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This challenger bank saw an opportunity to build an effective operating model in challenging established ideas with a 100% cloud-based strategy.

Cloud based banking represents the ability to provide a full range of IT services to support customers and a seamless experience across multiple systems over the internet.

As the bank operates in a highly regulated environment, this means licensing is a protracted process and makes successful innovation more complex.

The bank’s goal was to build and implement a secure, compliant, customer-centric, cloud-based banking solution ready in under 12 months.


usiness customers welcomed in first 18 months of trading

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ending milestone achieved in July 2020, one month ahead of third anniversary

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largest draw loan to date in March 2020 supporting retail property conversion



Cloud computing provides scalability, agility and cost efficiency, but strict data regulations controls and FCA compliance meant that very few financial services organisations had  moved to cloud.

At the heart of the bank’s IT strategy was the selection of a cost effective and fit for purpose core banking platform.

The software had to be deployed in a secure hosted environment and delivered over the Internet to enable secure remote access, including mobile and home working.

The bank needed cloud service providers who offered established solutions and who had successfully implemented these within financial institutions regulated by the PRA and FCA.


The bank’s journey started at the start of the financial regulators’ change in attitude about cloud-based solutions. With this mind, the bank outsourced the majority of its IT functions to specialists including CSI and Finova, a leading provider of core banking software.

CSI migrated the bank’s Finova application to the Microsoft Azure cloud which allowed the bank to focus on the delivery of customer journeys, rather than operating IT infrastructure.

The new platform allows the bank’s staff to access the core applications via secure access from the office, home and other remote locations.

CSI and Finova continue to provide continuous monitoring and alerting for the application and the underlying Azure infrastructure ensuring full availability and compliance.


Our team saw significant benefits in adopting a 100% cloud-based strategy. Thanks to our partnership with CSI, we achieved one the fastest ‘licence to launches’ in UK banking history.

CEO – Challenger Bank


CSI’s design for scalable, secure and compliant infrastructure was key in our client securing its banking licence and becoming the UK’s first ‘born in the cloud’ bank.

By integrating a suite of cloud-based tools within a single secure environment, CSI delivered a secure, modern digital banking platform within regulator guidelines in under six months.

As a new entrant, the challenger bank has benefitted commercially from the cashflow advantages of reducing upfront costs, enabling it to scale its operations as it grows, as well  as from delivering on its promises to customers.

Cloud technology will enable the bank to expand its products and operations and allow it to continue to enhance customer experience.


About our client

The challenger bank provides businesses simple, transparent loans and savings accounts backed up with tailored service, all with the knowledge that money is being invested back into British business and into communities.

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