"I have a great team behind me who are passionate about what they do and work hard to deliver real value to our intermediary partners and customers. This makes me proud every day."
We spoke to Claire Rankin, director of strategy and digital transformation at Shawbrook Bank, about how technology can vastly improve the mortgage process and what achievement she is most proud of in her career to date.
FR: What’s your current role and how long have you been in it?
Currently I am director of strategy and digital transformation. Technically, it’s a relatively new position, but in practice it’s a spin-off from my previous role. It was created to reflect the level of focus required to drive our digital programme. Overall, I’ve worked at Shawbrook for 6.5 years now.
FR: How did you first get into the financial services industry and why?
Some would say they fell into financial services unintentionally. I, on the other hand, chose it. I didn’t want to go to university at the end of my high school years, but I did want a career where I could work my way up the ladder through gaining practical experience. When I left school, I started out in a telephone banking role at Dunfermline Building Society. From there I passed CeMAP and went on to be a mortgage adviser, then a business development manager, before shifting my focus to technology and how we can use that to vastly improve the mortgage process.
FR: What achievement are you proudest of in your career to date?
I’m really proud to be leading our digital transformation journey at Shawbrook. I have a great team behind me who are passionate about what they do and work hard to deliver real value to our intermediary partners and customers. This makes me proud every day.
FR: Who’s had the biggest impact on your career to date?
I’ve been fortunate to work with many brilliant, talented and experienced people over the years, but I’d say the turning point in my career was joining Shawbrook. Since then I’ve been given various opportunities to learn and advance both personally and professionally. I’ve had great mentors and above all, support and encouragement from my colleagues across the business, all of which have helped me in my career to date.
FR: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
A few pieces of advice have stuck with me over the years:
1) Ask questions. Lots of them.
2) Don’t be intimidated by apparent experts using jargon and complex terminology; it’s easy to complicate a simple subject but there is real skill in making a complicated subject easy to understand.
3) Don’t try to be interesting; be interested.
FR: If you had to sum up working in financial services in three words, what would it be?
Interesting, challenging, and rewarding.