Challenger bank Aldermore is aiming to shake up the Big Four with a sustained period of growth – as the ripple effects from the 2008 banking meltdown continue.
The bank, set up in 2009 with the backing of Morgan Stanley and private equity giant AnaCap, posted its first year of profits in 2012, and by June this year had over 84,000 deposit accounts.
Aldermore is also growing in the West Midlands, with a staff of 40 working out of the firm’s Newhall Street offices in Birmingham, and more than 150 clients across the West Midlands.
The bank is now aiming to grow the balance sheet to £5 billion by 2015 from the current total of more than £3 billion – amid hopes of increasing confidence in the SME sector following the double-dip recession.
Damon Walford, managing director of Aldermore invoice finance, told the Post: “We are a fast-growing bank. We are not bound by bureaucracy.
“We have all joined with the same approach about the way to do business and we are all puling in the right direction.
“We have seen our client numbers grow by 15 per cent in the last year and we have seen lending increase by 11 to 12 per cent.
“I think that Aldermore is a fantastic success story – we are so focused on clients and we do not have the legacy that the big banks have got. I have got 200 plus staff working for me and I know them all by name.
“I think we have a good story to tell and when we talk to prospective customers, they like the Aldermore story as well.
“We have aspirations to grow the balance sheet to £5 billion by 2015.
“We are continually looking to expand and looking for new sectors, new markets, new products. We have a good spread of clients – we have 155 in the West Midlands out of 1,200 nationally.”
Mr Walford joined Aldermore after previous spells with the Big Banks. “I was at HSBC and RBS and in 2010 I had started getting frustrated. It was time to go and do something different,” he said.
“I had read about Aldermore and it appealed to me. I was working for RBS at the time and people shouted abuse at me in the street.
“I questioned the whole big bank thing. I felt there were better ways of utilising my time. It just felt like fate.
“Aldermore is more outward looking and more driven towards getting business from the markets” Mr Walford said confidence was growing among SMEs. “The clients I talk to seem much more positive. Some have been through the mill – they have had to restructure and cut their cloth accordingly.”