NatWest launches 80-person strong digital studio in Bristol with community at its heart
Fancy being at the forefront of creating a state-of-the-art digital banking system that puts the customer first? NatWest has just launched a brand new digital studio in Bristol and it’s looking to spend an estimated £500m on making its banking system the best it can.
The bank wants to employ an 80-strong team of digital experts there to reinvent its web-based 24/7 electronic banking system that lets 100,000 customers a month process between 6 and 7 million payments. The plan is to make its systems as secure as possible and save its customers as much time as it can.
“We want fun people who will help us build the right culture as well as building amazing tech”
For NatWest, though, it’s not just about making its ‘Bankline’ system as user-friendly as possible, the team there tell us they also want the developers who create this system to feel they are part of a community, being pushed to be the best that they can.
As Rebekah Dovey, Resource Manager at NatWest, told us at the launch, she is keen for people to get involved with creating something special at the studio: “We want fun people who will help us build the right culture as well as building amazing tech. We are using new technologies like REACT to create something pretty much from scratch, so if you are bored of spending your time going through lines of old code, come and join us to develop something brand new.”
And choosing to base its digital studio in the South West was not a decision they made lightly. James Holian, Chief Operating Officer of NatWest’s Commercial & Private Banking business (pictured middle, below), told us: “We are very excited to be investing in Bristol and bring in the true front end of our future business to the city. We feel lucky to be part of a growing and vibrant ecosystem, with ourselves, other businesses and universities at the heart.”
Digital Banking Innovation: Matthew West from Entrepreneurial Spark with NatWest’s James Holian and Claire Gazard
Talking of that ecosystem, the team were keen to stress that they were looking for employees who were already engaged in the digital community and were keen to get more involved. To help with this the digital studio plans to hold tech events, and has already put its money where its mouth is sponsoring one of our upcoming SPARKies awards – helping us to celebrate the best of Tech in the West!
What’s more, the digital studio is housed in the same building as Entrepreneurial Spark – the UK’s biggest free business accelerator, offering mentoring, office space and more to some of the country’s most up-and-coming entrepreneurs. This has been helping brand new businesses succeed in Bristol since 2015 – and in fact the cakes at the launch were provided by one of the enterprising startups housed in the building.
Matt Hatcher, NatWest’s Director of Corporate and Commercial Banking for Bristol, explains: “Our Entrepreneurial Spark powered by the NatWest hub in Bristol has created more new jobs than any of the other nationwide hubs. So we are particularly pleased to be able to continue building on our success in Bristol by making the city home to our new digital centre of excellence.”