Recognise Bank announces new Head of Credit

Gavin Keyte joins from Allica Bank as Recognise ramps up lending plans following its latest capital raise

Gavin Keyte has been appointed Head of Credit at Recognise Bank, the new SME bank and business lender. He joins from Allica Bank, where he was Head of Credit, and brings with him experience gained from 28 years in the industry, which includes major credit and risk roles at lenders such as Lloyds Banking Group and Allied Irish Bank.

Gavin has a deep understanding of SME and corporate lending, including leveraged finance and asset finance, as well as expertise in credit underwriting, policy and regulatory compliance. He joins at an important time for Recognise as the bank signals plans to further increase its lending following its latest successful fundraising round.

His experience of the small and medium sized business sector is particularly important as Recognise Bank aims to help growing companies that are underserved by the mainstream banks.

Gavin said: “I’m delighted to be joining Recognise Bank. Its focus on building real personal relationships with SMEs completely aligns with my views on how best to support the small business sector. Every business is different, so it’s vital that lenders have people with experience of SMEs to understand both their challenges and their opportunities.

“This an exciting time in the Bank’s development, but also a great opportunity for Recognise to support UK entrepreneurs and companies looking for finance to help them grow.”

Commenting on Gavin’s appointment, Mark Bampton, Chief Credit Officer for Recognise Bank, said: “The UK’s SMEs are poorly served because so many of the mainstream banks have automated their lending and removed the people with real expert knowledge of business sectors and their financial needs.

“In Gavin we have somebody with a huge amount of experience of lending to the SME sector and a great understanding of what makes them tick. He will be a great asset in helping to shape our proposition as we increase our lending to small businesses by developing strong relationships with business owners and truly understanding their business.”

Recognise Bank was created to offer SMEs relationship-led service and support, backed by the latest cloud computer technology to make lending decisions quicker and speed up access to funds, via a network of regional hubs in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

It recently announced a successful £14 million capital raise which will pave the way for the removal of deposit restrictions by the PRA (Prudential Regulation Authority), allowing the Bank to offer personal and business savings accounts, which in turn will enable Recognise to provide more lending to the SME sector.

Recognise currently offers a range of unregulated lending options including Commercial Mortgages, Bridging Loans, Working Capital Loans and Professional Practice Loans, with Professional Buy-to-Let Mortgages to follow soon. Since opening in November 2020 the bank has already received £750 million in loan enquiries and is aiming to provide more than £1.3 billion of business lending over the next five years.

Recognise will be launching both business and personal savings accounts later in the year, aiming to serve 50,000 customers.