Cardiff bankers get to work to support local SMEs

We’re now NatWest Group

Come and visit us for all our latest news, insights and everything NatWest Group.

Cardiff bankers get to work to support local SMEs

Business banking managing director Haydn Thomas has just spent a day with Chalmers Independent Opticians in Albany Road, Cardiff as part of the bank's ‘Working With You' programme.

Supporting corporates

01 November 2011

The initiative, which includes all of the bank's relationship managers in England and Wales who look after businesses with a turnover of up to £25m, aims to provide the bank's teams with a greater insight into the workings of an SME business – as well as the day-to-day pressures that owners or managers face.

In Cardiff, each business banking and commercial banking relationship manager will be tasked with examining how their chosen businesses operate, assessing their goals and future plans, plus identifying any barriers or challenges it faces. A key part of the 'Working With You' programme is to collect and share information from each visit amongst all relationship managers to ensure they are better equipped to help the bank's 1.2m SME customers in the UK. The initiative also forms part of the bank's national accreditation programme for relationship managers.

Chalmers Opticians has been running from its location on Albany Road for over 60 years and now has over 35,000 customers on its books. The business, employing 12 staff, sees 400 patients every week.

Ian Chalmers of Chalmers Independent Opticians said: "When Haydn approached me about spending a day with us I thought it was a fantastic idea. There is only so much you can communicate through paperwork and meetings – there's no substitute for actually seeing first hand how we run our business. Just through chatting while he was in the shop I learnt a lot about how the bank's own processes work, which is important. As a business that has lots of suppliers, we need to understand our supply chain, and as a supplier of financial services to us the bank has a principal role to play in that. Anything that increases mutual understanding on both sides has to be a very good thing."

Business banking managing director for South Wales Haydn Thomas said: "We have launched this initiative to improve the relationship between the bank and its SME customers. We will approach these visits with a blank agenda so we can work with the customer to get under the skin of the business. This is all about us thinking as the businesses themselves do, ensuring that they get what they really need from us. This puts us in a better position to offer practical support and advice – as well as helping to identify opportunities for future growth. I certainly took away a lot from my visit to Ian's team in Cardiff and feedback from Ian was that it was a very worthwhile exercise."

Related articles

Latest news

RBS to help 2.5 million people each year to be more financially capable

RBS has today committed to helping 2.5 million people in the UK each year to improve their financial capability.

RBS to increase lending to sustainable energy sector following £1.1bn securitisation of loans to UK sustainable energy market

RBS has executed a £1.1bn securitisation deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS), which will allow the bank to recycle capital and increase lending to the sustainable or renewable energy sectors.

RBS launches £1 billion Female Entrepreneurship Funding and announces targets to help create at least 50k new businesses by 2023

RBS has today announced a new £1 billion in funding through NatWest to support female entrepreneurs in the UK to scale and grow – the largest intervention by a UK lender focused specifically on female-led businesses.

We’re now NatWest Group

Come and visit us for all our latest news, insights and everything NatWest Group.

Set Tab for lightbox