Magazine article Management Today

Net Heads

Magazine article Management Today

Net Heads

Article excerpt

NAME PHIL GARLIC POSITION HEAD OF OPERATIONS, SMILE - THE INTERNET BANK WEB SITE WWW.SMILE.CO.UK

This month Phil Garlic, head of smile, the cheery, chirpy online bank, tells us why it's great to be first, how there's no room for sloppiness when it comes to internet financial services and how, in the wired world, the consumer will really be king.

When did you become interested in the internet?

The concept for smile came together around May 1998; that was when we [the Co-operative bank] decided we should go for it and create an internet bank. And we spent the back end of 1998 and the start of '99 doing a lot of research before launching in the second half of last year. Personally I became interested in the net about two years ago, when I started surfing in the course of research.

How much time do you spend surfing each day?

Between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on what I'm doing.

Which sites do you use each week?

As soon as I log on I go to the BBC site (www.bbc.co.uk] to look at the latest news; you can't beat it. I also like the Daily Telegraph (www.dailytelegraph.co.uk], which has very easy-to-read business pages and fletch.co.uk, Fletcher Research's site, which is good for financial services. Personally I like mcfc.co.uk - I'm a sad Man City fan - lastminute.com and grapeandgrain.co.uk, the Co-operative group's online wine shop. And of course I bank at smile.co.uk.

Who are your advisers?

Our site was designed by Technophobia, a Sheffield-based company. …

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