Metrics Monthly Q4 | 21

Brought to you by LendingMetrics


Q4 /21 31 Dec 2021

Taking the gold Base rate rises for first time in 3 years Time for data

Christmas spending returns

Christmas spending is on course to return to the levels that lenders saw before the pandemic, but there could be a storm on the horizon in 2022.



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Editor's letter


Welcome to your Q4 issue of Metrics Monthly! I don't think I'm the only one pleased to see the end of what's been a diffi - cult year for many. With uncertainty around every corner, political party scandals and the rise of the Omicron variant, 2021 has been rocky to say the least.

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In LendingMetrics news, there are some exciting new developments at the company including new appoint- ments and promotions. In addition, could two more awards be on the cards at the start of 2022? We're also thrilled to announce being listed as number one on the 2021 Power List league table, which certain- ly brightened up the end of the year for the team. Find out what this means for the company and who else featured on the league table, in 'Taking the Gold'. Our featured thinkpiece this issue considers why large lenders are not making the most of big data and how this could provide smaller players with a golden opportunity, in 'Time for Data'. Find out what this opportunity means for the industry and why lenders are not going down this route as a matter of urgency, on page 12. With 2021 coming to an end, I'm sure you too are more than happy to close the door on the year and are excited- ly looking ahead to what 2022 might bring. All that's left to say is I hope you had a great Christmas and enjoy welcoming in the New Year with open arms.

This issue, we're welcoming the end of the year by sharing some industry pos- itivity, including the news that the FCA introduced a new strategy for positive sustainable change at COP26. You may remember that in our last instalment of Metrics Monthly, we posed the question: "are we heading for a bumper Xmas?"; this issue, we have the answer! Exclusive data from LendingMetrics indicates that Christ- mas spending has been on course to return to levels that lenders saw before the pandemic, but our Manag- ing Director Neil Williams warns that there could be a storm on the horizon in 2022. Read more in our headline article on page 06.

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Metrics Monthly | 03

In this issue

03 Editor's letter 04 In this issue 06 Christmas spending returns

Christmas spending is on course to return to the levels that lenders saw before the pandemic, but there could be a storm on the horizon in 2022.


08 In the news

Base rate rises for first time in 3 years and the FCA announce a new strategy for positive sustainable change.

10 Company updates

New developments at LendingMetrics and could two more awards be on the cards?




04 | Metrics Monthly

Q4 | 2021

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12 Time for data

Large lenders aren’t making the most of big data and that this provides smaller players with a golden opportunity.

14 Taking the gold

LendingMetrics has topped the league table of the 2021 Power List.


15 Choosing a charity

When choosing a charity, what do you think is the most important factor?

16 Customer stories

IN-SYNC increase speed, reliability and accuracy of decisioning with Auto Decision Platform

18 ADP: Product Streams

ADP can effortlessly integrate with your product stream. Does it work with your market?




Metrics Monthly | 05


According to data analysed by LendingMetrics, Christmas spending is on course to return to the levels that lenders saw before the pandemic, but there could be a storm on the horizon in 2022. Christmas spending returns

The volume of transactions that pass through the company’s platforms during the fourth quarter of 2021 are set to be 35% higher than the same period of 2020.

The rise follows a pattern of increasing activity, with Q3 2021 being 18% higher than Q3 2020, and an increase in trans - actions in all quarters compared to the same time in 2020. Although the Q4 figures could be partly due to lenders’

traditional ‘front-loading’ of activity, LendingMetrics believes the data points to a return to levels of activity last seen in the run-up to Christmas 2019, which is good news for lenders.

