Ham!)
What is your proudest moment to date?
This year it’s outside of work as both of my children now have jobs they really love and are both doing extremely well. I am without doubt one of, if not the, proudest Dad’s around!
And finally, please tell us something we don't know?
I’m a big fan of inspirational quotes, my preference being to read or post one first thing in the morning. I strongly believe that anything that helps you start the day positively can have a massive impact on your whole day, as well as those you work alongside. I’ve been adding a quote of the day to LinkedIn every day for the past five or six years and am always on the lookout for new ones!
I’m also an early riser and have been for a long time now; my alarm goes off at 4:30am. I think you can only do that if you have a real passion for life and enthusiasm for what you do.
Finally, it might also surprise people to learn that I enjoy binge watching whole series on TV (I was late to the party on Breaking Bad but have now seen them all!) and am a Netflix addict!