Colleague case study - Warren Ralls

What does a typical day look like for you?

No day is the same!

As one of the Bank’s senior leadership team, I connect regularly with internal colleagues across the Bank.

And there’s an external part of my job which involves talking to other organisations.

My team is the Bank’s eyes and ears.

In all the regions and nations of the UK, we develop close relationships with key stakeholders and intermediaries.

And we gather intelligence as to what issues and challenges small businesses are facing with accessing finance.

We use those relationships to communicate information not only to our contacts, but to the wider audience of small businesses.

We want to make sure they’re informed about their options in terms of accessing finance.

And we have relationships with central government.

We use the information we’ve gathered to inform them of things that we’re hearing on the ground to feed into their policy decisions.

How did you land your current role?

For me, it’s been a journey to understanding access to finance.

Not so much the detail, but the principles behind it.

The Bank has been very supportive in giving me opportunities to learn and to develop my own skillset.

I didn’t come to this role with a background in access to finance, so it was something I was particularly interested in learning more about.

I come more from a world of economic development and relationships – working with organisations to help small businesses access business support, develop skills or gain access to infrastructure.

When an opportunity came up to join the Bank, I interviewed for the role and got it.

Since then, I’ve been gathering more knowledge on access to finance and the barriers that small businesses face.

I’ve also been using my skills of relationship-building, communication and collaboration, which I think has been of benefit to the Bank as a whole.

What advice would you give to someone considering the Bank?

It’s a great place to learn and a great place to grow.

I’ve felt incredibly nurtured while I’ve been here.

I’d say don’t hesitate at all. It’s a very friendly place.

I know people say that a lot about other organisations, but I’ve genuinely found the people here to be supportive. If you don’t know something, it isn’t a problem.

People are there to help. We’re all learning.

I think we’re an organisation that likes to innovate and try new things.

Clearly, one has to manage risks, and we plan properly. But there isn’t a culture of blame.

I think we’re an organisation that likes to innovate and try new things. Warren Ralls Managing Director, UK Network

How have you found working from home?

We’ve realised that we can catch up with people on the ground by doing things remotely, rather than having to see them in person.

It’s a balance, and certainly one thing we’ve learned that we'll be taking forward.

Well, we’re a remote team so we’ve typically worked from home since we started. As a result, we haven’t found that much of an impact in terms of how we work.

But we’ve missed seeing each other and the people we have relationships with in the regions and nations.

That’s where we get a lot of our energy from. But we’ve been able to see people online, and it’s true that we’ve actually talked more that way than we were in person before the pandemic.

So we’ll look to continue some of that as well.

Communication has really become even stronger in the team – we’ve worked hard to keep everyone connected during this time.

The team used to travel quite a lot to go and see customers.

In a region, depending on where you’re based, getting from one side to another can take a couple of hours.

So the virtual working means we’ve learned to be more efficient with our time.

What do you do when you're not at work?

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