How Santander Accelerates Digital Transformation Initiatives


Jonathan Holman, Head of Digital Transformation at Santander UK, hosted a webinar to discuss how his team implemented a new credit lending system, nCino, which required a single view of each retail customer in order to accurately calculate financial exposure. Watch the video to get an inside look.


Santander UK will deliver consistent customer experiences and support new initiatives by creating a single view of each customer. Jonathan Holman described the project as “the catalyst to help deliver our single customer view project using Tamr.”

Building the case for automating data preparation using ML

Before selecting Tamr as their preferred vendor for Data Mastering, customer records at Santander were stored in four different systems that weren’t interoperable – a result of past acquisitions. The bank had thousands of duplicate customer records across different systems and no process in place to clean and maintain the data so that it could be used to drive business outcomes.

“You’re not really going to be able to manage [data] in the longer term [without automation]. Having something sustainable was very important and building the business case required looking back at remediation attempts and whether they had been successful,” said Holman.

Data Scientists have spent months and channeled all their energy towards data preparation. Alternatively, machine learning can do 80% of the data mastering lift and enable Data Scientists to put the finishing touches on the final 20%.

Reconciling customers’ records across the bank using Tamr

Santander UK partnered with Tamr to accomplish the primary task of customer record reconciliation across four functional areas of the bank. This process involves depositing customer records from the four systems into a data lake, Tamr’s human-guided machine learning solution matches records and identifies potential duplicate records which are routed to Santander’s team for validation. The resulting mastered data is returned to the data lake and processed by the bank’s new credit lending system, nCino.

As a result of this digital transformation initiative, Santander UK was able to achieve better-informed loan decisions, regulatory compliance, and allocation of IT resources to higher-value activities. “If we didn’t have the single customer view being fed in [the lending tool] from the data lake facilitated by Tamr, we wouldn’t be able to feed that information downstream,” recalled Holman. His team at Santander UK was recognized for their digitization efforts and efficiency gains by winning the 2020 Celent Model Bank Award for Commercial Lending.