Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alliance and Leicester Plc

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Alliance and Leicester Plc

The Alliance and Leicester is an above all a mortgage specialist and intends to remain one. The financial Group has been operating since 185 and offers a range of products and loan and insurance services throughout the UK. The Alliance and Leicester operates through 10 branches and 17,500 post offices. It has focused on so-called tradition savings, current account, credit card, consumer credit (housing and cars) and cash products. The company also provides a variety of insurance and pension services. The services offered are traditional ones, and the Alliance and Leicester has proved its effectiveness in this field.

Key Success Factors

Key success factors concern the product attributes, competencies, competitive capabilities, and market achievements with the greatest direct bearing on company profitability.

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The Company was floated on the stock market in 17 and now firmly established as a major financial services provider committed to provide customers with a wide range of mortgage, investment, insurance services, cash transmission and corporate banking facilities.

Against a background of rapid change and increased competition within financial services, the Alliance & Leicester Group has successfully met the challenges faced by the industry and they are demonstrated this by

• announcing record profits following the business flotation and creating strong shareholder value.

• developing innovative products including the first money-back credit card and the recently launched free energy mortgage.

• diversifying activities across a broad range of businesses; in 17 8% of operating profit was generated from areas other than the traditional mortgage lending and retail investments.

• ensuring Girobank maintains its market leading position in cash and cheque handling for the retail sector.

• reviewing our structures and processes, clearly focusing our operations on sales and customer service.

• establishing a clear market presence through strong branding.

• developing successful call centre operations, servicing all aspects of our personal and corporate customers’ needs.

This provides only a snapshot of their achievements and as a Group they are determined to continue with the success and growth. I believe that these achievements are attributable to the following key factors

• development of a progressive Company culture based on teamwork, staff participation and open communication.

• flexible, skilled and professional staff who can rise to a challenge.

• strong and dynamic leadership;

• active investment in new technology.

• a clear organisational structure where responsibility and accountability is allocated to the staff.

Alliance and Leicester are organised into the following business sectors.

Mortgage Lending & Investments

This business sector is responsible for the Group’s mortgage lending and retail savings operations via state of the art call centres and branch network together with related businesses such as general insurance, life assurance and unit trusts. The Alliance & Leicester General Insurance subsidiary was launched in August 17.

Personal Banking

This sector represents personal current accounts, credit and debit cards and unsecured lending activities. The unsecured loan business is a very successful part of the Group and during 17, the value of this business increased by 6%.

Commercial Banking

This involves the provision of a range of services principally to retailers, local authorities and utilities, including cash and cheque handling, bill payments, asset finance including leasing, merchant acquisition and commercial lending.

Treasury & Group

This business sector comprises the Group’s treasury subsidiary, Alliance & Leicester Group Treasury plc. This operation manages the wholesale funding and liquidity of the Group and provide a treasury service to the Group and its customers.

Core Competencies

Those functions or practices deemed by a company as central to its existence. Those activities that the company believes it does best, should focus on and that are in the company’s best interest for long-term success and growth

Alliance & Leicester remains determined to manage its mortgage business to generate shareholder value, by ensuring that it’s pricing, while competitive, is at profitable levels. They will continue to focus on improving its cost performance in this business so that profitable products can be offered.

The banking group is also structuring its administrative operations so that common processes can be delivered from efficient centres of expertise across the range of its retail banking products. This re-engineering of its business will lead to more efficient processes and improved customer service.

In addition, Alliance & Leicester is developing its channel integration strategy to enable customers to do business with Alliance & Leicester in the ways they want to, not by imposing a single solution on them.

Alliance & Leicester’s Girobank future growth is continuing to build on its core competencies in cash transmission, and by developing the range of its services for corporate customers. Alliance & Leicester Group Treasury is developing a plan, and it expects to see further controlled growth in the Tresury contribution earnings in the year ahead.

Business volumes and profits have increased in key product areas and Alliance & Leicester maintained downward pressure on cost, leading to a further significant fall in its cost income ratio.

Project CUBA improved the way that the infrastructure is managed and supported. “We have been able to reduce risk, improve service availability, reduce the time to fix problems and achieve sustainable ongoing cost-reductions,” states Peter Wheatcroft, Director of Technology Services, Alliance & Leicester.

The company introduced a company -wide training programme called Valuing Individual People, including a two-day course called Delivering Service Excellence. We talked about the company’s strategy, what it meant and practical tools in how to support customers, says Paul Wildes, head of HR service delivery. That training cost us about £4.m.

