At Redwood Bank, our people are firmly at the heart of everything we do. We understand that when you, our customers, work with us, you want and expect 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.
Nicola Blake, Associate Business Development Manager
Just a year after Redwood Bank launched, Nicola joined the team in 2018 as a Business Development Officer. She has been a valued member of the team and recently secured an internal promotion, as Associate Business Development Manager. She lives at home with her husband and three children, but has dreams in the future of travelling around the world.
If you were not doing this what would you be doing instead?
If money was no object then I would love to travel around the world. Places of interest would include visiting the Greek Island Santorini, which looks breathtaking in photos. Moving further afield I would love to visit Canada, New Zealand and Brazil, and en route I would have to check out all the beaches in Belize.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received in the past two years?
If you want something badly enough, work hard, don’t be afraid to ask questions and use the experience and knowledge of your colleagues - then the world is your oyster. You can achieve anything if you set your mind to it and want it badly enough!
What’s one thing you know now about banking that you didn’t two years ago?
That it would be possible for a Challenger Bank to be set up in such a short period of time and be fully cloud-based.
Challengers vs high street banks – is there a place for both?
Absolutely! Customers deserve the right to have choice, and I believe Challenger Banks provide healthy competition and a real alternative, offering more niche or specialist lending. In my opinion, Challenger Banks can provide swift lending decisions, they have greater flexibility and are often more customer focussed.
How do you see Redwood evolving in the next two years?
I believe Redwood will continue to grow from strength to strength by growing our product range, while ensuring our core values of simplicity, certainty, integrity and tirelessness are adhered to and that we always keep the customer at the forefront of everything we do.
What should we watch out for in the wider industry in the next two years? Any game-changers on the horizon?
Due to the current pandemic, sadly I believe there will be an increase in the amount of businesses that fail, which will have an impact on unemployment and debt. For those financial institutions that are not robust, they may face challenging times ahead.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in banking?
There are so many interesting career paths within banking such as opportunities in HR, Business Development, Finance, Operations, to name a few. If you prefer office-based work, or dealing with customers on the phone or face-to-face then there will be a career to suit you.
What keeps you up at night?
My three children. Especially my daughter who now drives and goes out to parties, I find myself waiting for her to arrive home safely, which at night feels like an eternity. One more year and my son will be driving – I doubt I will sleep at all then!
Tell us something about you we don’t know please? I ran the London Marathon in 2008 in memory of my Dad and I raised more than £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer – I even wore a green wig with giant green sponge hands the whole 26.2miles.