Thought Leadership

Opportunity in optimism

A recent survey from the FLA makes for optimistic reading, with over 90% of respondents expecting some increase in new business this year and two-thirds anticipating growth of more than 10%. This attitude seems to be echoed by SMEs. Research has shown that many expect either no impact or a positive outcome for their business post-pandemic, and many intend to seek funding for investment

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, launching a new lending offer is still attractive to many. There is opportunity in current optimism, and sentiment points to an appetite to support economic recovery with new lending.

Over the past decade, Banking Works has helped many lenders get out of the blocks. We have the experience and know-how to assist clients in launching and scaling new ventures.

In this piece, we use the lens of our Design, Build, Operate, Evolve methodology to offer helpful insight to individuals bringing a new lending business to market.

Design the right strategies and models

Identify the metrics that matter. What are your primary objectives and how will you know when you achieve them? Attracting and onboarding new customers to hit ambitious targets is a widely recognised measure of success, and usually keeps the investors happy.

Define your MVP. Identify the essential features of your proposition. What non-negotiables do you need to get you out of the blocks? Which nice-to-haves can you leave for later? Stripping back your initial thinking will help you plan a product roadmap with clear milestones and measures.

Design for customer delight. Focus on the complete end-to-end customer journey, from onboarding to expiry. Identify friction points and look for opportunities to smooth these out.

Particular areas to pay attention to are:

  • Onboarding - KYC/AML etc
  • Forbearance and relief under Covid and beyond
  • Vulnerability

The future of aviation is strictly tied to several factors

Build technology that enables agility, scalability and growth

Leverage your lack of legacy. Make the most of the distinct advantage that your new offer has over incumbents. Your lack of legacy systems means you to identify the best and correct system components to tackle your key jobs.

Harness the opportunities of modular new tech. Make the most of a market awash with cloud tech and APIs to realise the ability to orchestrate unique experiences and seamless processes based on modular ecosystems. Harness straight-through processing to deliver personalised user experiences, future-proof processes and dramatically reduce costs.

Go beyond the expected. Empower your customers and employees through technology. From operations and management to agents and customers, tech can deliver visibility right across the customer journey. Build-in value-add by identifying TP systems and services that can provide ancillary services to your customer journeys to enhance your user requirements - internal and external

Build data into the heart of your systems. As a new start, you have the opportunity to put in place systems that embed data at the heart of your business. Not only will this ensure you measure what matters, but data used correctly will deliver the actionable insight to drive better performance, model for future success and identify the customer behaviours and triggers that power value-add services and increased revenues.

Operate processes that drive readiness, performance and resilience

Get ahead of regulatory change. Increasing controls around TCF and resilience are coming to bear across the sector. Lenders need to be aware of and be proactive about their obligations. Meeting requirements can seem burdensome as it requires people, time and resources; however, getting it wrong and risking fines and severe business disruption could spell the end for a lender.

Adopt a compliance-by-design approach. One of the biggest pains in demonstrating compliance is evidencing it. From the outset, you should consider both the regulatory requirements and data needed to evidence your compliance. You should build this into the design of your solutions to ensure they drive compliance, and a data suite that evidences these controls.

Design and embed effective policies and frameworks. This is how you set, manage and measure operational standards and ensure you comply with all regulatory requirements. Critically, policies and frameworks exist to demonstrate that the business has the robust systems and controls to mitigate operational, technical, financial and regulatory risk.

Use automation to drive efficiency. Get on the RPA bandwagon and make the most of automation to reduce or eliminate human intervention in many transactions and mitigate breaches of policies and rules.

Evolve your product and business roadmap

Prioritise speed over efficiency. Embed a culture of iteration from the outset. Success in the current climate means you need to start fast, measure constantly, throw out what's not working and build on what is. And get comfortable doing this on repeat.

Embrace the uncertain. It used to be that not veering from a singular ambition was the rule; in an unpredictable climate, this is no longer true. You need to be comfortable with uncertainty and work to a model that allows you to react to market conditions.

If you have any doubts about any aspect of your business model or strategy, reaching out to an external party for an expert opinion will deliver value. An extra pair of eyes (or hands) could save a lot of cost and frustration in the long term.

Banking Works has over 20 years of lending experience and expertise. Our team offers expertise across operational modelling, design and excellence and lendtech. Our unique market position enables us to provide consultancy and services to banks and lenders.

Any lender wanting a no-obligation chat with our team can drop us a line at or contact our Managing Director at

Contact details

Banking Works
1st Floor, 
Vista St David's Park Ewloe, 
Flintshire CH5 3DT