Corporate Banking is a leading provider of banking, finance, and risk management services to the corporate and SME sector. It offers a full range of banking products and related financial services through a nationwide network of relationship managers, and also through telephone and internet channels. The product range includes asset finance through the Lombard brand.
One of the ways we respond to customers’ needs is by finding better methods of serving them. In 2008, we piloted a branch dedicated to business customers, in Colchester. It worked well, so we rolled out a further four business branches in 2009. Each branch has two business experts positioned at the front of the banking hall, supported by teams who have been specially trained to meet our business customers’ needs.
Our customers like what we’ve done. Their comments show that 91% were very satisfied with what the business branch offers and 86% were prepared to recommend the service. Our research showed that in December 2009, Relationship Directors in Branch Business Banking who have a dedicated business branch earned considerably higher customer satisfaction scores than their peers who don’t have that service. Four of the five branches received 100% scores in mystery shopping exercises.
During a recession some customers need extra help. We have a Specialised Relationship Management team made up of 500 experienced bankers, many of whom have worked through previous downturns. They monitor how customers are doing and can spot when a customer seems to be facing particularly difficult trading conditions. That allows us to give these customers close, one-to-one help until their business is returned to health.
Although this highlights only a few of the initiatives, these actions show that we take serving our customers seriously. Without being complacent, it’s working. Business & Commercial Banking and Corporate & Institutional Banking both maintained their market-leading customer satisfaction scores. This tells us that our people were out there doing the right things for customers, despite the challenges we faced.
We are investing in our people and technology, and our impairments programme is allowing us to manage the impact of bad debts and asset write-downs.
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