| Established in 2016
Chetwood Financial is a digital bank and uses technology to make people better off which means it creates products, using its own fintech capabilities, for highly targeted (and generally underserved) market segments that promote financial inclusion and help improve a consumer’s financial literacy. It does this under its individual consumer facing brands, and for third party businesses via its Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) offering. To date, Chetwood has brought four consumer facing products to market and are close to launching a fifth which will be its first mortgage proposition.
596% GROWTH BETWEEN 2019 AND 2021
Chetwood’s founders spent a lot of time trying to build great products for customers in traditional banks, and experienced multiple difficulties in achieving things at scale and pace because of the way that traditional banks work. Modern cloud-based technology presented many opportunities to do things quicker and easier and they wanted to see if they could build a cloud-based bank - so that’s what they did. The major challenge experienced right at the start was convincing the right calibre of people to come and work for the business. When there is no brand to speak of, recruitment candidates must be brave, believe in the vision and be comfortable that change will be constant.
Rapid growth is a result of having a clear customer focus – Chetwood’s entire approach to product design and development is to be customer-led and there will never be an idea that is put into development without first testing it extensively with the target audience. When they take a product to market, they are confident it delivers exactly what consumers need, while fulfilling objectives against financial wellbeing and inclusion. Also the commitment to digital means that the cost-base can be kept lower than traditional banks and those savings can be passed onto customers in the form of better rates. It also means that the business can scale up at pace without having to worry about things like office space and having a high headcount of employees. In the early days, Chetwood was making millions of loan decisions a month with the support of just eight employees. Finally, Chetwood is fortunate to have been consistently supported by its shareholders every step of the way. Some scale up businesses must go out and complete fundraising activities every couple of months, but the commitment of shareholders means that the team is able to focus purely on growing the business and delivering excellence.
Chetwood’s credit card is just one year old so there will be a focus on growing that to maturity whilst building a mortgage proposition that will be launched next year. Another area of focus will be expanding the already extensive range of distribution partners to serve products to consumers across the UK. It will also continue to pursue Banking-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service opportunities where Chetwood can add value to businesses looking to offer financial services to their own customer base.