Innovation is wherever you build it

The second edition of FTT Building Societies!

The Journey to Digital Transformation Continues - 6th October 2021 at (9:00 am GMT)

At Fintech Talents we are on a mission to unite leaders from building societies, credit unions, technology providers and FinTechs – all with a vision to transform and future proof the UK’s mutual banking sector.

Join a community of innovators as we explore the obstacles and opportunities that lie ahead.

Headline sponsor


Festival sponsors


The scale of opportunity

25 million

UK Customers served by 43 Building Societies


Satisfaction rate from Building Society customers

£290 billion

Held in savings with a Building Society


Of all UK mortgages provided by a Building Society

1/3 UK

Has a financial relationship with a Building Society


Find out who will be speaking at Building Societies 2021!

The Journey began with Innovation...

Responding to social need, Building Societies set out to offer something new – a collective way to help members achieve financial goals.

Fast forward over 200 years and Building Societies remain proud pillars of their communities. Regardless of scale, they are committed to providing services which meet genuine need and don’t leave anyone behind.

This purpose will not change any time soon. But the way in which they fulfill it will evolve.

No organization can escape the current pace of technological change. Digital solutions have quickly become an expected aspect of daily interactions, which the recent international pandemic has escalated to a necessity.

Each on a unique digital journey, Building Societies are looking to harness transformative technologies and fintech solutions, empowering them to continue delivering the best outcomes to current and future customers.

These institutions may be long-established, but their potential for innovation should not be overlooked.

Innovation is wherever you build it, and a digital future has infinite possibility.

400 VIP Attendees

Rockstar Speaker Line-Up

60 Building Societies & Credit Unions

100 Fintechs

Engaging Content Sessions

Live Interactive Networking

Key themes

The power of open banking

If customer confidence in the process can be built, Open Banking could present a real opportunity for data driven insights to inform the Building Society product offering. It has the potential to improve services and open the door to holistic wealth management.

The changing the world of lending

Machine learning, digital identity, automation and other technologies could be set to shake up the world of residential mortgages and SME lending. How do these innovations fit into the process alongside experienced lenders and intermediaries?

Digital: No match for the human touch?

Technology, while an enabler for some, may be an inhibitor for others. Even in a new world of remote working, the Building Society approach requires technology to augment, rather than replace the trusted human interaction many members value.

The age-old question of legacy

The challenges facing Building Societies as innovators vary depending on their structure, culture and scale. Which route – in-house development, 3rd party partnership, purchasing fintech – is best to overcome legacy, meet regulation and produce gradual, scalable change?

Purpose-driven transformation

Building Societies look beyond efficiency and profitability, striving to only implement digital change which has measured, positive impacts for the communities they serve. How can innovation drive inclusion, diversity and sustainability, rather than being for innovation’s sake?

Innovating to compete in a digital world

How can Building Societies develop their product offering to reflect an evolving socio-economic climate and a growing appetite for digital-first services. How can they bring on board the right digital expertise to make innovation work for staff and customers?

Why attend?


I’m working to implement digital transformation and FinTech at a Building Society. But why should I be part of this event?

  • FTT Virtual Building Societies will challenge convention and encourage innovative thinking on how to succeed with digital transformation in the current climate.
  • Building Societies will be able to drive the conversation on the potential of new technologies, showcasing achievements and demystifying any aspects of fintech you’ve yet to embrace.
  • Through targeted networking Building Societies can meet with those fintechs, start-ups and tech providers with specific solutions to your unique challenges and explore genuine potential for collaboration.


I’m from an innovative FinTech company and want to explore opportunities to collaborate with Building Societies. But what can I gain from being part of this event?

  • For technology providers the Building Society product timeline can appear seamless compared with a top-tier bank. The opportunity for collaboration is clear, but this isn’t an off-the-shelf sell.
  • FTT Virtual Building Societies will give fintechs the opportunity to really understand what Building Societies are looking for in a partnership. Through case-studies of successful implementations and discussions about the obstacles faced, we will explore how you can cater to a Building Societies unique needs and work alongside them to mutually create solutions.


