Bank Goes from Pole to Polish

Bank Goes from Pole to Polish


Opportunity Knocks

Peter Day
BBC-Radio 4
In Business (podcast) 11 May 2006
British Broadcasting Corporation © 2002-2005
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Local Barclays Bank branch has had growth of 60 – 80% by attracting Polish clients living in London. It started when the branch recruited a Polish member of staff who attracted business though word of mouth. Polish clients found it convenient dealing in their own language.

The bank is now embarked on a recruitment drive for Polish employees. The bank expects to attract 2,000 Polish businesses from the catchment area.

- local branch business growth of 60 – 80%.
- the bank has 10 Polish employees working in the area and recruiting more.
- estimated Polish settlers in the
UK in 2005 is 132,000.
- estimated Polish settlers since opening borders 350,000 – 750,000.

Language Issues:
- Polish employees can communicate in both English and Polish. So, in a way, the bank is recruiting language efficient employees with the necessary professional skills already in place.
- it seems that a certain critical mass is required in business to make any investment in languages worth while.


- a seamless integration of language skills and professional skills is probably necessary to maintain any competitive edge. Presumably, the competition is watching and would want part of the action.

Are there cultural requirements which clients expect from the bank?

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