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Loughborough (pictured), Ipswich and Dudley building societies are the latest to join the cloud

Loughborough (pictured), Ipswich and Dudley building societies are the latest to join the cloud

Three independent UK building societies – Ipswich, Loughborough and Dudley – have agreed to use a new software as a service solution from Unisys to handle their mortgage and savings accounts. The deal represents the latest move in a series of steps by the UK’s building society sector to adopt cloud platforms.

The Loughborough building society is based in Leicestershire, northern England, while the Ipswich is located in Suffolk and Dudley is in the west Midlands. The three building societies have 30 branches between them. These consist of 17 branches in Suffolk and Norfolk owned by the Ipswich, seven owned by the Loughborough, and six by the Dudley.

The three building societies are new clients for Unisys, and are expected to go live on the platform when it launches in early 2014. Unisys claims the system will reduce costs, as well as support branch and call centre operations, CRM, data warehousing, arrears management and data centre backup and recovery. It was developed by Unisys together with IT and business process specialist firm DPR.

Under the deal, Unisys will be responsible for migrating account and customer data from all three building societies and their existing IT suppliers to the new platform, which will be hosted in the Unisys UK data centre in Milton Keynes.

“The managed service approach is ideally suited to our needs and gives us access to best of breed solutions for account management and compliance at a cost effective price,” said Jeremy Wood, chief executive at Dudley Building Society. “The Unisys solution ensures we can deliver a robust, secure service that enables us to deliver excellent customer service to our customers.”

Other building societies around the UK have also been busy making changes to their core platform technology in recent months. In October, Cumbria’s Furness Building Society also chose Sopra’s mortgage and savings suite as its core banking platform. Meanwhile in September, Yorkshire Building Society signed a deal with computing firm HP to shift the building society’s core mortgage and savings application to the cloud. The deal was followed a month later by a similar agreement between Leeds Building Society and HP.

The UK’s largest building society, Nationwide, moved its core platforms onto the cloud back in March. Since then, the building society has reported an increase in customers due to the UK Payments Council’s new seven-day account switching service.

“Our priority is to provide top-quality service to our customers, and this new approach will allow us to focus on the business while relying on Unisys to deal with the management of our core IT system,” said Paul Winter, chief executive at Ipswich Building Society.

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