Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Frances Coyle (Legal Team) 📝


Note : All Monzo Q&As to date can be found here :grinning:


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Monzo Forum Family! I’m still in Cardiff!
Spent the tail end of last week filming stuff in the London office (you’ll find out very soon!) then headed back to Birmingham for the weekend and then back here to our Cardiff office for another week.

It’s all systems go here at Monzo as we race towards that magical million! (949,350 as I’m typing this!!)

Time to activate those hype thrusters.

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Now, a quick glance at our list of previous Q&A’s shows that we haven’t yet had someone from this particular team do a Q&A yet, so that’s great news! Gives you all a chance to ask some questions that haven’t been addressed before.

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But you all know the rules by now. Before we meet this week’s guest, it’s catch up time.

Catch up on all the previous Q&A’s here!


Click here to see all previous Q&As

Week 1 : Chris MacLean, Customer Operations & Vulnerable Customers :santa:t2:

Week 2 : James Nicholson, iOS Engineer :green_apple:

Week 3 : Tara Mansfield, People Operations Manager :woman_technologist:t5::man_technologist:t3:

Week 4 : James Routley, Backend Engineer :hammer_and_wrench:

Week 5 : Hugh Wells, Customer Operations :policeman:t3:‍♂

Week 6 : Naz Malik, Technical Specialist :computer:

Week 7 : Fred Morgan, COps Squad Captain (Calls & Social Media) :telephone_receiver:

Week 8 : Emma Northcott, COps Scaling Team :balance_scale:

Week 9 : Jarno Wolf, COps Financial Crime Specialist & Squad Captain :wolf:

Week 10 : Maria Campbell, Head of People :woman_office_worker:t2::man_office_worker:t4:

Week 11 : Jim Amey, Night COps Captain :bat: :crescent_moon:

Week 12 : Richard Cook, Online Community Manager :man_cook:

Week 13 : Beatrice Borbon, Content & Press Manager :newspaper:

Week 14 : Tom Blomfield, CEO :crown:

Week 15 : Ella Johanny, COps/Hiring :handshake:

Week 16 : Harry Ashbridge, Writer :writing_hand:t3:

Week 17 : Beth Scott, Overnight COps :cat2:

Week 18 : Georgie Parmenter, Executive Assistant to the Founders :blonde_woman:

Week 19 : Vulnerable Customers Team :sunflower:

Week 20 : Leah Templeman, Interim VP People :sun_with_face:

Week 21 : Daniel Chatfield, Backend Engineer, Fincrime & Security :closed_lock_with_key:

Week 22 : Valerio Magliulo, Product Manager - Revenue Team :money_with_wings:

Week 23 : Sam Watkin, Operations Analyst :thinking:

Week 24 : Kieran McHugh, Backend Engineer :desktop_computer:

Week 25 : Jonas Huckestein, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer :computer_mouse:

Week 26 : Annual Report Edition with Tristan Thomas and Julie Oey :calendar:

Week 27 : Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer :pencil2:

Week 28 : Richard Dingwall, Payments Engineer :moneybag: :wrench:

Week 29 : Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering (Reliability Report Special) :watch:

Week 30 : Bruno Vaz Moço, Product Manager (Scalers) :balance_scale:

Week 31 : Dillon Van Auken, Remote COps Team Lead and Vegas Project Team Lead :first_quarter_moon_with_face: 🂡

Week 32 : Rhys Davies, COps Cardiff Office :dragon:

Week 33 : Emily Parrett, COps Call & The Gang :phone:

Week 34 : Liam Houghton, Ops Fixer :hammer_and_wrench:

All done! Great!

This week in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ we’ve got Frances Coyle from our Legal Team!

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Frances has been here since Oct 2017
She’s currently working on helping our lending and product team create amazing products :raised_hands:t4:

Interesting fact about Frances

"I’ve worked for fintechs across the Netherlands, Sweden and Singapore and all my material possessions fit into 10 medium sized moving boxes "

Her favourite thing about working here?

She forgot to fill in this part of the spreadsheet, so we’re left in suspense :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Alright folks… get your questions in and Frances will be here later in the week to answer them!!!

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Hello Frances, :wave:

What’s your favourite thing about working for Monzo? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::monzo:

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Hey Frances!

