Getting To Know Tom Shillito - Bank North Lending Associate

What are the day to day functions of your role?

As Lending Associate I support the Lending Directors and Lending Managers in carrying out key lending objectives, as well as assisting in the management of our MI.

How does the world-leading technology available to Bank North ensure we are a step ahead of the more established financial services lenders in the UK?

Our technology puts us ahead of other financial services providers, as a lot of the larger establishments don’t accept that new, and evolving technology can be a part of banking. Combining our technology with our people results in constant improvements to enhance the technology, customising it to our specific requirements in order to improve the customer journey. We’re working with Mambu and nCino amongst other key players to ensure that we’re working at speed to deliver on our objectives.

Features of our systems will allow all key people involved in the deal to see important aspects progressing in real-time, improving the communication between parties and enabling deals to be completed faster.

How important is an SMEs culture, management, and future growth to the decision of delivering a loan to them?

I would say that based on our current loan book, we’re looking at the management team of the borrower, as well as their experience, their reputation, and many other factors that aren’t solely the incomings and outgoings of the business.

Bank North believes in doing business face to face, therefore we are able to put our trust in people and being locally based enables us to get to know our customers well. Combining this with the expertise of the Lending Directors and Underwriting team, we can find commercial solutions to hurdles we discover, unlike the incumbents, improving both the outcome for the customer and the risk for the Bank.

An SME might have had a challenging time during the pandemic so their financials might not be great, but if they’ve got a strong strategy & management and we can see it growing, then we’re fully behind that.

What has been the most exciting thing about working for the Commercial Lending team within a start-up bank?

For me, it’s the ever-changing landscape and nature of the business, especially for someone starting their career. The amount of hands-on responsibility that you can get involved with and learn from is incredible.

There are so many opportunities to take and not many people just starting their career in banking will be sitting in meetings with the CEO, CFO and other executive members having meaningful conversations and helping out on investor presentations, hence the level of responsibility that you are trusted with is probably the most exciting thing - you can see a real opportunity to develop and accelerate the growth of your career.

All the initial recruits to Bank North have immense and diverse industry experience so it’s great to be able to pick up the different ideas and processes from people that have worked in different types of banks. For example, there’s Darren Switzer and Michael Thompson who came from Aldermore and Cynergy, Becky Owen and Kevin Glover who have experience in another start-up but prior from RBS and Santander along with Jayne and Alison. It’s been eye-opening to see how other banks operate and it’s allowed me to pick up the best industry knowledge from the people that were influential to those banks as well as learn the issues in traditional banking and why these individuals choose to join Bank North; I am delighted that I made the decision to join this team.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to relax and socialise; on a Saturday you can usually find me golfing or playing rugby followed by a night on the town with friends. On Sundays, a dog walk usually ends at the pub for Sunday lunch.

During longer breaks I like to travel; my family has a place in Spain, which is nice when you could get on a flight to Spain for about the same time it would take to get a train to London. But the weather in Puerto Banus is a bit nicer than in London! Back in 2017, I went interrailing around Europe for three weeks. Starting in Brussels, moving through Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Venice, Ljubljana, Budapest, Beograd and finishing off in Croatia for the Outlook festival.

NACFB - Helping Fund Uk Business & FIBA - Financial Intermediary & Broker Association

Copyright © 2022 Bank North Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Bank North Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number 848024). Bank North Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (company number 11030672) and its registered office is Suite 20A, Manchester One, 53 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 3LD.

Bank North has been Authorised with Restrictions since 24th August 2021, at which point the firm entered a phase known as mobilisation. During this phase, the bank will be undertaking lending activities but will not be accepting customer deposits.