Building Societies need to embrace digital transformation to meet the needs of their members and investing in new technologies is essential. In this session we will explore:

Key challenges of driving digital transformation throughout building societies.

  • Richard Wainwright, CEO, Mutual Vision 

Credit Unions can often be behind the curve when it comes to digitisation. But this is changing. As the cost of transformation and digitising products and services becomes more affordable, many credit unions are now stepping into the 21st century and meeting the needs of more of their members. Capital Credit Union is one such credit union that is on the transformation journey which it believes is necessary in order to retain existing members and, importantly, attract new members.

  • Marlene Shiels OBE, CEO, Capital Credit Union

A deep dive into the opportunities and challenges of driving digital transformation in smaller building societies. Hear the personal experiences of both those who have successfully driven digital into their infrastructures, and those who are still on the journey. Explore the power of network collaboration and platformication to unlock significant revenue streams and create a personalised digital experience for members.

The benefits of pursuing platformication in Building Societies to allow a seamless interconnected digital experience for members.

The challenges of operating on legacy technology and how to begin upgrading systems.

  • Richard Wainwright, CEO, Mutual Vision                                          
  • Brendan Gilmore, Managing Director at BPG Strategy (Moderator)

Explore the benefits of a hybrid cloud adoption strategy and how to implement hybrid cloud into your existing tool kit infrastructure, with the least amount of risk.

Examine successful methods for developing a hybrid cloud strategy with banking societies that have a mixed IT estate.

Using the right cloud for the right outcome – how to maximise the value of existing on-premises IT legacy systems such as the Mainframe.

What does this mean for the consumer? How can cloud deliver products and digital tools at an accelerated pace to customers?

  • Alison Davies, Head of Digital, Skipton Building Society
  • Dan Akrigg, Head of Systems Development, Skipton Building Society

Despite increased spending on cyber security, financial institutions remain a prominent target for attack.  The pandemic and rapid increase in employees working from home expanded the threat perimeter. Explore some of the key threats facing building societies and smaller organisations.

The first line of defence – increasing companywide inhouse employee training to reduce human error and significantly reduce the risk of a breach, as well as educating customers on risks such as fraud.

Cross sector exchange and cooperation between companies, developing joint security standards and improving cyber resilience.

Crisis management in the aftermath – is your incident response up to scratch?

A case study covering the forthcoming launch of the Beehive Money App, which combines class leading goals-based savings, including access to LISA’s and digital led whole of market mortgage advice – a first for a UK Building Society.

  • David Marlow, Chief Executive Officer, Nottingham Building Society

Explore the benefits of Open Banking for Building Societies. Establish top priorities and find the balance – data security, customer digital identity and standardising protocols.

Expand services and solutions for customers – scaling out customer service with APIs.

In a post-covid world, it has rapidly become clear that environmental and social issues have a deep and direct influence on economic stability. Preparing for a low carbon economy can pose significant implications particularly on smaller building societies and credit unions. This session explores key ideas for revamping banking strategies to increase sustainability and drive membership onboarding.

Embedding ESG into operational strategies, with a focus on the link between profits and people.

How do you compete with global benchmarks? Exploring the Net Zero Banking Alliance and its trickle-down effects on smaller credit unions and building societies.

  • Luca Bertalot, Secretary General, European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC)
  • Emma Harvey, Programme Director, Green Finance Institute

As digital transformation has swept across the financial services industry, hear how building societies are implementing methodologies such as DevOps and best practice for scaling out an agile work culture. Explore both the benefits and challenges that come with reorganising workplace culture, whilst optimising the delivery and speed of services to provide real help with real life.

Examining the best methods to create multi-skilled teams to reduce cost and improve quality whilst increasing collaboration on problem solving.

Promotion of continuous learning through experimentation, training, and professional development.

Assessing key leadership skills and how to develop both short and long-term road maps to shine a light on the bigger picture.

  • Rebecca Fitzgerald, Senior Manager, Technology Delivery, Yorkshire Building Society
  • Chris McEvoy, Senior Solution Architect, Nationwide

A question facing all financial institution is how to address the future of branches. The pace of digital transformation and use of digital channels by customers accelerated during the pandemic. Explore how branches are evolving whilst maintaining the human touch

The Branch Promise – how Building Societies address the needs of all customers.

