KBC Bank Ireland (KBCI) has been providing banking services in Ireland for over 40 years. It is also part of the KBC Group, one of Europe’s most recognisable financial institutions.

I joined KBCI’s regulatory reporting team as a trainee accountant in 2007. At the time, it consisted of five people who were responsible for all aspects of regulatory, group and financial reporting. Increased oversight across the banking sector, following the financial crisis, required the team to expand rapidly and provided a great learning period for me. This eventually led to me overseeing both group and financial reporting for KBCI.

I don’t think there is any magic business lesson that trumps being yourself, approachable and dependable to the people around you

In my current role as group reporting manager, I manage a team responsible for the delivery of financial information to KBC Group NV in Belgium. This information is consolidated and used for both internal management reporting and external reporting purposes – for example, quarterly financial reports, annual financial statements and regulatory reporting. The team also provides quantitative information for the bank’s financial statements and is involved in the budgetary process.

Project work is a part of my job that I really enjoy as it involves working with a range of people and departments. It allows me to share my experience with others and learn from their expertise. I have been responsible for implementing new accounting standards and was a project lead for IFRS 9 implementation. I am a point of contact within Finance for a number of data projects, including for a group-wide data warehousing project.

Through the Covid-19 pandemic, KBC, alongside the wider banking industry, has been committed to supporting our customers who found themselves in financial difficulty. We have offered a range of mortgage and loan payment breaks and financial solutions tailored to each customer’s individual circumstances. The pandemic was also a catalyst for the growth of the digital and mobile banking landscape.

Within this context, we continued to bring our customers a range of new digital banking products to support these changes. In April 2020, right at the start of the pandemic, we upgraded our core banking system to the most up-to-date version of Temenos, a globally used digital banking platform.  This enabled us to accelerate the pace of innovation, including the launch of our digital pension experience, digital investments and digital mortgage approval in principle for customers. We are really proud that we could bring this level of customer experience to our customers despite the challenges brought by the pandemic.

A key part of my job involves liaising with different people from many departments within the bank, both in Ireland and internationally, and with external parties. I like to be as helpful and considerate with people as I can. It doesn’t take much to listen and offer support to colleagues in busy periods. Being there for people in a dependable way has helped to cement many solid working relationships. I am lucky that I have a really positive and supportive team around me that I know I can call on for advice and guidance.

To be honest, I don’t think there is any magic business lesson that trumps being yourself, approachable and dependable to the people around you. In life and in business, treating those around you with respect and knowing when to reach out for guidance or support garners the greatest rewards.