Several schemes were specifically introduced to improve customer focus. The first is Customer Service Champions, when people nominate colleagues who are constantly providing an excellent service, continues Wildes. Each quarter, four employees are sent to Disneyland Paris or Walt Disney World in Florida for a week, where they receive training in customer service skills. It gives people a different perspective and a reward, says Wildes.

The company also runs more widespread, small-scale awards called Gems - Going the Extra Mile. The award might take the form of a bottle of champagne, for example. Its about giving people recognition, says Wildes. It is low cost, but it encourages people to adopt the right behaviour, and that recognition of the manager saying thank you is very powerful.

Recently, the company has extended its bonus scheme so that it is not only linked to sales, but also to customer service as well. In order to really hammer home the concept of customer service, Alliance & Leicester asks employees to take note of how people in other organisations and professions operate.

We have given staff introduction cards to pass on to people who are excellent at service. It makes people think about what differentiates in terms of excellence. It also saves us recruitment costs and because there is a payment of up to £750 for the introducer, it gives employees extra money, says Wildes.

Key points

- Project CUBA

- Channel integration strategy

- Rolled out a £4.m training package across the whole workforce, including a programme called Delivering Service Excellence Customer Service Champions - an award and extra training for customer-focused employees

- Gems - smaller awards for employees providing good customer services

Competitive Advantage

- An advantage a business has over its competitors because of the quality or superiority of products or services which will persuade customers to buy from them rather than from competitors.

Most lenders have used technology simply to speed up the front-end decision. Alliance &Leicester’s online mortgage application system has speeded up the whole mortgage application process, providing quicker decisions, faster processing, easy tracking of cases and less paperwork. It is the best system in the market place, and intends to keep it ahead of its competitors.

A&L main competitors are;

• Abbey National

• HSBC

• Barclays

• Lloyds TSB

• Nationwide

• First Direct

• Natwest

• Halifax

Alliance & Leicester (A&L) has embraced a huge, multi-dimensional change programme intended to transform it into the most customer-focused financial services provider in the UK. The programme encompasses a rigorous simplification of A&Ls business and the deployment of a technical architecture to underpin a total customer management capability. The programme will boost A&Ls competitive advantage and enhance shareholder value.

In the aggressive UK financial services market place A&L wanted to develop and deliver a strategy for change that would exploit its core capabilities and ensure a strong independent future. The bank selected KPMG Consulting to design, develop and implement an integrated programme of change to transform all areas of the organisation.

The integrated business and technology programme needed to leverage A&Ls customer relationships, deliver challenging financial targets on revenue growth, and achieve a £100 million reduction in costs over a three year period. KPMG Consulting resources have been deployed across three key areas programme management; delivery of an integrated business and IT architecture; and cost management.

Programme management

KPMG Consulting has supported A&L in setting up a robust programme governance and management structure. This structure ensures that a programme of integrated projects, currently numbering around 80, is appropriately managed across the organisation and that key stakeholders are adequately involved in decision-making processes.

The roll-out of KPMG Consultings programme and project management methodologies has helped to manage delivery risks. As part of the programme a review of A&Ls existing projects was carried out and all those deemed non-essential were cancelled.

Integrated architecture

Turning the strategy into reality has involved the design and development of an integrated, medium-term, business and IT target model. This model identified the key developments needed to deliver the new customer management-based architecture.

A&L wanted this architecture to include the development of an operational single view of the customer; the delivery of a common set of processes and logic in a sophisticated middleware solution; the integration of all channels and products with consistent information; and enhanced sales and servicing functionality.

A phased approach was developed to turn the technical and business architecture into a series of releases aligned to business priorities. The delivery of the new integrated business and technical infrastructure has brought A&L a range of business benefits, including multi-channel servicing capability and increased self-service capability.

Cost management

A major cost management exercise analysed the cost profile of non-customer-facing functions right across the A&L Group.

Through robust processes based on appropriate benchmarking comparisons, the KPMG Consulting team has helped A&L to achieve significant cost reductions in the short-term and has identified medium-term opportunities for further efficiencies.

The cost management work stream has also successfully identified savings of tens of millions of pounds.

The benefits

A&Ls ongoing change programme is fundamental to the company achieving its short-, medium- and long-term financial targets around income growth and cost reduction. It has focused the organisation on initiatives that deliver most value and make best use of scarce resources in key areas such as IT.

The change programme has allowed the organisation to enhance the A&L customer experience, improve customer retention rates, increase cross-sales and reduce costs.

Distinctive capabilities

These capabilities have been termed “distinctive competencies” and generally refer to the unique skills and activities that a firm can do better than rival firms. (Selznick, 157; Lado, Boyd and Wright, 1). Moreover, these are the distinctive capabilities that support a market position that is valuable and difficult to imitate.