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Neil Williams, Managing Director of LendingMetrics, said: ‘Our data con- firms what we have predicted: that we are finally returning to normal volumes of spending. The lack of borrowing last year indicated that people were gener- ally able to save during the pandemic, so spent what they saved, or acted cau- tiously last year, and are now returning to pre-pandemic borrowing levels. The vast majority of our clients had antici- pated this and put in place plans for increased transactions during Q4 and Q1. They’re also now benefitting from the multi-bureau approach of LMX when paired with ADP.’ With a steady increase in transactions month-on-month (the company saw a 7.5% increase from Q3 to Q4), Mr Williams predicts activity will further improve. ‘Provided we can get over the Omicron wave, as the weather improves so will spending activity. This bodes well for Spring/Summer 2022 and echoes our usual message of lenders needing to be prepared for more pent-up spending.’ If there is a “circuit breaker" lockdown, LendingMetrics is predicting that the spring resurgence will be even more marked, with delayed spending combin-

"There is going to be turbulence in the market in 2022" ‘When inflation rises, people typically spend money rather than save it. They won’t delay, especially after a circuit ing with rising inflation to spur activity. The current high level of 5% inflation will likely result in increased spending, partly as a result of interest on savings remaining disappointingly low. breaker. Also, borrowing rates are not going to appear high when compared to inflation, meaning buoyant demand for finance, particularly with interest rates on loans and mortgages being fairly low at the moment.’ The LendingMetrics MD said that lender adaptability may be key to making a success of 2022, and warns that there could be instability on the horizon. External factors, such as rising energy prices, will have a knock-on effect on everything else. An anticipated spend- ing increase could cause inflation to be heavily compounded, leading to a lasting long-term impact on the market.

Mr Williams added: ‘There is going to be turbulence in the market in 2022, which means lenders need to be able to change with the market or risk being left behind. Only those who can react fast, change their products and adapt their risk assessments quickly will be capable of riding the storm.’

The LendingMetrics Exchange Multi-bureau CRA data AML and ID verification Exclusive premium service Find out more

Metrics Monthly | 07


In the news

BNPL to appear on credit reports Credit reporting company Equifax will be the firm major firm to begin including Buy Now Pay Later data in credit reports, it was revealed in December.

Base rate rises for first time in 3 years In December, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to increase the Bank of England base rate from 0.1% to 0.25%, marking the first rise in more than 3 years.

see rates increase. About the change, mortgage expert Ray Boulger, said: "as the market factors in further increas- es, we can expect mortgage rates to rise further." The rate increase could also affect savings accounts, which will be good news for savers as savings rates have been poor. By encouraging saving and discouraging borrowing, the MPC aims to take cash out of the economy and slow the price rises. With the increasing price of fuel and energy driving inflation, only time will tell if this change will be enough to balance an unstable economy.

The increased rate, which influences what borrowers pay and savers earn, was a result of official data published to show prices rising at the fastest rate for more than a decade. Driven by high UK inflation, prices are rising rapidly, which had prompted calls for interest rates to be increased in an effort to lessen price spikes. Whilst this won't affect any fixed rate mortgages yet, those on a standard variable rate or tracker mortgage could

Equifax intends to persuade BNPL providers such as Afterpay and Klarna to begin reporting their con- sumers' data to the company. In a statement, chief product officer at Equifax, Mark Luber, said: “Most BNPL providers either bypass the credit check com - pletely, or do a soft pull on credit files, which can be attractive to consumers". “We are encouraging BNPL provid - ers to report into Equifax as a pow - erful source of data. Those who use BNPL services that report can demonstrate reliable behavior and boost their credit profile.” With payment giant Klarna holding over 50% of the share of global BNPL sector, getting the provid - er on board will be the first major step in tapping into this ever-more popular payment method.

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FCA announce new strategy for positive sustainable change This quarter saw the events of COP26 take place, and there was plenty to talk about as the Glasgow Climate Pact was created, the US and China pledged to cooperate more over the next decade and leaders from 100 countries prom- ised to stop deforestation by 2030. new strategy unveiled, which outlines how the regulator plans to work towards making the UK the world's first net zero financial sector.

Rathi quite rightly stated that 'business- es, governments, regulators, financial service firms and individuals all have a part to play in tackling the climate crisis', and this is becoming more apparent than ever. One of the main features of the FCA's new strategy is their aim to help mobi- lise the capital needed to keep emis- sions in check. The regulator plans to build a trusted market and interna- tionally consistent frameworks and standards.

