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Former AIB chief banks on AI as he takes on UK big four

David Duffy plans digital strategy to increase Clydesdale and Yorkshire market share

For David Duffy and the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banking group (CYBG) that he leads, the future is digital, with a capital ’B’.

B is the name of CYBG’s recently-launched current account, instant savings account and app that is designed to change how customers manage their money. Using artificial intelligence, it learns how your manage your money over time and builds the capability to warn you if you have insufficient funds in your account or to tell you about ways to avoid unnecessary charges.

It’s at the heart of CYBG’s plan to use digital as a means of attacking the market share of the four big banks in the UK – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

On a trip to Dublin last week, Duffy told The Irish Times that customers could open an account with B in just 11 minutes. “It’s the fastest in the UK,” he boasted.

“We want to change the face of UK banking. It sounds grandiose but it’s not meant to be. Banking is a push-product, volume model that charges customers for a lot of things it shouldn’t. What if you create a customer-pull model in a relationship where technology is just servicing that model?”

Studio B is an offshoot of this brand – a physical hub that is designed to act as an incubator for new technologies, an advisory centre for retail and SME customers, while also providing transactional services, sometimes with tellers, sometimes not.

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