OakNorth becomes first UK bank to move core systems onto AWS

by Jonathan Adams

A British bank has become one of the first in the UK to move its entire core infrastructure onto the cloud, and has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its provider.

OakNorth, which was launched in 2015 and provides startups and entrepreneurs-oriented banking services, said that the shift will let it scale up and launch new services faster.

OakNorth provides loans of between £1m – £15m to entrepreneurs and fast-growth businesses, has been working closely with AWS and the regulator for six months on policies related to access to data, business continuity, data protection and security provided by cloud systems.

Amazon Web Services’ UK boss, Gavin Jackson, said: “We are delighted to have worked with OakNorth to adopt the AWS cloud.

“This demonstrates to customers that even highly regulated industries are entrusting their critical systems to AWS and are benefitting from the flexibility, agility and security of cloud computing to deliver innovative services to customers.”

Amazon Web Services has been chasing for bank business for some time now, already winning Capital One in the United States. J.P. Morgan chief operating officer Matt Zames had admitted earlier this year that the company is thinking about using AWS, specifically for scaling up during heavy processing periods such as Black Friday.

But OakNorth’s announcement is the first of its kind in the UK, and could show other banks that moving legacy infrastructure and core systems into public cloud could offer a whole host of benefits.

According to OakNorth CEO, Rishi Khosla, “Having our core banking system based in the cloud is an important milestone for us and for the banking industry in the UK. This achievement will enable us to continue scaling the business safely and efficiently”.

“The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed new guidance on cloud and other IT outsourcing last November in order to promote innovation and competition in the sector. This development is proof of the regulator’s willingness to do that and will open up the opportunity for other financial institutions to follow suit.”

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