Whilst these pledges are all positive, they did pose the age-old question: how will all of this be paid for? One of the less discussed moments was when CEO of the Financial Conduct Authori- ty, Nikhil Rathi, gave a speech outlining the FCA's new strategy for positive change . As an FCA regulated credit reference agency, we were pleased to see this

Unsecured loan specialist Creditstar impliments ADP Creditstar have successfully implimented Auto Decision Platform by LendingMetrics to assist underwriting team.

The loan provider was keen to include third party credit data in their applica- tion processes, and it became appar- ent that automating their underwriting process was the most effective way to do this. In 2019, the company spoke with financial technology and data spe - cialist LendingMetrics, with the view to launch a new product that would utilise automated decisioning. Creditstar was aware that they wouldn’t have been able to build something internally because it would have been too large of a project for their IT team, so by adopting Auto Decision Platform (ADP) they were able to tap into Lend- ingMetrics’ existing connections and expertise in the field. Now, the company is running ADP with a small underwrit- ing team that are able to underwrite a large number of loans thanks to auto- mated decisioning.

Creditstar particularly recognise the value of ADP’s powerful decision engine editor as it puts them in control of credit rule changes and allows operation- al staff to make changes in real-time through its comprehensive user inter- face. The team were able to learn how to use the editor very easily and, once the concept was fully understood, have found it straightforward and intuitive. LendingMetrics continue to support Creditstar with their usage of ADP, and also The LendingMetrics Exchange, and the lender has found that assis- tance is always provided quickly by LendingMetrics’ dedicated support team. They particularly valued the input from Chief Technology Officer Neil Wil - liams, who was exceptionally generous with the level of guidance he provided and this significantly aided Creditstar in setting up well.

"In terms of external products, I can’t think of anything better in the market and I would recommend ADP to anyone that would benefit from it. It has been a joy working with LendingMetrics and I couldn’t ask for anything more.” Neil Pool Chief Operating Officer

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Company updates The LendingMetrics team dressed to impress and celebrated the end of what's been a busy year

The team were fortunate to have planned an early Christmas event, and dressed to impress to enjoy a three course meal at the Langstone Quays Resort on Hayling Island. The company values the importance of staff events for team-building and moti-

vation, and with no annual event held in 2020, it was an excellent opportunity to make up for those events missed due to the pandemic. Head of Operations, Paul Brown, com- mented: "we decided to go ahead with the event despite the potential imposi-

tion of restrictions because we knew how important it would be to thank them for their hard work this year. The Christmas event was a great way to reward the team and celebrate 2021 in style."

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New developments at LendingMetrics Intelligent decisioning technology provider

management structure for scale. These include the promotion of Maxine Raleigh to Head of Legal and Compliance, and Ella Barnes to Executive Assistant. To further enhance the company’s project management services, Katey Cooper has been elevated to the role of Service Delivery Manager, and will continue to manage projects and imple- mentations, as well as the prompt deliv- ery of platforms and exemplary cus- tomer service. David Wylie, CEO of LendingMetrics, commented: ‘As a successful 2021 draws to a close, we look forward, despite the speedbumps of the pan- demic, to 2022 with huge optimism. We're ready for the challenge of achiev- ing further growth, which is why we’re delighted to make these important new changes to our team. LendingMetrics aims to continue to expand in the New Year to ensure the maintenance of high delivery standards to our expanding customer base.’ "...we’re delighted to make these important new changes to our team"

LendingMetrics has announced a number of new appointments and several promotions within its fast-growing workforce. Donna Airey has been appointed as the company’s Head of Finance, bringing a wealth of experience in financemanage - ment to the department. Chelsea Clark is the company’s new Talent Acquisition Specialist and will be leading the Lend- ingMetrics recruitment efforts as the company continues to expand in the coming months. On the technical side, an addition to the R&D team is Stuart Dewing who has joined the company as a Junior Devel- oper after completing a master’s degree last year. He will aid in further advanc- ing LendingMetrics’ multi-award-win- ning software solutions. Filling the newly created role of HR Manager, Karina Marvin will be joining the team in the New Year. In addition to the new appointments, and to reflect the company’s continued growth, several internal promotions have been made in order to prepare the

Could two more awards be on the cards for LendingMetrics? LendingMetrics are proud to have been shortlisted for two awards at the FStech Awards 2022. The finan - cial technology company are in the running to win 'Best Use of IT in Con - sumer Finance' and 'Risk Management Software of the Year'. vices sector, and the event will be held in March 2022.

