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Supporting charities through a global pandemic


Louise Jagger, Commercial Banking Graduate

Having only begun her journey with us last year, Commercial Banking graduate Louise was still learning the ropes when the pandemic hit this March. After moving to a new team to work on coronavirus related loans, Louise had to learn a lot about lending to help this charity survive.

It was a big learning curve

“One of the organisations we work with is a charity that maintains a garden of historic interest. Most of their income comes from visitor ticket sales, and when the pandemic hit they were forced to close their doors. They needed support to survive, and it was my job to help them apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan. I’d never dealt with charities or the lending process before so I had a lot to master in a short space of time to get the money to them.”

I learned how to be resilient

“It was an incredible experience as I knew my work was having a positive impact on the charity. But things didn’t always go smoothly: there were times when I had to have difficult conversations and negotiate between the charity and our internal credit team – all while being aware of what a stressful situation it was for the charity we were trying to help. It was a very busy project but I’ve definitely learned how to be more resilient as a result.”

Everyone in my team supported me

“Working from home should have been a challenge but my team made it easy for me. We had daily chats and video calls, and if I was struggling to figure something out one of my colleagues would take over my screen and show me how to do it. It almost felt like we were together in person. Although I had a lot of responsibility, there were people to support me all the way: I never felt like I’d been thrown in at the deep end.”

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