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A shared culture of giving back

Bank and customer connected by a shared ethos

The personal-finance business is about people – their hopes and ambitions, and the routes they can take to achieving them. That’s why Basingstoke’s Fortem Financial Management Ltd devotes time to financial education within the local community. This shared interest in giving back is one of the many reasons why Kevin White, Fortem’s Managing Partner, chose Metro Bank.

Kevin and his business partner set up Fortem in 2017, using the skills and insights he’d gathered while working for a high-profile personal-finance company. After spending time overseas, he returned to the UK in a senior role. But it wasn’t long before he decided to build his own business instead of someone else’s.

Banking with Metro Bank is “a breath of fresh air”

“We started banking with Metro Bank right at the beginning, when we set up the company,” says Kevin. “Metro Bank has a customer-service ethos that perfectly matches how we work as a business. It was a breath of fresh air to open a new business account and have a personal contact. The ability to speak to my Local Business Manager, Mario – by phone or in-store – is so important to me and the way that I run my business."

Putting community at the heart of business

For Kevin, community involvement is fundamental to the way he does business. He’s a Governor and Trustee for a local school, and Chair of Basingstoke Football Club. Through Fortem he works with local schools and colleges, offers work placements for students, and sponsors a Business and Community Award at Basingstoke’s local Inspire Business Awards.

“The main focus for us in the local community is on financial education. We’re a massive believer that not enough is done to teach people about money. We like to go into schools, businesses, colleges and universities to teach the subject. We’re in a privileged position in being able to advise people on their finances. So to be able to educate people as well is something that’s massively important for us. And it’s great that Metro Bank is also involved in financial education.”

One of the ways that Metro Bank works to build connections across the community is through its networking events. Fortem is a regular participant.

In the words of our Local Business Manager, Mario Leitao, “Community is what makes us different.”

“Once a month,” he says, “we host a networking event in our store, and invite local businesses, charities and customers. It’s very informal. Our aim is to get people connected with each other within the community. Kevin is one of the regulars who joins us each month.”