Hollie Hannah, Private Banking Manager, Handelsbanken

April 18, 2024

My route into banking is hardly the traditional one, having started out working in retail and waiting tables while studying Aviation Operations at college hoping to fly in to the world of airports and planes.

However, those skills, along with the ones earned during my apprenticeship certainly helped shape my professional approach and hone my people skills.

I was 18 when I started at Lloyds Banking Group as a Level 2 Apprentice Customer Advisor, as although I was accepted into several universities to study Airline and Airport Management, I took a leap of faith into banking and I’ve never looked back.

I very much enjoyed working as a customer adviser and banking consultant and was very proud to be nominated for ‘advanced apprentice of the year’ in 2019 & 2020, also completing a second apprenticeship at this time.

It was a tumultuous time, with the country in the grip of the COVID pandemic. It was incredibly rewarding playing a part in the COVID response when many were struggling financially and facing an uncertain future.

During my time at Lloyds Banking Group, I became a certified adviser who understands and utilises specialist mortgage and regulatory knowledge to help clients with mortgage and protection needs.

I am a people person, so love talking to customers and helping them…and it turns out that I’m quite good at it, so I never wanted to do anything else! At the time, I saw my role simply to, “try to lend money to people looking to buy their dream home.”

My apprenticeships gave me the confidence to push myself personally and professionally, they have aided me to seize each opportunity that has presented itself.

From Mortgage and Protection Adviser to Colleague Observation Manager and now my role as Private Banking Manager at Handelsbanken, where I am responsible for maintaining and developing a portfolio of private banking clients through building relationships, I have been able to utilise and further build on the skills and abilities instilled during my apprenticeships.

And it’s not just the professional or academic skills, it’s the soft or people skills that enable you to adapt to different scenarios and customers with specific needs – no two days are the same in banking.

Becoming an Apprentice Ambassador has been a fabulous experience. I loved my apprenticeships – they opened the door to a fantastically rewarding career. Being an Ambassador allows me to tell my story and help more people engage with the apprenticeship agenda.


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