NatWest turns to artificial intelligence to restore customer trust


High street bank NatWest is trialling artificial intelligence technology in an attempt to restore customer trust and confidence.

The bank has partnered with British tech firm Recordsure to explore how its recording and analysis solution could be used to improve and monitor the quality of information provided during regulated customer conversations.

With customer consent, Recordsure’s technology records face-to-face and telephone conversations, and encrypts and uploads audio files to a cloud in real time.

The system sends an alert if the microphone has been disconnected or if there is a long period of silence. Customers and staff can listen back to the conversations, which are securely stored on servers at former UK and US military facilities built to protect data and people in the event of a nuclear attack.

The artificial intelligence technology analyses an interaction, then classifies sections of the conversation. For instance, it can identify where in an interaction a customer was given initial disclosures, which parts were financial advice, and even which parts were general chitchat.

It can also identify whether certain topics or issues have not been discussed. The artificial intelligence is constantly learning and improving its understanding of interactions and context.

>See also: Artificial intelligence: how it’s transforming financial services today

“We want to restore trust and give customers complete confidence in us,” said Les Matheson, CEO of personal and business banking at NatWest. “Last year we scrapped bonuses for frontline staff so customers would know our advice was based on their needs, not commission. This trial goes even further and we look forward to seeing how it can improve the service we provide.”

Joanne Smith, CEO of Recordsure, added: “Recordsure can create significant efficiencies in banks’ compliance monitoring processes, resulting in up to a 50% reduction in compliance costs which means staff will have more time to spend proactively helping customers.

“The Recordsure technology will help NatWest to become much better at living up to the high standards of compliance and conduct that it has committed to.”

NatWest is trialling the technology with some of its mortgage advisors and is looking at how it could be applied to improve the customer experience in other areas of the bank where regulated conversations take place.

In February, NatWest launched a self-service online investment service for customers, and it has also introduced paperless online processes which have cut both account opening and lending applications for SMEs from days to minutes.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...