Skipton Building Society

What will drive your organisation to new levels of excellence in data stewardship and accuracy? In our search for extra insight to help you achieve more, we met with Skipton Building Society. Why? We reckoned we ought to be able to learn from an organisation driven to excellence not only by regulation and duty of care but also by its culture. We were not disappointed!

The Skipton Group HQ is set in the Yorkshire Dales market town of Skipton. They use AFD name and address management solutions across the Society. We sat with Bob Fielding (Strategic Buyer) and Phill Hirst (IT Applications Architect) to get two different, but complementary views.

Protect, Protect, and Protect

Bob set the context: “We’ve got 858,000 members and we serve them through 2,150 colleagues based at our HQ and a network of over 95 UK retail branches. From a purchasing perspective, all projects must have a business case that includes an imperative based on regulation or a customer benefit.”

Phill added: “We don’t have shareholders, we are a mutual: our members each have a vote and our job is to care for them. To remind us, each department is prefixed by the word ‘Customer’. Customer Journey, Customer Completion, Customer Complaints. We manage £18.9 Billion of assets; it’s our members’ money so we have three key considerations: ‘Protect, Protect, and Protect’! IT is foundational to achieving both the protection of regulatory compliance and enabling customer-focussed processes.”

Bob continued: “We applied these criteria to establish the requirement and specification for name and address validation.

For example, we have a requirement to protect the democratic process within the society – ensuring each member has just one vote – no more, no less. We require a single view of each customer’s interactions and business with us. We also wanted to comply with financial regulations and avoid financial penalties. We require that risk of fraud be minimised. Address data accuracy and prevention of duplicate records is key to meeting each of these requirements.”

Phill went on: “Mortgage applications illustrate the necessity for name and address accuracy. We need the current address for each applicant, the property to be purchased and the property the vendor is moving to, the solicitor, surveyor, and other professionals. A mortgage application can include over five addresses – all need to be right to process an application successfully.”

Best Value for Money

“AFD solutions provide rapid, accurate contact data entry across the Skipton systems and this then forms the basis for our primary matching routines which are based on customer addresses. We know that new homes are always being built (and some demolished!) and people are always moving – and with automatic data updates from AFD we know it’s always fresh.”

Bob added: “We’ve worked with AFD Software Names & Numbers and Postcode Plus solutions to achieve these objectives since the turn of the century (!), however we recently revisited this important area to ensure we get the best we can for the Society and its members.

After this review we confidently decided to continue with AFD Software– their solutions are robust, reliable and bug-free – they always work. We are fully satisfied that AFD is delivering best value for money and a solution that is proven to deliver on our regulatory and customer needs.”

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