Next SME banking podcast looks at how RBC is bringing true value to business owners

Lori Darlington is the VP, Small Business, Business Financial Services Strategy & Partnerships at Royal Bank of Canada. She spoke with Efma’s Lukas Dzuroska about her early start in banking and the continuous evolution of SME banking. 

Next SME banking podcast looks at how RBC is bringing true value to business owners

As business owners everywhere are navigating the turbulent business environment that is 2020, they are often turning to their bankers for guidance. To understand how this works in practice, Efma’s SME banking expert Lukas Dzuroska spoke with Lori Darlington, an executive at RBS. For Ms. Darlington, business banking runs in the family, with her father’s career as a banker socializing her early on in the world of financial services. “Business banking is one area that I’ve got a real passion for. It’s the area I started in 18 years ago and it’s an area I keep gravitating back to,” said Ms. Darlington. Ms. Darlington is a nominee for 2020 SME Banker of the Year.

In this latest installment of the Efma-Mastercard SME Banking podcast, the two talk about the criticality of SMEs to the global economy. Said Ms. Darlington: “The impact of small businesses on the global economy cannot be understated right now. The SMEs account for about 90% of businesses globally, 50% of employment, and up to 40% of national GDP in emerging countries. It’s really important to remind ourselves that every big business out there today started as a SME.”  

Providing crucial services to businesses of all sizes is a major way banks are contributing to creating a more resilient and dynamic business environment. But these types of services have changed so much in recent years. According Ms. Darlington, “Digital has really completely changed the landscape for SMEs. Borderless business represents a big opportunity for them as they have unprecedented access to new markets. With access to digital, there are so many more tools for people to start, manage, and grow their business.”

They also touched upon the difficulties business owners face in finding the right balance between physical and digital operations. With so many options and resources now available, RBC is helping businesses cut through the clutter in order to find the most optimal solutions to managing increasingly convergent bricks-and-mortar and online models. “As an organization, if we can help our clients through these types of moments of truth beyond just transactional banking, that is how we can best support SMEs,” said Ms. Darlington.

Lukas and Lori discuss much more throughout their conversation. To listen, download the podcast here.