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Technology boost for Leeds Building Society

Technology boost for Leeds Building Society

Leeds Building Society has invested in people and processes to improve its technological functionality and make it easier for consumers and advisers to do business with the society.

According to Richard Fearon, chief commercial officer at Leeds Building Society, board members meeting on 25 May said the friendly society needed to focus on its “long-term sustainable future”.

To do this would necessitate a move to better, more streamlined technology, he explained.

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Mr Fearon said: “At the board conference last month, the main focus was on our customer centricity strategy, as we aim to guarantee the long-term sustainable future of the society for current and future members by ensuring we remain attractive, relevant and accessible at a time and in a way that suits them.

“Technology is integral to this. But we need a rich understanding of customer needs and behaviours and to achieve this, we have invested significantly in our customer and digital experience teams, and our customer insight capability.”

Speeding up the process with technology will affect some Isa accounts, for example, as some consumers who wish to invest regularly into an Isa have had to write a cheque and submit this by post to Leeds Building Society for updating.

Last year, Peter Hill, chief executive of Leeds Building Society, told sister newspaper Financial Adviser that the mutual had spent a “significant” amount of money upgrading its IT systems over the first half of 2015.

Headcount has also increased, with 120 new roles created in 2015 as Leeds Building Society aimed to increase its capacity and improve its services and processes.

One improvement was to reduce the time it takes for mortgage cases to get through from application to offer.

Mr Fearon added: “Last year, during our 140th year, we provided more mortgages than ever before and increased savings balances to the highest level in our history.”

The friendly society also upgraded its core IT systems into the cloud, which Mr Fearon added has “created a platform for future improvements to our service”.