About the nominations, CEO David Wylie said: "following a success - ful year, we're pleased to have been shortlisted for not one but two awards. We're looking forward to seeing the results next year and wish luck to other nominees."

The 22 nd Annual FStech Awards cel- ebrates excellence and innovation within the UK and EMEA financial ser -

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Time for data

Neil Williams, Managing Director of LendingMetrics, says large lenders aren’t making the most of big data and that this provides smaller players with a golden opportunity. We are all familiar with how well data and machine learning can predict what we are thinking of buying. By analysing our online activity - specif- ically keystrokes and browsing habits - organisations such as Google can antic- ipate our likely purchasing activity. If I loiter on a car dealer’s site long enough, my ‘feed’ will start to reflect this, and car adverts and editorial devoted to buying cars will start to appear. We all generate digital footprints via our internet activity that can be used to second guess where we are looking to

spend our money. Each day of smart- phone use results in another tranche of keystrokes that further finesses my feed. The potential for this is huge, given the day-by-day accumulation of data. Those involved in this industry say it won’t be long before an algorithmwill know what you want to purchase before you (con- sciously) do. In a not-so-distant future, we could see organisations tracking your eye movements across the screen to deduce what most interests you. Keep this in your mind, and now consid- er the sort of marketing you get from the large established lenders. Not often do we see examples of mar- keting activity from the lending giants that is bespoke to our individual circum- stances, even though they’re sitting on plenty of data. I can’t be the only one to be surprised at the number of ‘scat-

tergun’ pitches I still get from my bank; many for products I have no intention of wanting. Surely there is the scope to provide a bespoke pitch; one that reflects my specific circumstances. Certainly the quantity of data out there allows for a more granular approach, but there is not much evidence of this from the main lenders. So why are they not going down this route more urgently? For sure, this is partly down to data con- fidentiality and all the protocols that are in place to prevent abuse. Any company that collects user data (which is just about all financial service providers) is heavily regulated at the national and international level by a range of stand- ards, such as the General Data Protec- tion Regulation (GDPR).

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Related articles In the news

But this is not the full story. An awful lot more could be done within the existing framework, providing the nec- essary safeguards and authorisations are in place. The most telling reason for the slow take-up, I believe, is that larger lenders’ legacy systems often lack the infra- structure to accommodate big data analytics. The sheer volume of data stored puts a massive strain on the systems that they have, and many lack the advanced analytics to make sense of it in the first place. The larger the organisation, the more likely it will be advised to upgrade an existing system before implementing a more sophisticated data strategy. "The major lenders tend to fall back on long-es- tablished practices and customer bases at the expense of growth and innovation" The end result is that themajor lenders tend to fall back on long-established practices and customer bases at the expense of growth and innovation. This is despite the fact that, by using analytics-driven strategies and tools, they could unlock the potential of their data to reduce costs and increase revenue. Businesses reported an average 8% increase in revenue and a 10% reduction in overall costs as a consequence of utilising big data, according to a 2015 survey from Bar- clays Bank. While this might not be great for the shareholders of large lenders, it pro- vides a really exciting opportunity for

smaller, more nimble finance provid - ers. They are in a great position to partner with one of the many FinTech companies we have in the UK who have the expertise to bring big data to life. For the first time, smaller lenders and new entrants can leverage a compet- itive advantage over larger providers by using new technology. Unrestricted by decision-making inertia, they can swiftly utilise plug- and-play APIs with the support of Fin- Techs that will transform their lending. Many may already have a flavour of what can be achieved through clever use of data via the use of assisted underwriting tools such as Auto Deci- sion Platform (ADP) by LendingMet- rics, which delivers optimal lending decisions in seconds. I do believe that small and medi- um-sized lenders now have a golden opportunity to seize the initiative. More lending is now sourced online than ever, and, with the right technol- ogy and FinTech partner, they can supercharge their business.

