Amid widespread furloughing and financial uncertainties due to of the impact of COVID-19, a Hertfordshire challenger Bank has just employed two new members of staff, successfully inducting them remotely because of social distancing measures.


It is the first time Redwood Bank has successfully introduced new staff members to the team virtually. All of its team currently work from home due to COVID-19, but thanks to the Bank’s robust, secure systems and excellent online communication channels, both employees have settled in well.


Olivia Alligan, 20, has landed the role of Banking Operations Officer, which will largely consist of her manning the phone and supporting customers. Ian Symons, 24, was recruited as a Senior Asset Liability Management (ALM) Analyst and will be responsible for providing analytical financial support.


Ian, who has previous banking experience, said it was a “strange” experience starting a new job from his sofa at home in Bristol, but the entire process was “seamless”.


He added: “I was set up completely over the cloud. The transition has been seamless and everyone at the Bank has been welcoming. We’ve had lots of team calls, including one with the entire Bank which ended with a virtual game of ‘Play Your Cards Right’ which was great fun. The sense of community within the Bank has been very strong from the beginning.”


Prior to their first day, the Bank arranged for their IT hardware to be sent to their homes so they could be set up remotely.


But as Ian explained, working from home in this current climate left him wondering what to wear.


He said: “Everyone knows that first impressions count and when you start a new job you want to get off on the right foot. So, I began my first day in a full suit and tie, but by the time I was on my first video conference call with the team, I had got changed into casual clothes.”


Olivia agreed that she was “unsure what to expect” and her main concern was whether her internet connection would work all day long. 


She said: “I had three virtual meetings on my first day, where I got to meet the teams, understand the processes and find out more about the job expectations. I was a little worried whether my internet would drop, but it held out for me. Everyone was really nice and welcoming, and, despite working from home I feel very much part of the team.”


Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, said: “At the moment, understandably, there is a lot of uncertainty. People are unsure how long this lockdown will last and what this means for businesses and their employees across the UK, not to mention the huge implications COVID-19 may have on our health and well-being.


“However, even though we’re all working from home in order to adhere fully to the social distancing rules, it’s very much business as usual for Redwood. We had already interviewed and offered Olivia and Ian their roles before the lockdown, and we saw no reason why we could not just adapt our induction process. We will also continue to recruit new staff, as required, during this difficult period. This is just another example of how flexible Redwood can be when met with new challenges.”


Redwood Bank has been taking the current global COVID-19 situation extremely seriously, which is why a number of staff were asked to work from home even before the full social distancing measures were introduced.


As a totally cloud-based Bank, Redwood is designed for all employees to be able to work and from anywhere, so the Bank was able to implement working from home very swiftly and without any adverse impact on customers.


For further information about Redwood’s response to COVID-19, visit