Nick works in our legal and regulatory team supporting the fight against financial crime to protect the society and our members.
My first step in to the big wide world after leaving school at 16 was to join NatWest. I gained knowledge and experience through a variety of roles – from processing cheques (yes, I’m old) and opening accounts, to working as a cashier on the counter and in the counting house. It sounds very grand but was just a room full of cash from businesses.Whilst at NatWest I also had the opportunity to dip my toe in to the world of financial crime for the first time when I carried out the role of a fraud liaison officer.
After spending 12 years at NatWest, I was made redundant. I took a relative step into the unknown and joined a team at the Derbyshire Building Society that supported mortgage brokers.
I found the work interesting and varied – one of my duties involved carrying out checks on mortgage books (bundles of mortgage customers) of other lenders that The Derbyshire subsequently purchased. Unfortunately, The Derbyshire’s merger with the Nationwide Building Society again led to me being redundant for second time.
Fortunately, the transferrable skills and experience I had gained over a number of years of working in financial services allowed me to pursue an opportunity to work for a specialist pension provider. I reassessed my career goals and aspirations and decided that the work that gave me most job satisfaction, had been the most interesting and varied, and I felt best aligned with my skillset, was a financial crime role.
Armed with the above assessment, my next step was to work in a financial crime role at Barclays. The role gave me everything I had hoped it would. During my time I worked in a department that identified and reviewed a group of customers considered as posing a higher risk of money laundering due to the position they held. Some of my time was spent working in a department that assessed suspicions of money laundering identified by the branches. I reviewed the original suspicion and if I agreed with the original suspicion, I reported the matter to the law enforcement agencies. I also worked within the bank’s department that monitored the activity of terrorism suspects.
When I left Barclays, I worked for a pensions and wealth firm in compliance and financial crime which then led me to The Nottingham.
As somebody who scraped a half decent set of GCSEs and couldn’t wait to leave school, I have learnt over time the importance and benefits of ongoing development and professional qualifications. From the early days of my career (through banking exams), through changes in the roles I have undertaken (certificate in mortgage advice and practice) and up to my present role (currently studying for a diploma in anti-money laundering), I have sought to gain qualifications to supplement my working knowledge. The study material just takes a little longer to sink in at my age!
As my career journey shows, there are many opportunities that may present themselves to you – some you seek and some you don’t! It may seem strange to say that something positive came out of the times I faced redundancy – it can be an unsettling, upsetting time and cause you to think ‘is it something I’ve done, or not done?’. In my situation it took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to assess how I would like to drive my career forward. It also gave me the confidence when I reassessed my career goals and aspirations to take a leap back in to an area I really enjoy.
A willingness to adapt, to continue to develop and a little belief in yourself can go a long way!
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