Harmony circle

Harmony Wong

Business Technology Lead, Business Technology Team, CAF Bank

Charities Aid Foundation

“There’s a closeness here. You can speak to everyone, all the way up to the CEO.”


What attracted you to working at CAF Bank?

With a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance and a Master’s in Management, I started my career in a customer services role at my local branch of a major high street bank. In such a large, structured environment I found it hard to build relationships and wanted a more personal touch. With CAF Bank, the focus on the third sector was a factor, but knowing that it was a smaller bank I thought it would suit my personality a bit more. And it does. I really feel there’s a closeness here; we’re a tight-knitted organisation where you can speak to everyone, all the way up to the CEO.

How has your career developed since joining CAF Bank?

I worked in the bank’s Customer Services team for 18 months, before taking a secondment into the Process, Systems and Projects team. This was initially a 12-month contract but it was made permanent, so I spent two years in that role. Then I joined the Business Change team for a year, before taking a secondment into Business Technology, which again was made permanent. So this is my fifth role in nearly seven years.

I’m also currently undertaking a Master’s degree apprenticeship in Digital Technology and Solutions Specialist as I like to keep learning. Despite not having that technical background, I’m interested in how the bank can maximise its use of technology, particularly as we’re undergoing a major transformation. The apprenticeship programme gives 20% of your working hours to studying, which is helpful.

How does CAF Bank differ from your previous workplaces?

There’s far more flexibility when it comes to learning and development. I’ve always had managers who are open, honest and supportive of my interests and developments. They have always pushed me to the next level by building my confidence to do different things. It’s always done with care; giving me the right level of challenge as well as support in place so I’m not jumping in at the deep end.

Being a smaller bank, you get to know everyone and can interact with people who aren’t in your team. Everyone’s always genuinely happy to help you. I’ve had plenty of conversations with people from other teams to find out what their jobs involve and how they got there. If you know what interests you have, you can get exposure to different areas to help build general skills, knowledge or ideas for career development.

Have you taken advantage of hybrid working?

Even before the pandemic, I was working flexibly as I was having family issues. It echoes what I said about being flexible and open; it was my manager who suggested working from home a few days a week to make it easier with all the travelling to see my family. So the transition during the pandemic and beyond was quite smooth. Working flexibly has really helped.

Does your role offer the sense of contributing to CAF’s overall purpose?

Definitely, driving change has always been what we try to do and you see that progress happening. No one had expected the pandemic to happen, but the speed with which we pivoted our working patterns and processes worked out really well. Some processes were more challenging, but we always try different things and aim to improve processes. Particularly since starting our transformation programme, we’re innovating a lot more.

We’re always keeping in mind the customers and their needs and expectations. That’s always the focus on whatever we do. I’ve learned that when you go through change, it’s not just the technology that needs considering, but the people and processes too. You need that cultural shift to bring about real, sustainable change.


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