"We're very happy with our progress," affirms Monks, reacting to the news that Aldermore has increased lending by over 75 per cent and savings deposits by 60 per cent over the past year. "We anticipate growing our balance sheet at the same rate during 2013," he adds. Monks sees the Bank's success as a result of Aldermore's unwavering focus on putting the customer's needs at the heart of the product development process. "We're able to attract customers because they see a different type of bank, a different type of environment. We never set out to be all things to all men but what we did set out to do was to offer our customers exceptional service. Via our Ratings and Reviews service our customers are telling us we are doing exactly that". Being a real expert and champion of its SME customers, Aldermore is highly aware of the challenges that small businesses face when it comes to accessing much needed funds to grow their business and has worked alongside government to reverse this lending trend. "During the year we've embraced a number of government schemes," says Monks, adding, "In fact we've been actively working with the government and the regulator to design some of them." The Funding for Lending Scheme has perhaps proven the most significant for Aldermore, as Monks explains. "We were the first challenger bank into the Funding for Lending Scheme and figures released by the Bank of England indicated that we were in the top six lenders with our net lending growing to £251million in Q4. We are very supportive of schemes designed to help UK householders and SMEs. Monks confirms Aldermore's continued involvement with this pioneering program and other schemes to support SMEs and homeowners into 2013 and beyond, promising Aldermore will not forget what its customer's value most about the Bank. As Monks relates; "We've proven that we can attract customers through our service proposition for being reliable, expert and very straightforward with our customers. Our absolute focus as a management team and as 600 people passionate about our customers is to continue to grow and shape a bank that people are proud of. The content published on this website is intended to provide information only. The reader should seek advice from experts on the subject matter and independently verify the accuracy and relevance of any information provided here before relying upon it or using it for any reason. You can view our terms and conditions here.