A few weeks ago, I joined Allica Bank as the new CEO – and what a whirlwind it has been.
Since then I have spent my time meeting as many people as I can, listening and learning. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know everyone. I am grateful for the friendly welcome I have been given and the time people have given me – especially considering there’s plenty of other work they would no doubt rather be getting on with!
It’s clear that this is a team of people that truly believe in the need to transform the world of SME banking. By combining technology and real human relationships, Allica are building a bank that will be able to uniquely serve the needs of established, growing small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
And it couldn’t be more timely. Britain’s SMEs have shown during the pandemic what an adaptable and resilient group they are. But they can’t be expected to see it out alone. The aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis has really opened up a gap in the market for a bank that can provide businesses with tailored, human expertise, backed up with powerful technology to ensure a smooth, speedy and transparent service.
Having now got to know the wider team, I am really pleased to see the wealth of SME lending expertise we have in-house. This will be vital as we look to serve the complex financing needs of SMEs over the coming months and years. I have been impressed, too, with the dedication and passion that has been shown for supporting our customers throughout the coronavirus pandemic with our commercial mortgages. The team has displayed Allica Bank’s values of collaboration, integrity and being straightforward – three of the core reasons I joined the bank in the first place.
As a new bank, we are in a fortunate position that we don’t have legacy backbook of loans to service. Instead, we can focus on serving new customers in the here and now. Whether that’s through our existing commercial mortgages and business savings accounts, or our soon-to-launch asset finance offering.
What’s important now will be scaling up Allica so that we can reach every business that is in need of our support, and investing further in technology and automation. This is something I am hoping my own experience in SME banking and financial technology will help achieve. In fact, just before starting at Allica, I shared a few thoughts about what I’d learned from a decade working in fintech – you can read those here.
There will be plenty more to update you on in the near future as Allica Bank continues to grow. For now, though, I’d just like to say thanks again to the Allica Bank team for their warm welcome. I’m looking forward to what we can achieve together!