Reena Pithwa – “I’m proud to give Midlands businesses what they really need: the expertise of a relationship manager.”

This month, I joined Allica Bank as a business relationship manager for the Midlands. I may still barely have my feet under the desk (ok, the kitchen table), but I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be here.

Covering everywhere from Leicester across to Derby, Birmingham to Nottingham, I’m looking forward to getting out and listening to business owners and hearing what they have to say – even if that initially may be a virtual call.

I’m particularly excited because I’ll be supplying businesses with the tailored banking expertise that only a relationship manager can provide. Access to this kind of personalised service and perspective is vital for ensuring businesses not only get the best from their bank, but the best from their business, too. And, as the UK looks to kickstart its recovery from the pandemic, this has never been more important.

Sadly, most businesses you speak to these days will tell you their bank no longer gives them a relationship manager – a luxury reserved exclusively for those corporations that turnover billions, rather than millions. It’s a worrying trend, with the market getting more complex and business owners having less time to keep up with it.

I’m proud to have joined a bank that’s doing things differently.

Giving businesses the tools they need to succeed

A good bank relationship manager can be a key component in a business’s arsenal of expertise, and that is exactly the role I want to play with my customers.

As your business relationship manager, the first thing we’ll do is sit down for a conversation. I tend to find it takes at least 45 minutes to be able to properly understand you, your business, and what you see as success. We can talk through how your business currently operates, who your customers are, whether you own your own premises, and what your vision is for the future.

By combining that insight with my product knowledge and market expertise, I can help business owners identify ways to, for example, save money or unlock capital to invest – often in ways they’d never considered before. For me, that’s what it’s all about. Adding real value.

Relationships empowered by technology, not replaced by it

Technology has transformed the service banks have been able to give to their customers. In many ways this is has been for the better. But it’s also dramatically undermined the ability of banks to truly understand their business customers on an individual level.

An online and app-only banking experience may be suitable for a personal customer that only wants to log in to check their bank balance. But that’s nowhere near enough if you’re a business owner that just wants someone with business finance expertise to talk to.

At Allica, we have invested hugely in our technology to provide the smooth user experience you’d expect from a digital consumer bank. But we’ve done so while keeping that human relationship right at the heart – enriching our customer relationships, not replacing them.

This means I can provide a frank and open assessment of your business plan before you even come to make an application, saving you valuable time at the other end. I can speak directly to our underwriters during the application process to explain any quirks that might arise, without having to come back to you to fill in any gaps. And I’m always on hand to answer any questions, should any arise.

Driving Midlands businesses forward

It’s heart-breaking that, for many Midlands business owners, this pandemic has taken away not only their sources of income, but their purpose.

Bouncing back from it won’t be easy. But, having weathered the 2008 financial crisis, years of Brexit uncertainty and now COVID, if there’s one thing the UK’s small and medium-sized business community has proven, it’s their resilience! Indeed, many businesses have flourished throughout the pandemic.

However your business has fared. Be assured that you won’t have to face the challenges that lie ahead alone. By combining my expertise and the power that Allica Bank’s technology provides, I’m eager to get out and meet with Midlands businesses to get the region booming again.

If you’d like to have a conversation about how Allica Bank could help your business, then reach out to me at and we can find a time to talk. I look forward to speaking with you!

About Reena

Reena is a local relationship manager for Allica Bank in the Midlands. She has been working closely with small and medium-sized businesses in the region for 23 years, including stints at Lloyds, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and Close Brothers.

Before entering the world of banking, Reena studied at the University of Birmingham alongside being a police officer. While many students were out partying on the weekend, Reena was serving on the streets of Leicester keeping people safe and becoming only the second ethnic minority female on that force.

Reena has strong connections to her local business community, such as the local Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Leicester’s cultural quarter, and De Montfort University. She is also a mentor for the Prince’s Trust and the Santander Breakthrough Women Business Leaders' Mentoring Programme.

Reena currently lives in Leicester with her husband, two children and Rocco the dog.

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