The best test of the distinctiveness of a capability is whether it disproportionately facilitates the provision of superior customer value or permits the business to deliver to customers in an appreciably more cost-effective way. In this respect, a distinctive capability functions much like a key success factor.

Alliance & Leicester’ CEO argued that the power of the groups brand is an important strength on which to build future business. He added that there is clear evidence from independent market research that awareness of the Alliance & Leicester brand is higher than for number of its large competitors, as is the number of potential customer who considers Alliance & Leicester as potential provider of financial services for their own needs.

Alliance and Leicester Aims

The Alliance & Leicester Groups vision is to deliver value to our shareholders by becoming the UKs most customer focused financial services organisation - bar none.

Customers & their reputation

• A&L’s reputation as a secure, customer focused financial services institution is based upon prudent management of their assets and the provision of a range of products and services which meet customers needs and offer value for money.

• Earning and retaining the trust and confidence of customers must be a high priority for A&L as they believe this is essential for providing and sustaining long term profitable relationships with them.

• A&L aim to provide the highest standards of customer service treating each customer as an individual. Complaints will be resolved as expeditiously as possible and they will seek to learn from their mistakes.

• The information they give to customers is clear and readily understandable form.

• A&L will not risk the Groups reputation by knowingly associating with people or organisations or products or transactions which could potentially damage that reputation.

• A&L are positive about complying with legal and regulatory obligations - this protects their customers, shareholders and themselves.

Three have become one! Alliance & Leicester Business Banking, Girobank & Sovereign Finance have come together under one brand. This means that customers will have access to an experienced team of business specialists - and a complete range of business finance services.

About Alliance and Leicester

Alliance & Leicester is one of the UKs major financial services groups. It offers a broad range of financial services to personal, commercial and small business customers. Alliance & Leicester has been a member of the FTSE 100 index of leading shares since converting from its original mutual building society status in 17.

Internet Share Dealing

Their Internet Share Dealing Service, provided by Barclays Stockbrokers, is a nominee share dealing service. You can use this service to buy and sell shares during market hours, on the London Stock Exchange.

This service offers

• Low dealing fees

• Online registration

• Nominee service

• Real-time quotes

• Automatic online stock switching facility

• A safe, secure online trading system

• Settlement in business days

Telephone Share Dealing

The Alliance & Leicester Telephone Share Dealing Service is also provided by Barclays Stockbrokers. It enables you to deal directly with a stockbroker over the phone and has been specially designed to make UK share dealing easy.

• Registration by telephone and the ability to deal straight away

• Fast telephone dealing with up-to-the-minute prices

• Settlement in 10 business days

• Certificated dealing

About American Express Sharepeople

American Express Sharepeople is one of the leading online brokers in the UK. American Express Sharepeople is the umbrella marketing name for Sharepeople Limited which became one of the American Express group companies following an acquisition in January 001. The American Express group is one of the world’s leading card and travel service providers. American Express Sharepeople brings together the innovations and market expertise of the retail broking industry with one of the most respected and recognisable service brands in the world. American Express Sharepeople will utilise the strengths of its parent brand along with the experience and knowledge of the Sharepeople team to continue to offer a broad range of investment services aimed at empowering and educating the private investor.

American Express Sharepeople is committed to making our customers feel valued through the provision of exceptional service. Delivering such service can only be achieved if we have in place both the systems and the people to facilitate it. We strongly believe that we have both. A system, which takes on-line broking into a new dimension and people with years of knowledge and experience in their particular fields.

Our people are dedicated and motivated to meeting the high standards we expect from them. They are encouraged and supported to develop themselves personally and professionally at every opportunity. We do this through creating an environment where people work together, share ideas and continually improve. Everyone in the business has the opportunity to make a difference regardless of who they are or where they work.

Ivan Schouker, CEO American Express Sharepeople

Products and Services

Accounts

Sharepeople offers a Trading Account (with no annual fee) and Maxi and Mini ISA Accounts, all with access to international markets, and commissions from only £.50! Sharepeople also offers a PEP Account giving you the opportunity to transfer existing PEPs into a single provider.

Markets

Sharepeople offers access to a wide range of UK, US, and European securities, via the LSE, NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, Jiway and Nasdaq Europe markets in a choice of settlement currencies including Sterling, US Dollars, Euros and other European currencies.

Trading

Sharepeople customers enjoy real-time prices on over 000 LSE securities, the ability to place ‘fill or kill’ limit orders, trade in multiple currencies, receive e-mail and SMS alerts.

Funds

A wide range of unit trusts and OEICs investing in global markets, including our choice of funds identified in association with Standard & Poors.

