Late Post

CIO interview: Simon Bateman, Allica Bank

The UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown in March did not stop challenger bank Allica from launching new services, as the bank’s CIO, Simon Bateman, explains: “When Boris [Johnson] said we had to work from home, we had 60 staff work remotely. We did our first deposit launch and wrote our first commercial loan during lockdown. We have had a considerable amount of inquiries and seen growth in the loan book during lockdown.”

Bateman has a background in retail banking. His most recent post before Allica Bank was as CIO at Harrods Bank and he has worked as IT head at Aldermore Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and Produban SCL, part of Santander.

His experience of the limitations of IT in traditional banking has informed the IT strategy that Bateman has taken at Allica Bank.

One of the key pillars of the bank’s IT strategy has been to use the Microsoft Azure public cloud, as Bateman explains. “When I joined in May 2018, we decided to build everything from scratch in the cloud using the Microsoft suite,” he says.

Allica Bank worked closely with Microsoft’s Fast Track team to build a system within Azure that would keep customer data safe and comply with strict