CivilisedBank is a new UK business bank with a Local Banker network, focused on the SME market and funded by SME and retail savings. Due to launch in H1 2018, CivilisedBank will serve businesses through savings and loans, transaction banking, overdrafts, current accounts with deposits and foreign exchange. The bank will also address the UK retail market with a range of savings products.
CivilisedBank was granted a banking licence by the Bank of England in May 2017, paving the way to launch to customers in 2018. The licence award also represented the starting point for CivilisedBank to create a completely new technology infrastructure to support go-to-market business operations, explains CivilisedBank CTO Andrew Holmes: “Building a greenfield IT infrastructure is a double-edged sword; there is no legacy or technical debt to hold you back, but on the flip side it is a significant challenge to create everything from scratch. We took the opportunity to design an IT architecture to match our unique requirements from day one, with room to scale as the Bank grows.”
CivilisedBank aims to make business banking more Civilised by putting customers first. Using technology to empower customers and staff the Bank will provide a previously unseen level of relationship banking to SMEs. “Network performance and low-latency are key to any banking private cloud model, but especially true for us as we seek to use technology excellence as a competitive differentiator and enable our Local Bankers to tunnel through to our application infrastructure 24/7,” noted Holmes. “In addition, the conditions of our banking licence naturally dictated a very high level of network resilience and availability.”
These factors gave rise to the need to institute a highly reliable, always available high-speed Ethernet connection into CivilisedBank’s new London headquarters in the City.
“Our IT services partner, Purple Matrix, brought Luminet and its 100% Always-On service to our attention and we immediately saw its benefit to our situation,” recalled Holmes. “Not only could we achieve the highest possible uptime for our key applications, but we would also be able to get connected fast.”
Luminet’s Always On service combines both Fibre and Fibre-Air (i.e. fixed wireless) services to provide a truly diverse and resilient last mile internet connection with a 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA). The service uniquely moves across the same static IP addressing between primary and secondary connections, benefiting mission-critical applications and services such as mail, SIP, video, VPN, e-commerce and trading.
Having identified suitable premises near Liverpool Street, CivilisedBank had the opportunity to relocate from its temporary office within a narrow timeframe. Following a rapidly organised site survey and feasibility test, Luminet engineers successfully commissioned a 100Mbps fixed wireless connection at the new site in less than 10 working days. The Fibre component of the Always On service, installed separately, is rated to 500Mbps.
“The fast Fibre-Air install meant we were into the new office very quickly and able to focus on our work to get ready for our public launch. The bandwidth capacity gives us plenty of scale as we grow from a dozen or so people now to potentially hundreds of employees in the next three to five years.”
CivilisedBank has chosen to architect an agile, cloud-based application architecture based on a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) model with state-of-the-art, distributed datacentre facilities, mirrored for maximum business continuity throughout the network. This strategic IT approach has been both facilitated and extended via Luminet’s provision of its 100% Always On service; delivering geographically diverse, fully redundant primary and secondary (fibre and fixed wireless) links to ensure resilience and no single points of failure.
“Luminet has enabled us to take a significant step forward on our journey to creating a unique, innovative and digitally-driven bank for UK SMEs,” said Holmes. “Robust connectivity gives us the ideal platform, aligned with our cloud-based IT strategy, to deliver the optimum experience for our network of Local Bankers and end customers.”
In the future, CivilisedBank intends to build on its initial launch and leverage its infrastructure model to explore additional banking products and markets: “Banking is a highly-regulated sector, which is why it’s so important to get the IT strategy right from the outset. With this now in place, we will be reliant upon our key IT suppliers to advise us on how to use our infrastructure to take advantage of new opportunities while remaining compliant with PRA, FCA and other requirements.”
- Delivered rapid provision of 100-500Mbps Ethernet with 100% uptime SLA.
- Achieved resilience and availability requirements of banking licence with low-latency, fully redundant connections.
- Enabled innovative private cloud-based IT strategy with optimum access to key applications for Local Banker network.
Luminet is the intelligent managed services provider, offering businesses Connectivity, Computing and Intelligent services and solutions. Luminet has a peer-to-peer relationship with its customers and has the UK’s leading NPS customer satisfaction score of 42 in telecoms and technology. Combining a true customer-centric organisation with strong values, culture and capability together with technical excellence and best-value makes Luminet a partner of choice for business, supported by industry-leading SLAs, and ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications.