The man behind the smile

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LOOKING AROUND the cool, modern offices of Currencies Direct in Moraira, one of the first things to catch your eye is a cabinet topped with ‘Thank You’ cards from satisfied clients.
Not just one or two though, there must be at least a dozen.

These days, when for so many people, social media messaging has replaced the traditional card, for someone to take the trouble to write a personal message of thanks, is a true testament to the recipient.
Mention this to Paul Harrison, Business Development Manager for the Northern Costa Blanca and he smiles proudly explaining that customer service is the main motivation for him and his team.

Currencies Direct has been successfully helping customers avoid bank charges on money transfers in Spain for twenty years now, saving between 3% and 5% on every transaction.
This can make a significant difference to customers who transfer money between countries regularly and mean even bigger savings on property transactions, where Spanish banks charge for depositing and withdrawing bankers drafts.
“We deal in facts” says Paul confidently “Our aim is to help people avoid unnecessary charges levied by Spanish banks and take the worry out of money transfers and property transactions.”
“That’s why so many clients become more like friends and pop into the office for a chat and catch up every now and then”, he says.

It is very easy to see why Paul and his charming Moraira team, Sherry and Siw have so many happy clients, as the warm and friendly atmosphere they generate is so obviously genuine.

We asked Paul, 38, a few questions to find out a little more about the man behind the smile.
Q. How long have you worked for Currencies Direct?
A. Four years. I originally joined as a Business Development Executive, then got promoted to Business Development Manager looking after clients from El Campello to Gandia and soon to be expanded to beyond Valencia.

Q. How long have you lived in Spain?
A. Fifteen years. I am from Preston in the UK. I’d been travelling, got back to England and realized I didn’t want to live in a cold country, made some enquiries and got a job working in property sales in Calpe.

Q. Are you married?
A. Yes, to Yolanda, she is Spanish, from Albacete and we were married in 2009. We’d been together five years by then. She was working in a café in Calpe, where I used to go for my lunch from work and I plucked up the courage to ask her out.

Q. Any children?
A. Yes, two girls. Elena is five and Sofia is 8 months old.

Q. Any pets
A. I was about to say no, but remembered we just got the girls a hamster. I’m not sure, but I can look at it playing on it’s wheel and think to myself, at least I can get off mine at the weekend! Haha

Q. Why do you love living in Spain?
A. Like everybody else who lives here. The weather, laidback, outdoor lifestyle and of course I have a Spanish family now.

Q. Why do you love your job?
A. It may sound a bit cheesy, but I love giving great customer service and that’s what we do at Currencies Direct. The money we save people can make a big difference to their lives be it with regular living expenses or in one transaction. I visit people in their own homes too, so they don’t’ even have to come to the office.

Q. What is your motivation?
A. Personally, obviously providing for my family, but on a career level I hope I can continue to develop with Currencies Direct. We now have 13 offices throughout Spain, with clients from the UK, Scandinavia and beyond.

Q. Favourite Movie?
A. The Big Lebowski

Q. Favourite Book?
A. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. All the movies have been rubbish, but the book is fantastic.

Q. Favourite TV Programme?
A. We’re big fans of the Spanish Masterchef in our house. It’s the only programme we won’t miss. It goes on for about three hours every night.

Q. Favourite Drink? A. Has to be a Mojito in a beach bar.

Q. Favourite Food?
A. Haha, we both love cooking, so Yolanda does all the Spanish dishes like paella and the Mexican and Chinese. But she loves my roast dinners, complete with yorkshire pudding.

Q. Favourite Restaurant?
A. Haha, we have young children, so the only restaurant we eat in is at home.
So that’s Paul, a young man, as passionate about his job and clients as he is about his family and life in Spain.
Next time you need to transfer money into or out of Spain contact Currencies Direct, you’ll definitely thank them.

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