Addressing the many objectives and challenges of a leading UK retail bank

Leading UK Retail Bank
| minute read


Our client – originally launched as a joint venture with an established high street bank – decided to end the long-term partnership so that it could trade independently; its products and services were currently available via many channels including in-store, by telephone and online.

With an extremely ambitious three year launch plan, the bank set out to build a new retail banking model in the UK to offer customers more choice and better value. In order to deliver this vision, the bank decided to appoint a Systems Integration (SI) panel – a preferred set of suppliers within the SI space – to ensure both that relevant SI expertise was available when required and that the work packages were awarded on a competitive basis. After an exhaustive tendering process, Sopra Steria was awarded a place on the final panel of three, alongside two other IT industry heavyweights.

The challenge

The banking landscape is subject to very strict and regularly changing regulatory requirements and is by its very nature extremely complex: at the start of the bank's launch programme there were nearly 100 banking components that made up the banking platform. The major challenge was how to bring all of these together quickly and correctly within the required timescale, while managing both the business and technical risk. The bank decided to focus the launch programme on two key areas:

Transitioning the existing business from the previous joint venture to 100% ownership and creating its own banking platform.

Expanding its portfolio of existing products such as insurance, savings, loans, credit cards as well as launching its own new products (newly branded) including mortgages, current accounts and savings (ISAs) etc.

As soon as the SI panel had been established, work began immediately with delivery of the SI framework focusing on three main streams: banking (savings and loans, credit cards and current accounts); mortgages; customer programme (focused on customer service).

The solution

We quickly established ourselves as a core supplier that’s integral to both the bank's launch and future Business as Usual requirements. This was largely down to a strong cultural fit: from the outset, our teams really took the time to understand the client-side perspective in terms of the bank's approach to addressing its objectives and challenges – and then adapted their behaviours to suit the particular needs, and style of this client. 

The results

The scope of our participation over the years has enabled us to deliver the following benefits:

  • Shared risk profile – we shared a significant amount of risk with the bank to ensure it can meet its challenging delivery targets – on time and on budget
  • Client-side approach to delivery – we adapted to this client's particular ways of working in a very fast-moving and challenging environment, again to help ensure delivery targets are met
  • Fully integrated Sopra Steria teams – there were multiple suppliers working with the bank to ensure delivery and our teams worked hard to integrate closely with the bank's internal teams and those of other suppliers; helping to reduce the risk and management overhead for the bank
  • Local supplier with global reach – our strong local presence in Scotland (where the bank's HQ is located) enables us to engage with the bank's personnel, very quickly face-to-face
  • Preferred ETL Supplier – at a critical point just prior to the launch of the savings and loans stream, the bank realised it couldn't establish the technical infrastructure in time, which would leave it unable to meet the agreed delivery timescales; we responded quickly by building our own development and test environments for the ETL solutions to be developed by ourselves on behalf of the bank, which enabled the delivery targets to be met.


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