Emma Peterson, Director FinTech Awards Wales & Finance Awards Wales Meets:
Khushboo Patel, Local Director, Metro Bank Wales
Tell me about your business?
I am the Local Director for Metro Bank in Wales, leading the growth of the Bank in the region. Metro Bank is known for its exceptional customer service, we are open seven days a week, early until late, 362 days a year… even through COVID we’re the bank that’s been open the most, which is great for our customers. Metro Bank stores act as a hub for their local communities; we normally host regular business networking events, charity fundraisers and our free financial education programme for children, Money Zone. As Local Director for Wales, my job is to make sure we truly understand the community and their needs, whilst also supporting our local SMEs. From this, I make sure my team and I deliver that exceptional customer service to all of our customers, both personal and business – and in doing this support the finance sector in Wales!
Why did you choose to sponsor the Finance Awards Wales 2020?
The finance industry is a huge part of the economy in Wales, and something I am really passionate about on a personal level, having spent my whole career in the finance sector, and most of it in Wales. Last year Metro Bank opened its first stores in Wales, and we’re so passionate about serving local customers and businesses in the region.
What impact do you feel the Awards have made in the Finance sector in Wales?
The awards have highlighted the positive role the finance sector plays in the region; they have contributed to the growing economy in Wales and have given well deserved recognition to the big and small businesses of our country.
How has your business been affected by Covid-19 and how have you been able to respond to this?
During the pandemic Metro Bank has remained open to the community and it’s customers, which has been amazing. We have had to adapt our hours and the way we work to ensure the safety of customer and colleagues, because this is the most important thing for us. We’ve also changed the way we deliver a lot of our community events which are now online.
How do you feel the Welsh economy will fare over the next 12 months?
Although the UK faces political and economic uncertainty, the financial sector in Wales continues to grow. Small businesses are essential to this growth, yet for too long have been underserved by their banks. Metro Bank is committed to bringing service and convenience back to banking and by supporting our SMEs in Wales, we are helping to drive the Welsh economy forward.
What plans do you have for your business in 2021?
Last year we’ve opened our first store in Wales, on Queen Street in Cardiff city centre, and this was followed by a second store on Newport Road, which is the region’s first drive-thru bank. In normal circumstances, customers can visit the stores seven days a week, with no appointment needed, and open a personal or business account on-the-spot, leaving with their debit card in hand, along with internet and mobile banking set-up.
Metro Bank has worked hard to be able to offer our customers amazing customer service whether they are English or Welsh speakers and in doing this we have developed a Welsh Language Charter as a commitment to the Welsh language and culture – something that Metro Bank have been the first bank to be recognised for by the Welsh Language Commissioner.