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Alan Hughes

Former Chief Executive of First Direct Bank


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As Chief Executive of First Direct Bank, Alan trebled First Direct's size and profits, increased its lead as the UK's most recommended bank and won the 'Overall Best Customer Service' prize at the National Business Awards. Alan introduced the bank's award winning internet service and its deposit-backed offset-mortgage products. He has taught banking and continues to support higher education through honorary positions and lecturing and awarded Outstanding MBA Teacher of the Year 2008, 2009 and 2010. He chaired the independent review of the last Government's identity card programme and served as a member of the Cabinet Office Delivery Council and as a non-executive director of the UK Identity and Passport Service.

Alan focuses on practical business leadership as well as marketing and effective customer service. He has had an impressive career thus far and is well respected in the speaker circuit.  In his speeches, Alan highlights the importance of leadership and communications within companies and believes that communication is necessary.




Marketing & Branding

Sales/Customer Service

"It was refreshing to have an inspiring discussion about customer service. Alan's mixture of personal annecdotes, humorous and real life examples created an exceptional learning opportunity and the feedback we have received has been uniformly excellent" Home Office Leadership & Learning Directorate

"Alan Hughes draws on a vast wealth of experience and knowledge on delivering service excellenc, and is able to deliver deep insights in a clear and meaningful way. He is a captivating and thought-provoking speaker." Warwick Business School

"Since I had the pleasure to meet with Alan on an INSEAD program few years back, he always has been a great source of inspiration for me and everyone who had a chance to work with him directly. Each time we had an opportunity to work together, I always could see his involvement and passion in sharing his amazing experience with our participants. His expertise coupled with his people skills made it always a pleasure and an engaging learning experience." The Momentum Effect Council

"Over the last 7 years We have engaged Alan to work with Senior Managers from large conference platforms to informal discussions over dinner. He has a powerful message about the effectiveness of customer focus, liberating employees and the vital importance of values backed up by a track record which proves it works. Alan's style is incisive, laced with good examples and engaging. He remains one of our most well received speakers and puts his all into making each event impact-full." The Work Foundation

Alan presents in English


UK : £15k to £30k

Europe : £15k to £30k

US : £30k to £50k

Asia/Middle East : £30k to £50k

Travels From


As a visiting lecturer, Alan has worked at INSEAD France, Saïd Business School Oxford and Warwick Universities. He is also on the Leeds University Business School Advisory Board. Alan was awarded the 2007/8 Outstanding MBA Teacher Award by Warwick University.

Alan held a position as General Manager of Marketing at HSBC and he was in charge of re-branding Midlands Bank, with an aim of raising loyalty and sales.

He has also advised the National Health Service on Leadership and he has also advised the BBC Governors about developing accountability.

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