What is the role of the Branch Rep – how are we changing and multiskilling?

How can Building Societies help ensure High Streets do not become ghost towns?

  • Jonathan Hull, Head of Resource Delivery, Nationwide Building Society
  • David Marlow, Chief Executive Officer, Nottingham Building Society
  • Jo Howes, Sales Director, FintechOS

In todays’ FinTech supplier market there are a multitude of choices when it comes to solutions and providers. Choosing an outsourced supplier can seem a daunting task. Explore how to source the right supplier and effectively leverage partnership and collaboration.

Ensure the alignment of growth plans and culture.

The benefits of buy vs build.

For customers, getting a mortgage is an important life event. Customers want a transparent, simple process and technologies can work to achieve this. In this panel, we explore the use of digital technologies to improve all stages of the customer journey.

Ensuring the right product for the right customer – guarantee quality data through open banking.

Engagement and accessibility – ensuring products are accessible to every customer, with consistent engagement through digital solutions such as push notifications, instant messaging and educational platforms.

Customer convenience – streamlining ID verification and electronic signatures.

Working with proptechs to create a seamless home-buying process.

  • Maria Harris, Director, Digital Cat Consultancy (moderator)
  • John Penberthy-Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, Saffron Building Society

This presentation reflects on the experiences of larger financial organisations and what can be learnt when structuring big data and regulating the usage of AIML, establishing that there is no one-size fits all analytics technique. It explores the opportunity of harnessing big data and machine learning technologies to implement better fraud detection and decrease risk whilst minimising costs.

Opening the path to sophisticated automation – merging unstructured data with structured internal data and ensuring accuracy and trust for predictive analytics deployment.

Analysing the smart data fabric approach – enabling your institution to excel with fast-moving, batch-oriented data, which also includes data from cloud and legacy sources.

Facilitating real time processing for fraud detection – utilising Big Data and Machine Learning to prevent financial losses.

In recent years credit unions have been exploring new ways of leveraging technology to achieve more with less. In this panel, we discuss how credit unions can remain competitive and relevant as consumer expectations evolve and harness new technologies to enable them to keep pace with bigger banks. We will seek to identify the five key areas that are in greatest need of transformation and answer how can Credit Unions get ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving Fintech space, whilst maintaining financial balance and achieving membership satisfaction?

Understand what your members want – Pick and Mix digital capabilities.

Discuss the benefits of digital transformation within the core business model.

The Big Five – Member Engagement, Products, Compliance, Workplace, Operations.

  • Ben West, Head of Business Development, London Mutual Credit Union
  • Paul Norgrove, CEO, Serve and Protect Credit Union

ESGs have been a huge talking point in recent years as the world seeks to drive a new environmentally friendly ecosystem. In this session Luca Bertalot, Secretary General of EMF-ECBC will establish how we can unlock the potential of the green economy, beginning with the greening of the housing market. He will also cover the benefits and opportunities for consumers and SMEs of a more sustainable financial services industry. This thought-provoking presentation provides delegates with food for thought on how their organisations can begin to make headway in the new ESG business environment.

Unlock the potential of greening the housing market, supporting the transition economy.

Establish a new ecosystem around green mortgages.

Consumers and SME benefits and opportunities.

Cooperation of public subsidies and private market incentives.

  • Luca Bertalot, Secretary General, European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC)

Explore how financial technology tools can support financial inclusion in the UK and beyond. How lessons from bridging the inclusion gap in the developing world can provide key learnings for UK policymakers and providers.

  • Mick McAteer, Co-Director, The Financial Inclusion Centre  

As we close our event, we consider the future of Building Societies, Credit Unions and the Financial Services industry as a whole post pandemic. It appears that covid has driven transformation in way that hasn’t been seen before and organisations have had to adapt or perish as a mass of traditional services were forced to move online. But will this rapid change stagnate post-pandemic? Or will societies and unions continue marching forward with their transformations?

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