In December, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to increase the Bank of England base rate from 0.1% to 0.25%, marking the first rise in more than 3 years.

Take me there

Christmas spending returns

Christmas spending is on course to return to the levels that lenders saw before the pandemic, but there could be a storm on the horizon in 2022.

Read now

ADP: Product Streams ADP can effortlessly integrate with your product stream. Does it work with your market?

Above: LendingMetrics Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer Neil Williams

Find out more

Metrics Monthly | 13


Taking the gold

LendingMetrics has topped the league table of the 2021 Power List, a round-up of the UK’s most innovative compa- nies within the credit and collections technology sector. The Credit & Collections Technology Awards Company Power List placed the financial technology provider in the number one spot in recognition of its industry-leading platforms. The Power List – published as an annual guide by Credit Connect and in its third year – aims to recognise companies for the progression of industry standards and excellence. This year, LendingMetrics knocked conversational platform pro- vider Webio into second position on the league table, echoing a successful year for the company.

David Wylie, CEO of LendingMetrics, said: “Achieving the number one spot for the first time is a real tribute to all of those at LendingMetrics who have put in hard work over the years in order to make our platforms what they are: game changing.” The intelligent software provider also won the Credit Reference & Information Solution accolade at the C&CTA awards hosted last month, marking the fifth year in a row the company has walked away victorious. Judges for the awards praised the company's pioneer platform Auto Decision Platform (ADP) for its "uniqueness" and "great innovation". Colin White, Credit Connect founder, said: "The annual guide provides a snap- shot of the technology innovators within credit and collections and it showcases who is leading the way with innovation. All the companies listed have provided solutions that have helped to enhance the best customer outcome through lending or collections processes.”

Above: LendingMetrics takes the top spot on the league table, up one place from their second position on the 2020 list.

Above: Head of Sales Claire Januszczak was presented with the Credit Reference & Information Solution award at the 2021 event.

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Choosing a charity

We're looking to sponsor a charity, but deciding which one is not an easy feat, so we asked our followers on Linkedin to help.

We asked: when choosing a charity, what do you think is the most impor - tant factor?

Check out the responses below and add your vote by clicking the button!

Add your vote

Metrics Monthly | 15


Customer stories IN-SYNC increase speed, reliability and accuracy of decisioning with Auto Decision Platform

About The IN-SYNC Group specialise in out- sourced payroll, tax and vehicle finance lending solutions. Their Credit Service division is a specialist vehicle finance lender, providing bespoke finance at competitive pricing to assist those in the self-employed industry with buying new vehicles. They aim for borrowers to be able to reduce their spend on vehi- cles whilst also improving their financial situation. The choice IN-SYNC’s own core values include ‘innovation’ and they have certainly been innovative in their deployment of

LendingMetrics’ Auto Decision Plat- form (ADP) to facilitate dramatically improved decisioning in terms of speed, accuracy and data. They were original- ly looking to transition from manual underwriting to an online web-based platform, as part of a business-wide infrastructure change to improve the technology being used. IN-SYNC had an existing relationship with LendingMetrics so when they made the decision to look at automat- ing their underwriting, the financial technology supplier was their first point of contact. LendingMetrics demon- strated the capabilities of ADP and the lender commented that the tool looked

‘fantastic’, with a wide range of func- tions and an ability to integrate with any number of sources. Unlike similar companies, IN-SYNC had access to a large amount of data but had challenges in processing it without any automation involved in their exist- ing software. Trying to accommodate this amount of data within spread- sheets was problematic, causing pro- cesses to take a long time due to man- aging the large amounts of data. This method also hindered IN-SYNC’s sales and underwriting teams; the manual process meant that there was a risk of errors, speed issues and a lack of a digital presence.

