Meet Rachel Eckersley-Fallon – Senior Manager, Asset Finance Operations

Tell us what you do here at Allica

I run the asset finance operations team. I like to think of ‘Ops’ as the engine room of the bank. We manage the lifecycle of an asset finance deal, from accepting the initial application, taking it through credit, all the way to helping the customer get their hands on the asset itself.

The aim is to make the process as smooth and simple for our brokers and customers as possible. For example, once a loan is approved and the customer agrees to go ahead, we will help them to purchase the asset. We try to make this quick and easy, as we know how excited businesses often are to get their hands on their new piece of equipment or vehicle. But we must do so in a way that is compliant and responsible.

Once a customer has the asset in their possession, we will help manage their account, too.

What led you to a career in financial services?

I fell into it! I started out as a personal assistant. But it was suggested to me one day that I had the skills to make it in banking. I’ve worked across every facet of asset finance, from front-line sales to collection, underwriting to risk and control.

Fifteen years ago I got a job in operations and never looked back. I love managing people and processes. I’ve got a lot of experience and enjoy sharing my knowledge with newer members of the team.

What do you enjoy about asset finance?

I take immense pride in working for a bank. Financial services are what make the world go around.

And by working in asset finance, you get to help real businesses achieve their goals and expand by acquiring the equipment they need to do it. There's something so tangible about that. I delight in helping my colleagues get deals over the line – we couldn’t do it without the sales and credit teams, nor they without us.

What made you decide to join Allica Bank?

I knew Richard Cameron (Allica’s Head of Asset of Finance) really well from our time together at Lombard Asset Finance. That alone was reassuring to me that Allica must be a great opportunity.

Then, when I spoke to the leadership team, it was immediately clear that we had a unique chance to create an asset finance proposition that was genuinely different.

In a mainstream bank it’s really difficult to change things, even if it’s for the better! In a start up, especially in fintech, the ethos is all about trying new things and going with what works best for the customer. I knew I could make a difference here, and am determined to ensure Allica’s asset finance proposition is always best-in-class.

Are you working on any exciting projects that deserve a mention?

There are big plans for asset finance at Allica. We’ve got a roadmap of product launches stretching way into the future. For example, we launched sub-hire only last month.

What’s important, though, is that it’s not just about launching new products. It’s about exploring new ways to keep the existing customer experience better than anywhere else.

That’s one of the things I find most exciting. The whole team is encouraged to be involved in this and make suggestions. And we’re fortunate that our leadership team is always on board for exploring new ways of doing things if it means better results for the customer.

Tell us more about your team

We’re a tight-knit bunch. There are three people supporting sales – solid, experienced asset finance operations experts who pick the deals up and see them through the system. Then there’s someone who oversees workflow and handles queries from our relationship managers and their customers.

My role is to work on strategy. I assess different products and how we might go to market and suggest how we could streamline our processes – that kind of thing.

What are you most proud of during your time at Allica?

That’s easy. It has to be that we both built and launched Allica Bank’s asset finance proposition almost entirely from our kitchen tables. I’m not sure that’s ever been done before!

How have you found the shift to working from home during the pandemic?

In one respect, I’m grateful for it. I live in Bolton and had decided to commute to Allica’s HQ in Milton Keynes, so lockdown has meant more time with my family.

I do miss the chance to meet up with the team and talk things through face-to-face, though. Like many people, I find conversations via video calls a poor substitute for in-person meetings.

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

I always wanted to be a midwife, but I ended up leaving school early before getting the qualifications. Instead I went straight into the world of work and never looked back.

You could say that with Allica’s asset finance service I’ve delivered my first baby, but for a bank!

All global pandemic restrictions have been lifted. You’re given a week off and can do whatever you want. What are you doing?

That’s easy. I’d take my whole family on holiday. Somewhere warm and sunny with a beach nearby.

Family is massively important to me. Part of the reason I work so hard is to instil the right values in my son, who’s autistic. I want him to know that the right attitude makes a difference, no matter your limitations in life.

What would you say to someone considering a role at Allica Bank?

It’s a phenomenal company to work for: forward thinking and agile. Everyone’s approachable, even the senior leadership team. And every colleague has the opportunity to make a difference.

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

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