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MEET THE FOLKS: Joanna Chan, Head of Risk


We’re a friendly bunch at FOLK2FOLK and we love seeing the positive and life changing impact finance can have.  We get to know our customers so we thought you might like to know a bit about us too.

Over to you Jo…

I grew up in Hong Kong but have been living the UK since I was a teenager. I have always enjoyed maths and sciences so I studied Maths and Statistics at Uni. When I graduated, if felt natural to go into finance with my skills, so I joined BNP Paribas, a French investment bank and worked on the trading floor for almost a decade.

At BNP Paribas, I conducted research on Bonds and CDS, closely followed the global economic trends and frequently made trade recommendations to fund managers. It was a job that incorporated extensive experience in credit, risk and trading strategy. Through work, I have lived and worked in London, Hong Kong and made numerous business trips in Asia in 90% humidity!

I love the numerical nature of my job but have always enjoyed interacting with customers also. A couple years ago, we decided to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and move to Cornwall to be closer to family – what a change it has been from Hong Kong but we have never looked back!  I found out about FOLK2FOLK when I moved to Cornwall and was so excited to see a thriving financial business right on my door step – I wanted to be part of it right away.  I am a big supporter of independent businesses and British produce, so FOLK2FOLK’s ethos really appeals to me.

I am Head of Risk at FOLK2FOLK, my team and I run the loan portfolio. Essentially, we make sure that our loan book is in good shape and deal with customers’ requests during the lifetime of the loan. Strange as it might sound, I love problem solving, whether it’s to do with numbers or not so really enjoy that aspect of my job.  It’s also my responsibility to keep an eye on our default rate and loan performances. We report our loan book performance regularly to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have recently published our Outcomes Statement for 2020 on our website which provides Investors with insight into loan book performance and our risk management.

It’s a busy operation at FOLK2FOLK; there is never a dull day! After working for a big corporation, working for a smaller business is a totally different environment. Being part of the Senior Management Team means I frequently collaborate with other Senior Managers, learning from their broad skills, experience and knowledge – often, business decisions are more than just number-crunching.

Although I have only been at FOLK2FOLK for 2 years, the company has been through substantial growth, from reporting profitability for the first time, exceeding £400m total loan origination, to getting accredited by the British Business Bank under CBILS. I am so proud to have witnessed this progress and be able to share in this “winning feeling” with my colleagues. But it doesn’t stop here, I’m very positive about the journey ahead still for FOLK2FOLK and I have confidence that we have a great team to take FOLK2FOLK to another level.

Outside of work, I love getting out and about, from coast to moor! I am also a big foodie, being so far from the exotic flavours of Asia means I have started challenging myself to replicate dishes from scratch! “Dumplings anyone?”

#LoveWhereYouWork #MeetTheFOLKS #HelpfulFOLK

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