Metro Bank chief executive Craig Donaldson is big on energy and enthusiasm.
The 46-year-old Sunderland Football Club supporting boss want his customers to be fans - fanatical about the bank and keen to talk to family and friends about it.
“That brings in more customers”, he told 160 delegates at the Rawlinsons business conference 2018 at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.
It also helps keeps down the advertising costs as the bank relies on customer satisfaction and word of mouth to attract new business.
The bank, which opened its 50th and most northerly bank in Long Causeway, Peterborough, a year ago, spent just £62k on advertising last year compared to £70 million on technology, stores and staff.
Giving the customer what he or she wants immediately is at the heart of his vision - scribbled on a beer mat in a pub when he helped create the bank and now proudly framed on a wall at home.
He said: “I looked up the 10 things people hate about banking and engineered them out.
“We open seven days a week and customers get bank cards and accounts immediately.
He said: “We don’t have branches we have stores. Stores are where you get served, branches are where you queue, stand in the dark and feel sorry for yourself.
“We don’t run incentives to get people to join us and we don’t have sales targets for staff.”
It means his staff have to buzz with energy and be ready to engage with customers.
He said: “Everyone who joins us has to do the conga around the office on their first day - showing energy and a readiness to try something new.
“If they won’t do it, they’re probably not right for the company.”
It may be off the wall but the proof is in the figures for the man at the centre of a revolution in banking.
He said: “Our business has grown via recommendation and satisfaction. We now have 55 stores with 1.2million fans and our plan is to grow to 200 stores by 2027.”
The bank, which was Britain’s first new high street bank in more than 100 years, was listed in 2016 and is now worth £3.2 billion with 3,200 staff.
Afterwards Ken Craig, director at Rawlinsons, said: “Craig’s keynote session was thought-provoking and inspirational to delegates.”
Other speakers at the conference included former FTSE 100 businessman Brian Jones, now co-owner of Alwalton Hall and business updates from Rawlinsons senior directors Ken Craig and Mark Jackson.