Shawbrook Bank turns to SAS® Viya® on Microsoft Azure to enhance its application of analytics, mitigate risk and better meet customers’ evolving needs
The banking industry has dramatically transformed over the last decade as financial institutions and consumers continue adapting to an increasingly digital world. To succeed today, banks must embrace digital transformation to mitigate risk, meet regulatory demands, and attract and retain savvy customers in a highly competitive market. Shawbrook Bank is doing just that.
Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Shawbrook Bank serves individuals, small and midsize businesses, and real estate investors, offering a broad range of lending products and savings accounts. With more than 425,000 customers, a £10.5 billion loan book and £10.9 billion in customer savings, Shawbrook is modernizing its operations to better meet the needs of the company and its customers.
As part of that mission, Shawbrook is transitioning from an on-premises data center to the cloud to improve agility and scalability. Cloud migration can be complex, and Paul Allton, the Chief Prudential Risk Officer at Shawbrook, is keenly aware of the importance of having the right tools – and partner – in place to manage that migration. That’s why Shawbrook chose to implement SAS Viya 4 on Microsoft Azure.
“There are multiple benefits to using SAS Viya,” Allton says. “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 – and having those connectors in place so it doesn’t matter to the modeler, the user or the business intelligence person wherever they are is going to be really, really key. And having the ability to take those insights from that data and act on them in a seamless way is going to be really important.”
The new modeling techniques will give us an edge in terms of understanding the performance of customers better than we did before. We can choose to 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. Having that optionality and improving that resilience in the business is really important. Paul Allton Chief Prudential Risk Officer Shawbrook Bank
Quickly and easily build and deploy analytic models
With SAS Viya in place, Shawbrook can test and validate models before they’re put into production, and subsequently deploy models into business processes in a few clicks with rapid, automated model deployment in batches or in real time. The bank can easily monitor the performance of models regardless of the language used to create them.
“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,” Allton says. “The new modeling techniques will give us an edge in terms of understanding the performance of customers better than we did before. We can choose to 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. Having that optionality and improving that resilience in the business is really important.”
Seamless integration with open source languages
Today’s university graduates have familiarity with various open source languages and coding methods. SAS Viya integrates open source technology across the AI and analytics life cycle, enabling all types of SAS and open source users to collaborate.
“We need to have an environment that embraces the way the market is developing, and we want to take our people on that journey as well,” Allton says. “Having an environment like SAS Viya, we can make the best use of the new talent we’ve got and also offer up a genuine development experience to other employees as well.”
The importance of data visualization and information anytime, anywhere
With the visual analytics capabilities of SAS Viya, users can explore data and create and share smart visualizations and interactive reports through a single, self-service interface, whether they are working on- or off-site.
Those capabilities – and flexibility – are key, according to Allton.
“I want to be on the train interacting with reports on my iPad,” he says. “I want the ability to access things outside of the office and avoid printing a 600-page slide deck. I want to probe our balance sheet and see where the risks are. I want to visually explore data and interact with the reports on the screen. Ultimately, with SAS Viya we can optimize our time.”
Shawbrook Bank – Facts & Figures
in customer savings
Improved data governance
A centralized, searchable repository for all models provides Shawbrook visibility into its analytical processes, ensuring traceability and governance.
“A really big part of our activity from a regulatory perspective is having strong model risk management principles,” Allton says. “And that’s everything – data, data lineage, data quality, model development and validation – and being able to have that model risk ecosystem in one place and have a clear line of sight to where development samples or validation samples were. Having the quality of documentation supporting that – and our model inventories – is going to save us a lot of time and help improve our governance.”
Faster time to insight
With SAS Viya in place, Shawbrook can maximize productivity. The bank can spend less time waiting for insights and more time acting on them.
“From a commercial perspective, having the ability to schedule things, so we’re not limited to switching on and off of our systems, is a really important part of us increasing our capacity,” Allton says. “The speed by which we’re going to get through having a containerized service so we can use, essentially, a parallel process is also going to quicken our processes so we don’t have to wait over coffee to figure out if we’re going to get what we expect it to be. We can rapidly increase the speed of getting insights and drive action across our business. I’m very excited about that.”
A collaborative journey and preparing for the future
Allton describes Shawbrook’s cloud migration as a “collaborative journey.”
“Having a partner like SAS gives us the capability and the toolset to understand and evaluate the scale and how difficult that journey would be,” he says. “Having playbooks to help us navigate that journey and understand what it’s going to look like and what it means for us is really positive. We are engaging our business folks as well as our technical community, and the playbooks are instrumental in terms of bringing all parties together to understand what the migration schedule looks like and where some of the ‘bear traps’ might be.”
Looking ahead, Allton is eager to explore the AI capabilities of SAS Viya, which can help the bank meet customer and regulatory compliance demands with greater speed, accuracy and efficiency.
“I’m really excited about getting to the new technology, taking Shawbrook to a place where we’re 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,” Allton says.
“You can’t get away from the rapid speed of change in the marketplace,” Allton concludes. “With the increasing pace of digitalization, we must make sure we do things in a way that’s agile so we can move quickly but within a strong governance framework. SAS Viya helps us do that.”