It says the latest version of the Mortgage and Savings Suite (MSS) is so intuitive and responsive that the building society can launch innovative new products with lightning speed and complete month-end reporting in just 90 minutes
Sopra Banking Software, a world leader in banking software solutions and services, has announced that Swansea Building Society, one of its longest-standing customers, has implemented the latest version of Sopra Banking’s MSS. It embraced the new version, gaining access to the very latest features and new-product templates.
Swansea Building Society is a hugely successful financial services organisation. Despite being one of the smallest building societies in the UK, exclusively serving customers within a 60-mile radius of its head office, it manages assets worth over £200 million and has consistently delivered a strong financial performance throughout even the worst economic conditions of recent years.
Key to this performance is the Society’s dexterity in launching new products, and adapting its offers to match current market conditions. For this it relies on MSS, which provides end-to-end automation of core banking processes. The software manages everything from product creation and promotion to customer application processing and account management. Swansea BS has been a committed user of the Sopra Banking platform for more than 25 years.
Neil Rosser, deputy chief executive at Swansea BS, explains: “I am a big fan of Sopra Banking. They’ve always been way ahead of equivalent software providers. One of the main benefits is innovation. Sopra Banking has about 50% of the building society market and a strong user group which means its products are at the forefront of development, driven by the latest requests of the big building societies. So, whatever move we might want to make next, we know that the functionality will already be there to support it.”
In the past this has included everything from tiered interest rates, to ISAs, Junior ISAs and flexible mortgage schemes, Neil explains. “Using Sopra Banking means we can get new products out very quickly which match anything being offered by the big high-street players,” he says. “While it might take a large building society three months to get a new product to market, we can do it in a week; even three days if it came to it.
“It’s also why we haven’t struggled when the market is tough: we can change our rates very quickly in response to market conditions, minimising our exposure to risk,” he adds.
Swansea BS went out of its way to become the first building society in the UK to upgrade to the new version MSS, so that it could take early advantage of new opportunities. “The speed of processing is even better with the new release, which means we can complete tasks even quicker,” Neil says. “End-of-month reporting and records updating now takes just an hour and a half. In the old days it was not untypical for the updating and reporting to take 24 hours.
The latest version of the Sopra Banking system is more intuitive too, making it easy for new employees to learn to use. “The look and feel of the updated platform is very modern, aiding navigation,” Neil says.
Aiding the rapid rollout was the progressive IT infrastructure already in place at Swansea BS. John Connelly, a Senior Technical Consultant at Sopra Banking Software, comments: “The IT and disaster recovery set-up at Swansea would be the envy of many much larger building societies. Its strategic investment in technology means it can adapt its activities promptly and cost-effectively as the market changes, with full regulatory compliance. Provision of information needs to happen increasingly quickly, and at Swansea Building Society everything is captured electronically and fully backed up at its second premises. If a system went down, they could be up and running again in a relatively short space of time.”
For the future, Swansea BS is looking at Internet-based services for customers. “I am sure we will go down this route before long, as it’s a natural progression and Sopra has readymade capabilities. The software and the service we get from Sopra Banking Software is first class.”
About Sopra Banking Software
Sopra Banking Software is a global leader in software and IT services for banks and financial institutions. Its solutions help over 500 customers in 70 countries be more efficient, agile and responsive to business challenges. The market has long recognized the company’s constituent parts – Sopra Group’s financial software business, Callataÿ & Wouters, Delta Informatique and Tieto Financial Services UK – as solid players with a wide range of proven products. Worldwide, Sopra Banking Software employs 1,700 skilled experts. The company is a subsidiary of the Sopra Group – a leader in consulting, IT services and software development in Europe – which employs more than 16,000 people and generated a turnover of 1.217 billion euro in 2012. For more information, please visit our website www.soprabanking.com.
About Swansea Building Society
Swansea Building Society was established in 1923. Its Head Office is located in the heart of Swansea. The Society is one of only three remaining mutual Building Societies in Wales and the only Building Society or Bank with its headquarters located in South West Wales. The Society is a single legal entity. It had total assets of £205.5M at 31 December 2012 with 9963 investors and 1304 borrowers. Retail shares and deposits amounted to £193.4M and mortgage balances of £134.7M. For further information, please visit our website www.swansea-bs.co.uk.