IT Brief UK - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Shawbrook Bank leverages SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure for market advantage
Tue, 5th Dec 2023

Shawbrook Bank, a significant stand-alone savings and lending business in the UK, has employed SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to improve its use of analytics, mitigate risk and better serve customers' evolving needs. The bank boasts over 425,000 customers and maintains a loan book of 10.5 billion and 10.9 billion in customer savings.

Shawbrook provides a wide variety of services, including personal loans, residential and commercial mortgages, SME financing, and savings products. The bank serves individual customers, small and mid-size businesses, and real estate investors. With the pressure of modernising operations to better cater to its customers and company needs, Shawbrook looked to implement the SAS Viya system on the Microsoft Azure platform.

SAS, a recognised leader in AI and analytics, is assisting Shawbrook on this journey of technological transition from an on-premise data centre to a cloud-based one.

Chief Prudential Risk Officer at Shawbrook Bank, Paul Allton, emphasised the multiple benefits of using SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure: "First and foremost, being able to tackle our data wherever and however it's delivered to us, whether that's on-premise or the cloud. New modelling techniques will also give us an edge in terms of understanding the performance of customers far better than we did before."

Allton further explained how the implemented technology allows them to either "support more customers with their borrowing needs for the same risk, or we can actually choose to have less risk with what we do today, something that is becoming increasingly important."

"I don't want to wait for a performance report to tell me a model is not working; I want to have the insights at my fingertips to make a change in real-time. Having that option and improving that resilience in the business is crucial," said Alton. 

The new system will improve Shawbrook's risk modelling, data handling, and productivity and enable the bank to test and validate models before production, deploy models into business processes efficiently, and monitor performance irrespective of the language used for creation.

Allton envisaged the lending institution's evolution, "I'm really excited about taking Shawbrook to a place where we are leveraging machine learning and AI to essentially say yes to more customers and address new markets, which is going to be a really important, powerful proposition."

Roderick Crawford, Senior Vice President at SAS Northern Europe, outlined the broad industry changes and how SAS Viya will enable Shawbrook to adapt efficiently, stating, "The banking industry has dramatically transformed over the last decade as financial institutions and consumers continue to adapt to an increasingly digital world."

"With SAS Viya in place, Shawbrook can now maximise productivity, spending less time waiting for insights and more time acting on them and we are very much looking forward to supporting the bank as it continues to modernise."