Meet Beata Lubinska, Treasurer at Allica Bank

Tell us what you do here at Allica.

I’m the bank’s Treasurer. But that sadly doesn’t mean I guard a room full of gold and diamonds!

The first part of a Treasurer’s job is tactical – to oversee the day-to-day flow of money in and out of the bank. My team and I analyse data to find answers to important questions like: how much money does Allica need to have available to meet the demand of our borrowers and savers? What’s our exposure to different types of risk? Do we need to change our hedging positions?

The second is more strategic. I look for ways to minimise the cost of the funds we borrow so we can pass these savings to customers.

What led you to a career in treasury?

I began my career in investment banking and asset liability management. As the name suggests, that means working out what kind of risk is associated with any investment and coming up with ways to mitigate it.

But it’s the strategic side I love the most. Bringing a holistic view to risk and then aligning that with the bank’s values and commercial goals. I’ve always enjoyed helping colleagues find new ways of accessing the market and identifying cheaper ways of funding growth.

Treasury really is the art of banking!

What do you enjoy about working in financial services?

Working in finance is technical, challenging, demanding work. It’s not for everyone. But if, like me, you thrive on complexity, detail and analysis, it’s a wonderful environment. I get to exercise my brain every day – there’s no time to be distracted or bored.

You've been at Allica for nearly four years. How has the bank changed in that time?

At the beginning it was a very small bank with a simple operational model from a treasury perspective. Not a lot of complex transactions coming in, no complex hedges. I was the only person in the team and building the department from scratch. Now we are a team of four treasury professionals and are still growing. 

We have increased the balance sheet – when I joined it was £15 million of lending. By the end of 2023 we had passed £2 billion of lending, plus on the top of this we have other assets. So overall we have easily passed £3 billion of risk sensitive assets. It’s huge progress in four years. That’s how much Treasury has grown from one person doing everything! 

How does your role at Allica ultimately affect customers?

Three years ago, we wouldn't have been able to provide customers with such long-term fixed rate assets because we didn't have the proper swap line in place. The longer a fixed rate asset is, the more it exposes Allica to interest rate fluctuations due to uncertainty. For example, if we offer a ten-year loan at 7% and the interest rate is 5%, we make a profit of 2% on the loan. But if the interest rate goes up, we risk losing money on that agreement.   

I look at ways to protect Allica from fluctuations in the interest rate, so that we’re able to offer these kinds of product to our customers. For example, we recently got access to something called an ‘unlimited swap line’, which acts a bit like an insurance policy if rates do change.

Treasury is also responsible for the ‘funds transfer pricing methodology’, which determines the pricing we are able to offer to our customers on their savings. It was always our intention to pass on any increases to the Bank of England Base Rate to our customers, and managing this effectively has allowed us to do so.

Any exciting projects coming up?

One of the things I’m looking forward to in the coming year is the implementation of a new asset liability management system. In the coming year the regulator, the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), will see us as a more sophisticated bank and will require us to be able to measure, forecast and simulate the growing balance sheet. It means our Treasury department will behave more like those at the bigger banks and we will be aligned with the best principles and best-in-class practises. I will be extremely proud of that when we achieve it.  

What job did you want to have when you were growing up?

My father is a scientist and I grew up in a household where research and academia were held on the highest pedestal. As a result, I always wanted to find a way to contribute to the education of the next generation if I could, as well.

I’ve been lucky in that I’m able to continue my studies and support others with theirs outside of my work. I recently obtained a PhD, for example, while I am also about to finish writing my second book, and I try to take the opportunity to teach whenever I can.

How did you manage to juggle writing two books with a very challenging full-time job and spending time with your family? 

Determination is everything. Without determination you won’t achieve anything. I think it is even more powerful than natural talent because determination is the force that drives you forward. But also, because, in my case, I really love doing it. 

What would you say to someone considering whether to apply for a job at Allica?

Allica is a new bank, and there’s a fantastic opportunity to make a mark on it. It’s an inspirational environment where people are encouraged to try new things. If you’re fed up with the glacial pace of change at a big corporate, I’d urge you to consider Allica as your next career move.

Fancy joining the Allica Bank team? We'd love to hear from you! Check out our careers page to find out how.

Subscribe to receive blog digest emails