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New regional director is appointed

Unity Trust Bank has strengthened its Midlands presence with the appointment of a new regional director, James Whitaker.

James joins Unity Trust Bank after 13 years at Barclays, where he was director for High Growth and Entrepreneurship and regional head of SME for Business Banking, responsible in both roles for supporting innovative high growth businesses.

Having spent 11 years focused on the Midlands and through his involvement with the Midlands Engine Investment Fund which promotes economic growth, James brings with him strong financial experience, an established network and a clear vision for building Unity Trust Bank’s presence and profile in the region.

Heading up a team of relationship managers, James will be responsible for ensuring that customers continue to receive a highly personal service, responding to their specific needs in a challenging economic climate, and engaging with new customers across a diverse range of sectors.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Unity Trust Bank has provided commercial business banking for over 35 years. An independent bank, it supports organisations across the UK that are socially responsible and that share its philosophy of contributing positively to economic, community and social change.

James said: “I was attracted to Unity Trust Bank because of its Midlands heritage, its dual focus on sustainable financial returns alongside social impact, and the opportunity to grow its footprint in the region. It’s rare to find a bank where social impact is truly embedded across the whole organisation, but Unity has a proven track record of delivering exactly that.

“Having joined the Bank against the current backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s encouraging to see how Unity is supporting its customers and the local economy through a range of measures such as providing advice on cash management and business continuity.  We have also agreed significant loans with community development finance institutions to enable them, in turn, to deliver responsible, affordable lending to SMEs and social enterprises, including through the Government’s CBILs programme.

“Coronavirus has not impacted our own ability to do business or provide support to our customers, many of whom have robust plans for future growth. Unity Trust Bank has an excellent track record of working with the charitable sector, unions, social housing, healthcare, education and local authorities. It is also supportive of businesses looking to implement Employee Ownership Trusts, and the increasing number that have social or environmental impact at the forefront of their business purpose. We continue to be focused on growing our presence and profile within these markets and are actively recruiting here in the Midlands to support our expansion plans.”

CEO of Unity Trust Bank, Margaret Willis, said: “I’m delighted to welcome James to the Unity team. With our Head Office in Birmingham, the Midlands region is particularly significant for us. James will lead our investment in the region and ensure we are well positioned to deliver real value to the communities we serve.” 

Pictured: James Whitaker

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