Focused on providing 'outstanding customer service' its unique culture is central to the bank’s success. Metro Bank opened its first branch in 2010 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2016. In August this year it was rated number one in the UK for personal current account service and number two for business current account service by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for the second time running.
Harmer has helped build the executive team and created a unique approach to culture and training that attracts and develops great people; Metro Bank was a top 25 Glassdoor employer and the highest-ranking bank in the UK in 2018, and CEO Craig Donaldson was voted in Glassdoor’s top three best UK CEOs of 2019 – as rated by Metro Bank employees.
Metro Bank takes a unique and innovative approach to everything it does for its employees. The focus is on brilliant training and relentless simplification so that every colleague feels set up to surprise and delight the customer. For example, the traditional nine-box talent grid does not exist at Metro Bank and has been replaced by talent families that are simple, effective and aligned to the bank’s model and culture.
Passionate about inclusion, Harmer is the executive ally for Mpride (the bank’s LGBT+ group) and has been recognised as a Financial Times Outstanding Top Ally Executive for three years running between 2016 and 2018. In October 2018 she was installed as master of the HR Guild with responsibility for promoting the HR profession, as well as contributing to the City and the wider community. She is also a frequent media commentator and speaker on HR, including chairing the HRD Summit in Birmingham this year.
Prior to Metro Bank Harmer worked in people roles at Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and HBOS. Unusually she only moved into the HR profession in 2003 and spent her early career in customer network and operations roles in retail banking. This helped spark her relentless focus on the customer and on the link between culture and customer experience.
An economics and business economics graduate from the University of Southampton, Harmer is a chartered fellow of the CIPD.
Outside work she spends much of her time running around after her three teenage children; a responsibility she shares with her husband George.