For Lilian Díaz-Bento, First Bank’s executive vice president in charge of business groups, closely serving the financial institution’s 58 branches across Puerto Rico is a commitment she has along with her well-engaged employees.
The branches handle traditional services like deposits, payments, and check transactions, among others, and when adding up the total number of customers visiting branches for other transactions, they serve more than 1 million people monthly, she explained.
“I manage a group of large people, I have about 700 people in my group, so a big part of my job is to make sure that we have the right people, that we have as few problems as possible, that we have engaged employees, that they have the necessary training to be able to do their jobs,” said Díaz.
She also manages the small businesses transactions, the Commercial Transaction Banking unit, where they handle cash management, as well as the Prime Banking Unit, where customers make large deposits.
When working with small businesses, the units she manages address all the business needs, both those who need financing and those who need services such as general banking deposits, payroll, or payment.
“When we serve clients, we have to be well aware of what our customers say, what the customer experience is, what things we can improve as an institution, what services we should add or improve so that the client receives everything they need, and we are on par with their expectations,” said Díaz-Bento, who also oversees the Platinum Banking unit, through which First Bank handles government accounts and deal with work deposits from large clientele.
“In the branch we work with businesses or commercial clients, we also work individuals who need a bank account, a credit card, a mortgage, a personal loan — all that is managed through our branch networks and depending on the need of the client, because we have centralized areas that give support,” said Díaz-Bento.
The executive working with First Bank in September 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, after the financial institution closed on its acquisition of the former Santander bank.
“To start integrating two operations in the middle of the pandemic — when they sometimes could not even meet in person, when it was all by Zoom, by phone — and branches obviously had to be open and give service to the public following all the health and safety protocols, it has probably been one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had to face,” said Díaz.
She said First Bank is very focused on supporting the community through many initiatives and wants to keep encouraging its support to small businesses and institutions of profit, many of them with the help of their employees.