Sykes began her First Direct career back in 2006 as a graduate trainee, seeing through a number of placements within different areas of the company, including leading an eight-person call centre team. Her first communications role came in 2008, and she was promoted to her current role two years ago, responsible for media relations and internal comms.

The Leeds-based bank’s comms team has quite a reputation to preserve – a recent survey by research firm Nunwood saw First Direct overtake John Lewis to be named top in a customer service survey of 260 brands.