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Case Study

UK Bank’s Bounce Back Loan Process Rated the Best with Help from Digital Workforce

30k Loans approved in the first weekend
340k Loans opened in total
£9.5 billion In lending to small businesses

A bank in the UK has been supporting customers for centuries. Undoubtedly, the bank has successfully weathered a crisis or two during that time. Fast forward to 2020, the bank rapidly responded to economic stresses related to COVID-19. The UK government responded too, offering 100% state-supported “bounce-back” loans to business owners for up to £50,000. With a robust intelligent automation program in place, the bank was well positioned to handle bounce-back loan applications with speed.


Governments and banks acted swiftly to support business owners impacted by lockdowns. The bank knew it had to get a new loan approval process in place in days, rather the usual timeline of weeks or months. They anticipated that a large number of customers would apply for funding. The Financial Conduct Authority required a rapid turnaround. And the bank set a high bar: “apply by midnight and money will be in your account the next day.”

The bank expected an immediate and high response rate to the offer. They estimated they would need to recruit and train a few hundred extra staff to process the loans in a timely manner. In an ordinary time, it would be difficult to hire and train a workforce of that size. During COVID-19, it would be impossible.


This UK bank was an early adopter of intelligent automation, so when COVID-19 came along teams were immediately able to spring into action. The team flexed its federated operating model, using the expertise in the RPA Center of Excellence to assist the developers in the Commercial team. They had an end-to-end automated loan process running within ten days. This allowed them to act quickly to help customers at their time of need. And with 30,000 cases arriving the first weekend, Blue Prism intelligent digital workers were key to the bank’s rapid response.

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