Outside of Monzo, what’s the most exciting fintech you’ve worked for?

Do you see any of the other fintechs from across the globe, landing on the UK shores anytime soon (those you’ve worked for)?

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Can fruit legally be out on a pizza and still be sold as food ? (pineapple pizza ;))

Purely out of curiosity, do agreements get more difficult and include more eventualities from a legal perspective as they are prepared for products which grow so rapidly to wider groups, especially due to speed monzo user base is growing!

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Hello Frances!

I’m interested in how other cultures feel about their finances. How does the UK compare to other countries with regards to talking about their finances openly with other people or trying new fintech products?

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I can’t really tell what the job description is from that one line, so perhaps you could share an exciting product you are working or have worked on with the other teams and your role in it?

Also, which fintech company in Singapore? Was there a visible difference in culture compared to the UK/ Monzo?

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What’s the biggest misconception about working in the legal field?

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Do you get to start sentences with “As your attorney…” ?

Whether that’s accurate or not is irrelevant :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Frances :wave:,

Do you watch the TV show Suits? If so, do you think it gives an accurate representation of what it’s like to be a lawyer? :sunglasses:

What’s your favorite coffee shop? :coffee:

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She’s obviously not in accounting then - no accountant would leave part of a spreadsheet unfilled :wink:

What ‘interesting’ legal sections have encountered at your time at Monzo (for example: dealing with crowdfunding, how easy/hard certain ‘suppliers’ are to deal with - i.e. I would expect BOE+Mastercard to have/need reams of legal stuff: did they or did arranging the mortgage/rental for the new building need even more?)

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Hey Peter, I would say using Slack, because it helps Monzo stay uber transparent and nurtures positive challenge. I find it more useful than e-mail alone.

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Hey Frances :wave: delighted you’re doing this Q&A!

Would love to hear about your law background - did you do the LLB? (If you did, did you do any cool modules? My favourite during mine was Medical Law.) If not, did you go through the LPC/GDL route? :books: @francescolye

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Me again!

If it’s not too late, what’s your take on risk? In my experience lawyers are sometimes seen as being risk adverse or finding reasons not to do things. Does this resonate? Do you see your role as helping to find creative solutions to problems instead?

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Hi Nick, I would say Adyen and Klarna, both have been super exciting in their own ways such as entering new jurisdictions and substantial growth. Both take on merchants and process customer transactions in the UK, however, their HQ’s are in Amsterdam (Adyen) and Sweden (Klarna).

In Europe today companies are allowed to passport their services in other European countries, without needing to get a full UK license. When Brexit happens, passporting will stop, and I think we will start to see more European companies setting up offices in the UK.

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Hi Josh, I’ve never seen Suits, but I’ve heard a few people in the office talk about it and they love it, maybe I should check it out! I really like anime, right now I’m watching Erased.

My favourite coffee shop is Curio Cabal in Haggerston, east London.

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Hi Danny, only if it’s fresh pineapple :).

When we create terms for our customers, there are a few things we need to keep in mind. Here is an excellent blog from Dean our GC.

We really think about what questions our customer will have and how can we make their agreement as useful as possible, how can we write it in a way that all our customers will understand and how can we make it work in-app.

We want customers to have all the information they need, but we don’t wish to add unnecessary length. So we will tweak and iterate as needed, to make sure the agreement keep up with any changes or complexities. Also, Instead of having very long general terms and conditions, we add a few sentences each time a customer chooses to add additional features, such as joint accounts or pots.

I work very closely with Harry, our writer. He helps me a lot.

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Hi Brenda, I did an LLB and the LPC, I think my favourite module was Human rights law, I found the philosophical side super interesting such as Freedom of Expression.

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Hi Simon, great question! Perhaps that lawyers slow things down.

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Hello, interesting question! I found the Dutch to be more open than the English on most things, I found the Swedes to be similar to the English. I’m not Dutch or Swedish so I could be completely wrong.

From living in Amsterdam, I felt that bragging about finances was not the done thing, There is a Dutch saying, “doe normaal” which means “just be normal”. Also, I think it was common for partners to keep separate bank accounts as opposed to joint accounts.

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Another awesome Q&A - Thanks so much Frances! :grinning: