Recognise expands its team to support growth plans

Three new Business Development Managers have joined Recognise to focus on London and the Midlands.

SME lender Recognise Bank has appointed three new Business Development Managers as it seeks to meet its ambitious growth plans across the UK. With a network of regional hubs offering personal service to smaller businesses and brokers, the new joiners will focus on London and the Midlands.

Stuart Benge joins Recognise from Assetz Capital, with a long career in commercial lending, and will focus on the Midlands. Andrew Oppe, who joins from HSBC,will focus on London. The third new recruit is Sam Shooter, who brings a wealth of experience from other areas of financial services.

Recognise believes SMEs are being let down by mainstream banks who have taken their managers off the high street to be replaced by centralised call centres. Instead, since opening its doors for business in November 2020, Recognise has focused on building a team of Business Development Managers that understand the needs of smaller businesses, as well as regional circumstances.

This strategy has resulted in the bank hiring talented and experienced Business Development Managers, as Jackie Skelt, Regional Director, London and the Midlands for Recognise, explained: “There is a buzz in the regions among SMEs who see a great opportunity to grow their businesses as we start to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“As a result, they want to talk to lenders that understand them and don’t treat them as a tick box exercise. This is an exciting time for Recognise, so I am delighted that Stuart, Andrew and Sam are joining us to offer the understanding and expertise that is needed.”

Commenting on his new role, Stuart Benge said: “This is truly a relationship-led sector, so I’m really pleased to be working with a bank that understands the importance of that. I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting with brokers and SMEs.”

Andrew Oppe added: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, a role that is now more important than ever before. I’m passionate about standing up for, helping and supporting smaller businesses, so this is a perfect role for me.”

Sam Shooter said: “This is a great opportunity, and I am delighted to be joining Recognise at a time where we can help make a difference to SMEs across the country.”

Recognise provides lending to the UK’s SME sector, including Commercial Mortgages, Bridging Loans, Professional Practice Loans and Working Capital Loans, with Professional Buy-to-Let Mortgages to follow soon. Recognise will also launch business and personal savings accounts later in the year. Since opening in November 2020, the bank has already received £500 million in loan applications, and aims to provide more than £1.5 billion of business lending over the next five years.

In addition to its offices in London, the bank has hubs in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. The network of Business Development Managers is backed up by the latest cloud-based technology to provide quick lending decisions and speedy access to funds.