OakNorth Leverages Big Data and Machine Learning to Redefine SME Lending
With offices around the world, OakNorth is a financial services and fintech platform focused on using data analytics to provide a better borrowing experience for growth businesses. According to Sean Hunter, CIO at OakNorth, commercial lending within the $1M–$25M space presents a challenge to many financial institutions due to difficulty in gathering and analyzing the large amount of data needed to make good decisions while simultaneously meeting security and regulatory requirements.“One of the most important things for our clients is compliance. Being able to use services like Amazon CloudWatch and durable storage in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) allows us to be very transparent and provide them with an incredible level of access,” says Hunter.
OakNorth also uses Amazon SageMaker to generate new business opportunities and accelerate lending transactions. With Amazon Web Services (AWS), OakNorth is able to rapidly spin up the resources needed to train and test new models. This translates to faster innovation that benefits its customers. “In the last year, we’ve gone from releasing software maybe once a month to releasing software every week,” explains Hunter. OakNorth Bank, the first bank to globally license the OakNorth Platform, has a cost-income ratio of just above 30 percent (compared to the 60 to 70 percent range for most European banks), and Hunter attributes part of this success to being 100 percent in the cloud on AWS.
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