How building societies are building FinTech relations

The building society sector is one of the many financial sectors looking to engage with FinTech’s to enhance innovation. However, there are some distinct differences to this sector that organisations seeking to engage with them need to be aware of. The impact mutuality has on a building society’s decision-making being one of these.

We are delving into these unique nuances over a series of articles culminating in a webinar which will be held on Wednesday 7th December 2022 where we will be joined by 4 industry thought leaders to discuss FinTech For Building Societies.

Below we interview Tony Hall is Head of Business Development at Saffron Building Society and is the face of the intermediary division of the mutual. With 35 years in the financial services industry, his experience spans mortgage sales, marketing, product development and distribution. With a focus on service and delivery, Tony has been instrumental in developing new strategies and initiatives that have been crucial for the modernisation of the organisations in which he has worked, and the wider industry. Tony is a regular commentator on the mortgage industry and an avid champion of the mutual sector.

Tony Hall, Head of Business Development, Saffron Building Society

How have you seen the relations between Financial Institutions and FinTechs changing over your career?

“As the markets have changed so have the demands of consumers and brokers who both look for efficiency savings to match their busy lives. Time saving is not a new dimension and has always been at the heart of progress. Throughout the early days of my career there was always the concern that FinTech would take jobs away, which it clearly has, however the positive is it has moved administrative roles into service-centric roles using fintech to support their customer experience and not remove it. Relationships have clearly developed and the good ones are not customer/supplier any more they are partners who a shrinking distinction on who is who”

How do you think Financial Institutions and FinTechs could work better together?

“To me one of the key things is for FinTechs to clearly articulation the ‘art of the possible’. Thinking about the mortgage industry which is not necessarily developing at the pace of other FS markets, is this down to lack of desire to do things better or a lack of understanding? As someone once said, you don’t know what you don’t know!”

Do you see regulation holding innovation back?

“No, I think quite to the contrary in that I think regulation is an enabler for innovation. Particularly with Consumer Duty rapidly approaching how can barriers to achieving fairer outcomes be easier realised through FinTech?”