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A culture of compliance: Niall Hanley on building trust with customers

Permanent TSB’s Niall Hanley recently won the Compliance Champion award at the IOB Future of Finance Awards 2023. We speak with Niall about how compliance expertise can help to build trust with customers and support them at pivotal moments in their life.

Niall Hanley began his financial services career in a customer facing role at Permanent TSB’s William Street branch in Limerick. Since then, Niall has progressed to a variety of roles focused on compliance, customer service, mortgage coordination and branch management. Today, his passion for community engagement and customer service remains at the core of his work as Territory Sales Manager, Southeast Region with Permanent TSB.

Niall recently was announced as the winner of the Compliance Champion category at the IOB Future of Finance Awards. His nominator for the Award called out Niall’s strong leadership skills, citing him as a leader for his team and within the financial services industry in the Mid-West.

Providing community support

In his current role, Niall oversees Permanent TSB’s reach and delivery of products and services within Clare. Community engagement has always been a passion of Niall’s. As part of his work with the Dooradoyle branch of Permanent TSB, he introduced mortgage advice evenings to provide the local community with access to financial advice in a face-to-face setting, outside of regular business hours.

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The events were extremely popular. While customers have easy access to information and resources online, Niall believes that face-to-face support remains so important. “It’s so important to have people on the ground, in-person who can take complicated information and explain it in a simple, clear manner to the customer,” he says.

Niall was encouraged to see the impact of these events firsthand. “There was one Thursday evening in particular when we had three families at the event speaking to three different advisors. All looking for advice to buy their first home. That to me was hugely gratifying,” he says.

The power of a local branch

Niall sees the bank as a key supporter for customers at critical times of their life. Whether it’s helping a customer to open a current account for their first job, securing a loan for their first car or applying for a mortgage for their first home, the local branch is there to provide information and support. “I believe very strongly in the power of a branch in a community. I believe in the positive impact that we can have in people’s lives,” Niall says.

Having a physical presence in the community also helps when building strong relationships with local businesses, charities and community groups. The Dooradoyle branch of Permanent TSB regularly hosts events for local businesses and raises funds for not-for-profit organisations and charities in the locality. ”I really enjoy being able to make that impact in the community as well,” he says.

The compliance mindset

Throughout his career, Niall has trained and studied to ensure he has the knowledge and expertise to guide customers and fulfil regulatory obligations.

“Compliance is essential. In our role, everything has to be right first time. Not only for the variety of Central Bank and legislative requirements, but also, it’s key to building trust with the customer and that’s what we’re all about,” Niall explains.

Given the scale and speed with which regulations can change, staying on top of an evolving regulatory landscape and being able to clearly communicate information to customers is an important part of Niall’s role. “It’s so important that we keep compliance at the forefront of our mind”, he said.

Niall sees his IOB Future of Finance Award success as recognition of the strong culture of compliance throughout Permanent TSB. “The compliance culture permeates throughout the organisation right down to where the rubber hits the road – where we are dealing with customers on a daily basis… It’s great to see the compliance award go to retail banking.”

Professional development

Education has been an important way for Niall to adapt and keep pace with a sector that is evolving rapidly. Following completion of his BA in Public Administration with the University of Limerick, Niall undertook his first study with IOB in 2006, when he completed the Certificate in Consumer Credit with IOB. Since then, he has completed a Diploma and two Professional Certificate programmes with IOB. “As I’ve gone into different areas of the bank, I’ve been able to participate in courses and studies that would complement these roles,” Niall says.

Now as a member of his bank’s senior management team, Niall is proud to support his team members on their learning journey. “Four members of my team recently began their journey of study with IOB. They passed their first exams with IOB in September last year. It’s really gratifying to see them starting out on that journey that I’ve been on.”

IOB Future of Finance Awards

Niall Hanley won the Compliance Champion award at the IOB Future of Finance Awards 2023. Learn more about the IOB Future of Finance Awards the 2023 winners here.