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Royal Bank of Scotland in data science drive for better service

The University of Edinburgh’s Senior Vice Principal, Prof Charlie Jeffery, RBS Director of Data, Frank Meere, and UoE’s Head of the School of Informatics, Prof Jane Hillston with members of the bank’s graduate recruitment scheme. Photograph by Lesley Martin

Data specialists from Royal Bank of Scotland are to work with analytics experts from the University of Edinburgh to improve customer experience.

The bank has opened a data innovation research unit on campus to stimulate ideas that will help develop new products and services.

It has leased space at the Bayes Centre, the University’s new data innovation hub for solving real-world problems through scientific enquiry, inspiring design and industrial collaboration.

Bank staff based at the Centre will join key players from other industries, academics and public sector partners in Edinburgh’s data science community.

The move will see data specialists from the bank working closely with researchers from the University’s Schools of Business, Informatics and Mathematics, and its super-computing facility, the EPCC.

The Bayes Centre opened in October with the aim of fostering closer links between researchers and a wide range of industry sectors, including financial services.

Dr Michael Rovatsos, Director of the Bayes Centre, said: “The partnership presents a unique opportunity to help create better services for Royal Bank of Scotland customers and understand how data can benefit the financial sector in the UK and globally. Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to join us in the Centre underlines the importance of collaborating with industry – one of our priorities.”

Frank Meere, Director of Data at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Our people are part of the Edinburgh data science and innovation community. That’s why it is important to us that we join forces with other world-leading data science and artificial intelligence partners at the Bayes Centre, where we will work together on data-driven innovations that solve real-world problems.

“This week Royal Bank of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh have started working together on a number of opportunities to apply machine learning, artificial intelligence solutions to improve financial services. We’re very excited about this crucial next step in our collaboration journey with the University of Edinburgh and the Bayes Centre.”

Royal Bank of Scotland has been working with data analytics experts at the EPCC on a range of data-driven financial services projects and with the University’s Business School Credit Research Centre. The latest announcement coincides with the bank holding a ‘spike’ at the Bayes Centre, where a dedicated team was given time and resources to focus on specific business challenges.

The Bayes Centre is the first of five data-driven innovation hubs to open as part of the University of Edinburgh’s involvement in the £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

As part of the UK’s second largest financial centre, banks, insurance companies and pension providers within the City Region are ideally placed to benefit from investment in data-driven innovation and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the data revolution.