Meet the team – Kevin Barrett
Our head of private and commercial banking discusses how Arbuthnot Latham are supporting business owners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in the current climate.
Kevin Barrett, Managing Director, Private and Commercial Banking, has over 18 years’ experience in the financial sector. Starting his career on a graduate scheme at HSBC, he is now responsible for strategically leading the banking team at Arbuthnot Latham.
What does your role entail?
My job, and that of the Executive team at Arbuthnot Latham, is to make us the leading full-service, human scale relationship bank powered by modern technology.
My day-to-day role means ensuring the business continues to provide exactly what our clients need to achieve their objectives. We accomplish this by investing in our people and technology.
What trends and/or challenges are you seeing in the market?
If you are borrowing, personally or corporately, you must consider the pressures the steep increases in interest rates are causing. Our clients who borrow from us have been at the front and centre of our decision-making, so we can accurately understand the impact of higher interest rates for each client situation, making it easier to support them with tailored solutions.
I think clients who were not over-leveraged in the first place will have more options and headroom. Still, not everyone is in that position and having an open dialogue with your bank is critical – we want to all work together to overcome the challenges that higher interest rates may bring.
Those with liquidity are paying down debt ahead of schedule. Clients with liquidity want a responsive bank that passes on interest rate increases to their deposits. We have increased rates numerous times and aim to pay competitive rates on deposits, so both new and current clients do not need to feel they have to shop around. At the same time, although the cost of borrowing has increased, we are seeing some clients take advantage of opportunities because they have access to liquidity but are being cautious about such investment decisions.
Our investment clients want to know how we are managing their money. Therefore, regular communication with our clients has been critical to providing reassurance on the decisions we are making for the long-term. Despite the global economy performing better than expected - mainly due to a strong service sector, our Investment Committee decided to reduce equity risk and increase allocations to fixed income. This approach ensures we are undertaking our best care of duty managing our clients’ wealth while staying true to their objectives, such as providing clients with good income return opportunities.
If you could highlight one of Arbuthnot Latham’s USPs, what would it be?
Arbuthnot Latham is about long-term relationship banking, meaning we are here to help throughout the economic cycle. Our clients know that they can speak to us, in person, over the phone, email, or video if they wish. They know our bankers, relationship managers, and support staff by name. Our approach is supported by our excellent Net Promotor Score (NPS) across private and commercial banking - a customer experience metric that measures loyalty and is predictive of business growth.
What are the aims and plans for the year ahead?
Supporting clients is the primary objective. In times of uncertainty, clients want a bank that is proactive and supportive.
At the same time, we have some exciting plans for our digital transformation journey, which focuses on further technological investment to enhance client service. This is a bank-wide project that we are working very hard on.
Do you have any personal or professional highlights so far this year?
At the end of 2022, we launched a new loan automation platform and a new banking platform designed to enhance data collection, credit decisions, and time to disbursement. One major benefit is the ability to streamline processes and reduce the time between loan submission and credit approval. All our colleagues across Arbuthnot Latham worked extremely hard on this, and we have quickly moved on to 2023 priorities. As a result, we are growing ahead of expectations which shows just how focused our colleagues across all of Arbuthnot Latham have been on delivering things for 'today' while working on strategic priorities for the longer-term benefit.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Family, with two young children, is the main focus of my time outside of work. I enjoy gardening, but I am terrible at keeping indoor plants alive. I do fare much better with outdoor plants. As a Manchester United supporter, I do try to watch them when I can, and when I am up at our Manchester office, I try to get an evening kick-off.
Finally, what is your favourite day of the working week and why?
Mondays, which may not be anyone’s first choice, but it is a reflection of the people and enjoyment I have working at Arbuthnot Latham - delivering for our clients who all want to make things a little better each week.
Meet the team - Amanda Blakeley
In this short interview, we talk to Amanda Blakeley, a former semi-professional footballer, who is a Wealth Planner in our Exeter office.
Becoming a client
Take control of your finances today by completing our enquiry form. Alternatively, you can call us on the number below and one of our team will be more than happy to talk about your future.
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