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In contrast, ADP utilises proprietary data solutions, credit risk data and Open Banking solutions to process applications in record time, and easily make credit policy changes as-and- when needed. The universally integrat- ed platform also handles the real-time execution of credit reference, AML and affordability calls to the major credit reference agencies, facilitating instant decision outcomes and a better cus- requirements-gathering stage of the project was particularly well managed according to IN-SYNC, who had worked with other software providers in the past that weren’t as thorough, and found LendingMetrics refreshingly coordinated. The imple- mentation process was smooth and well managed, with LendingMetrics’ approach described as highly thorough and detailed. The project team were well organised, with the process clearly structured and appropriately phased in order to make the integration as seam- less as possible. As a result, the expec- tation on deliverables and timescales was always apparent for both parties. This was emphasised with clear com- tomer experience overall. The experience The initial

Metrics, however, was very thorough, which meant that every timescale was adhered to. It also resulted in the FinTech company being able to pro-ac- tively ensure that IN-SYNC got the most out of the solution and were very glad they made the decision to implement ADP. The result Now, IN-SYNC are utilising ADP to add significant benefits to their underwrit - ing process, particularly regarding the speed, reliability and accuracy of deci- sioning. IN-SYNC’s administrators and underwriters alike find the platform very easy to navigate and understand, describing ADP as ‘absolutely fantastic’. The user interface is considered well laid out, with helpful colour coding and a clear structure that allows IN-SYNC’s team to use the system without an ongoing need for training. The system itself is described as very responsive, with ‘zero downtime’ and always fully functional with no issues. The rapid response rates and fast processing time allows IN-SYNC to massively reduce the time to decision as well as increase accuracy and provide a first- class experience to their self-employed customers looking to finance vehicles.

“As a business, we were extreme - ly happy and im - pressed with the LendingMet r ics team and the outcome of the implementat ion project.” Philip Colman Operations Manager

munication between the two compa- nies from the get-go, as LendingMetrics assigned a dedicated Project Manager to oversee the duration of the project and act as the first port-of-call should IN-SYNC have any queries. IN-SYNC’s experience with other soft- ware providers was that they often didn’t gather enough information at the start of the project or manage the build and test phases well. Lending-

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ADP: Product Streams ADP can effortlessly integrate with your product stream. Does it work with your market?

Frequently Asked Questions What if I want to retain that human touch to my underwriting? The degree of automation is totally within your control. You can provide fully binding decisions or simply an approval in principle. You can even give binding answers to people above a certain credit threshold and an API to others requir- ing more in-depth investigation. The choice is yours. Isn’t this type of software expensive?

Why is ADP different to other credit decisioning products? Unlike nearly every other product out there, ADP puts you in total control of changes to your decisioning; how you want to change it and when you change it. No more lengthy IT delays and no more charges for technical changes. The simple UI enables your operational staff/credit-risk officers to make changes at a user level (subject to permissions). Can I use ADP for champion/ challenge and retro analysis? ADP has several novel and unique tools to enable real time “what-if” and “champion/challenge” of your client’s data. This enables your business to test several possible improvements to your credit policy all at once, without impacting on your live lending activities.

Generally yes! However, ADP by LendingMetrics is a posi- tively disruptive force in the market and prices are tailored to your business. Affordable entry level pricing right up to enterprise. Put it this way: we think you’ll be pleasantly sur- prised when we show you what you get for your money.

18 | Metrics Monthly

Q4 | 2021

Auto Decision Platform

Our online Auto Decision Platform (ADP) saves on time, money and errors, driving more profits to your bottom line. ADP assesses your applicants in real-time, 24 hours a day, and delivers consistent and accurate lending decisions in milliseconds. It’s a multi-award-winning automated decisioning and collections platform that puts you in control.

Make better risk and compliance decisions

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Control using the comprehensive user interface

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