Recognise Bank appoints new MD of Commercial Banking

Ian Workman joins from Barclays, where he headed up SME banking relationships.

New SME lender Recognise Bank has appointed Ian Workman as its Managing Director of Commercial Banking. Workman joins from Barclays Bank where he spent the bulk of his 30-year career in financial services, the last five years of which he was Head of SME Banking Relationships in the UK.

He will oversee Recognise Bank’s entire commercial lending offering, working with its network of regional Relationship Managers, helping to chart the future course for the bank as it goes from strength to strength following the removal of it’s deposit restrictions and full authorisation in the summer.

At Barclays, Workman led the delivery of business banking relationships, products and services to SME customers, overseeing its Regional Director structure and the national coverage of Relationship Managers, as well as being one of the senior leaders in Barclays UK Business Banking. He also led on Barclays’ strategy for Diversity and Inclusion in the Business Banking group, a subject he is passionate about and is currently studying for an MA in Equality and Diversity.

Workman says he was attracted to Recognise because of the bank’s mission to bring personal banking back to the UK’s SMEs. He said: “Small business is in my DNA. My father ran his own small business, as did other relatives in my family. Supporting SMEs is not just a job to me, it’s something that I have lived and breathed, talked about at the dinner table and experienced first-hand.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining Recognise. After so many years at a big bank, I am looking forward to working in a truly entrepreneurial environment, where I will get the opportunity to meet business owners face to face again. With my knowledge of SMEs, I really believe that Recognise Bank’s blend of dedicated relationship managers and cutting-edge technology is just what the small business sector has been crying out for.”

Jason Oakley, CEO of Recognise Bank, said of Workman’s appointment: “I am delighted that Ian has decided to join us to help drive our commercial banking. Not only will he be a real asset to the business, being able to attract somebody of Ian’s calibre and experience shows just how compelling Recognise is in the world of business banking.”

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 relationship managers based in regional hubs in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

Following a successful capital raise in the summer, which led to the removal of its deposit restrictions and the launch of FSCS-protected personal savings accounts, Recognise Bank has increased its SME lending, including the launch of a Professional Buy-To-Let product.

Recognise Bank offers a range of lending options including Commercial Mortgages, Bridging Loans, Working Capital Loans and Professional Practice Loans. The bank plans to launch business savings accounts at the start of 2022.