Access

Sharepeople customers have access to their accounts 4 hours a day, 65 days a year via the Internet and Sharepeople VoiceTrader. Our friendly Customer Services Team are available during opening hours.

News and Analysis

Extensive portfolio management tools including Virtual Portfolios and measuring with RiskGrades, with access to Reuters news, Directors Dealings and broker forecasts.

Education

Enjoy 4 helpful services at the Sharepeople Education Centre. Buy books through their Investment Bookshop, train online with their range of Investment Courses, check out the latest events on the Investment Calendar, and consult our comprehensive Investment Glossary.



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How To Solve Violence In School

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Since the founding of the United States, the office of president has carried a

Qualification not required for any other elected federal post. Under the Constitution,

Only a ¡°natural born citizen¡± can be president. Now, as Austrian-born Arnold

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Schwarzenegger was elected as the governorship of the most populous state, the House

And Senate are weighing proposals for a constitutional amendment that would allow a

Naturalized citizen to become president. But Schwarzenegger¡¯s candidacy is only a side

Issue in the debate. The question is whether a decision by the framers of the Constitution

More than 00 years ago remains relevant in today¡¯s more inclusive America, one in

Which the foreign-born population is at an all-time high.

First, violent, stimulative entertainment should be regulated by law. a lot of

students were exposed to entertainment like TV, Movies, songs, etc without protection.

Although this entertainment have many positive points, the problem is that this

entertainment also contain violent scenes, abuses that have bad influence on students¡¯

emotion. Students are accustomed to violent language and behavior as they see and hear.

Students may imitate the murder or an act of violence naturally. For example American

children watch an average of three to fours hours of television daily. Television can be a

powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately,

much of todays television programming is violent. Hundreds of studies of the effects of

TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may become immune

to the horror of violence and gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems ,

imitate the violence they observe on television and identify with certain characters,

victims and/or victimizers. Accordingly, entertainment companies have to try to reduce

violent, stimulating things in this entertainment. and the government has a role about this.

Also, It¡¯s necessary for parents to regulate students to watch, hear violent entertainment.

Second, schools can utilize counselors, violence prevention coordinator to give

tips about classmate trouble. Suspending or expelling students without counselling and

caring for students because of violent language, act make students act more badly or act

same thing again. Easterbrook states that ¡°Kip Kinkel, for example, went on his rampage

after being suspended from school for possessing a stolen handgun.¡±(88) As counselors

and coordinator were utilized in schools, students can solve the problem of school life.

Also, we can even adopt a psychological therapist to support students who use violent

language and don¡¯t control their anger.



Lastly, some people say that it is indispensable for educators to set up security

system for protecting themselves. But Renate Nummela Caine states that ¡°when

students feel threatened or helpless because of security system, their brains ¡°downshift¡±

into more primitive states, and their ability to think becomes automatic and limited,

instinctive rather than creative.¡± (87) Also, ¡°Psychologists say that staying troubled

students with the accoutrements of a police state may only fuel their fascination with

guns and increase their resistance to authority¡±(Easterbrook 87). So it¡¯s better to open

schools up and make them friendly. If this is done, school doesn¡¯t feel like a prison to

students anymore and students can¡¯t act violently because their behaviors were exposed

publicly to school officials, outsider in school.

In conclusion, in ¡°Taking Aim at Violence,¡± by Michael Easterbrook, the author

states that students must not think schools as threatened, helpless place because of

security system and other solutions instead of security system should be provided.

I think this assertion is right and school officers have to search for more ways to prevent

students from acting violently

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bad boy

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Bad boy

Davids mom started frinking a lot when she was drunk she would torturn and abuse him. One day him and his brothers were playing in his room and his mother came storming in and beat david so bad he dislocated his shoulder. He felf free at school and was mostly happy because he wasn’t by his mom. But on the other hand all the kids tormented him. One day after school his mother was so drunk she made him stand on the gas burning stove and burned david’s arm his brother came home and seen this so him mom stoped she made him stay in the garage after that.Good times

This chapter was mainly about how great things used to be. He mensioned that his mom Catherine started to show some odd behavior. His dad stephen was a fire fighter and had 4 housr shifts. They used to go and day trips that would last all day like the a beach or just some park. They lived in a city call Daly out side of san francico.Bad boy

Davids mom started frinking a lot when she was drunk she would torturn and abuse him. One day him and his brothers were playing in his room and his mother came storming in and beat david so bad he dislocated his shoulder. He felf free at school and was mostly happy because he wasn’t by his mom. But on the other hand all the kids tormented him. One day after school his mother was so drunk she made him stand on the gas burning stove and burned david’s arm his brother came home and seen this so him mom stoped she made him stay in the garage after that.Good times

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