Banking boss backs businesses to bounce back from current challenges
One of the most senior banking bosses in the South West says businesses in the region are coping well with the series of challenges they have been presented with.
Amanda Dorel has been with Lloyds Group Banking for 35 years and spent the last 25 of those working with SMEs.
After three years as a regional director in the Midlands she has spent the last year working in the South West.
Dorel accepts that inflation, the cost of living and issues around supply chains have set businesses of all sizes and in all sectors a series of challenges.
She said: “Obviously we keep a close eye on our Business Barometer which found that confidence was at a low point at the start of the year.
“But the reality is that businesses have learnt to be resilient and to be adaptable over the last few years. The pandemic saw many business adapt and change the way they did things in a short space of time.
“The lessons learnt during the pandemic have helped many businesses deal with the current challenges they are facing.”
Dorel admits she has been surprised by how few businesses have struggled.
She said: “If I was being honest we were expecting a high number of distressed businesses as a result of the squeeze on the cost of living but that has not materialised.
“In the South West we deal with a lot of businesses in the hospitality sector and many of them have learnt to be agile and to adapt their offering to suit their customers.”
Dorel has also expressed the importance of her staff staying in close contact with their customers.
She said: “We have a network of advisers across the South West and all of them are in constant contact with our clients.
“It is really important for us an organisation to be in close contact with the businesses we work with and are supporting.”
Dorel leads a team of locally based relationship managers spread from Bristol to Cornwall The Teams role is to support and work with local businesses ranging from £3m to £100m turnover to help the business owners deliver on their goals and aspirations.
In addition, she is the head of inclusion and diversity for the business and is committed to ensuring that the division is an inclusive place for all Colleagues to work in.