Helping a FTSE 100 bank launch a standalone digital retail bank from scratch

Key challenges
  • > Risk management advice and support essential
  • > Time management and delivery support needed
  • > New platform required to exhibit banking-grade security
  • > CxO-level sponsors sought assurance on quality of technology created
Key outcomes
  • > Secure, scalable cloud platform provided within 3 months

  • > Technology improvements enabled quicker production release

  • > Created bespoke way to manage cyber security risks

  • > Real-time insights for risk analysts


The challenge

> Our client, a FTSE 100 bank, embarked on an ambitious project to create a brand new, standalone digital retail bank from scratch.

> They decided to build cloud-first and embrace modern, lean development practices, creating a large software engineering team with a very high degree of freedom to create brand new core banking, payments, financial crime, data analytics and back office systems from a clean slate.

> However, in such a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, the client needed support to manage their biggest technology risks.

> They looked to DMW to ensure that that production systems were delivered on time and that the new platform exhibited banking-grade security, as well as ensure that CxO-level sponsors had faith in the quality of the technology being created.

How we helped
> DMW led the delivery of brand new services, cloud platforms and Continuous Delivery infrastructure within Amazon's cloud platform service (AWS), as well as embedding understanding of the cloud within the wider organisation. Against challenging deadlines, DMW oversaw the successful integration of security and fraud systems based on third party solutions, from a multi-factor authentication solution to an advanced financial crime and sanctions monitoring system.
> Software engineers from DMW provided expert security and compliance automation expertise. We worked with the client’s risk and controls team to develop a bespoke toolset to detect internal cybersecurity weaknesses, and established an automation-first approach within the function more broadly.
> DMW championed pushing cyber security considerations earlier in the development lifecycle, promoting and facilitating threat modelling sessions, integrating automated security controls and overseeing independent security reviews.
> As trusted advisors able to speak with authority, DMW spoke and presented on behalf of the new bank in discussions with critical internal and external stakeholders, including with executive and non-executive directors, regulators and strategic suppliers.

The results

> As a result of our actions, we were able to take the bank from a proof-of-concept environment to a secure, scalable production infrastructure suitable for mass beta testing in the real-world within three months.

> Our technology improvements enabled an increase in production release from monthly to daily.

> We created a brand new, bespoke way to manage cybersecurity risk in a continuously changing environment, giving risk analysts real-time insight into the state of the bank’s cloud systems which would previously have required paper-based audits.

> With our insight, we were able to assuage internal and external stakeholders’ reservations.