What makes Handelsbanken different from other banks?
At Handelsbanken, whatever your role in the Bank, your primary focus is the customer. There is no pressure of a sales target, simply a brief to do the right thing and at the same time help the Bank increase its profitability, whilst offering outstanding customer service. This results in long-term mutually beneficial relationships and is confirmed by our customers year-on-year in various external surveys.
Describe your career journey at the Bank
I joined Handelsbanken as a Cash Management Specialist, having spent eight years at a high street bank. After three years helping to establish this new team across the Central region, I became a Corporate Banking Manager in our Derby branch, where I was responsible for a portfolio of both trading and property investment businesses. For the first time I had my own lending discretion, allowing me to make my own decisions for my customers, whilst operating within the Bank's credit policy. After three years in the role, I wanted to develop my credit analysis skills further and so moved on to a role in our credit department as a Credit Analyst. This was fantastic and allowed me the opportunity to hone those credit skills to ensure that I contributed to our bank maintaining its legacy of having one of the lowest loan loss ratios of all banks. I spent two years in this role but had always been keen in becoming a leader within Handelsbanken and so took an opportunity to become the Deputy Branch Manager in our Coventry branch. This involved supporting the Branch Manager with leading the branch, both operationally but also from a line management perspective. I was able to develop my own leadership style and learn how to successfully run a Handelsbanken branch, with all that it entails. After a relatively short period of time I was successful in moving into my current role as Branch Manager at Solihull branch, where I lead a team of nine staff in a branch that has been in situ for over 10 years.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I am learning quickly that there is no typical day as a Branch Manager at Handelsbanken, the role is so varied. Given the decentralised nature of our bank I have complete responsibility for the management and performance of our branch, our business and this encompasses a wide variety of responsibilities, differing in nature. I spend time in customer meetings supporting my Account Managers, meeting local professionals, reviewing credit applications, having 1:1’s with my team and ensuring that we remain operationally efficient. Ultimately, I am here to create an environment where my team can thrive and they have complete clarity as to what the vision is for our branch, in growing our business and supporting our customers, offering first class customer service.
What do you look forward to most each day?
With such a long period of time where the team were not able to work together in one location and meet face to face, quite simply I look forward each day to being in the branch and in and around the people I work with. We value those small things so much more now, a quick chat over the desk, a team meeting where we can set out our business plan for the year, a fika where we can sit and talk socially over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. But most importantly, the opportunity to see our customers face to face again.