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Progress Through Technology – Castlight Financial and HSBC UK Join Forces

Progress through technology. Castlight Financial support HSBC UK to deliver their first open banking loan

Ask any car enthusiast why their dream car might be an Audi and they’re very likely to say the brand has a reputation for innovative design and cutting edge technology. Dig a bit deeper and they’re also likely to rate Audi’s reputation for reliability and customer service.

So, I have to admit to being pretty delighted that the very first HSBC UK customer using Castlight’s affordability technology secured a loan to buy their dream Audi.

This is clearly a customer who knows a thing or two about design, technology, reliability and customer service!

Open Banking in Action

So what has actually happened here? As you’ll know, PSD2 or open banking came into force in January this year. Many UK banks weren’t ready for the revolution that is open banking. But some were and the Castlight team have been working closely with HSBC UK to get ahead of the game. So this week we were ready – our affordability technology CaaS or “categorisation as a service” was tried, tested and ready to go. So when the HSBC UK customer took up the offer to be the first customer to apply for a loan using open banking technology, it was all systems go.

The customer securely linked their bank account to HSBC UK, who used their open banking technology to pull down all the transactional data. HSBC UK then ran the transactional data through the CaaS engine, which categorised income and expenditure into 155 categories, summarising income streams, credit commitments, essential costs and discretionary spending to reveal a monthly disposable income. The information was then merged with credit performance data and in under 10 minutes HSBC UK had all the information they needed on which to make a highly informed lending decision. The process also eliminated the need for the customer to produce bank statements and payslips to comply with money laundering regulations as all the information was there in the CaaS report.

CaaS was able to provide their underwriters with enhanced data direct from the customer’s bank account, whilst giving that customer a better, faster service. And its good news for Castlight, as more and more lenders both in the UK and globally start to recognise the importance of enhanced affordability technology like CaaS, and use it to ensure that loans are safe and affordable for both lenders and borrowers.

Progress through technology. It’s an approach that works for Audi and it’s certainly working too for Castlight.

Keeping The Furniture Moving

Guest blog by Ally Walker, Marketing Consultant

Castlight have moved the office furniture around again.

I’ve noticed this before and just assumed that the team was creating more desk space for the new starts that are joining on an almost weekly basis. Read more

Data Is The New Oil

Data is the new oil. It’s the currency of the future. And it was good to see, at this year’s Data Talent Scotland event, that hundreds of Scotland’s students have recognised the importance of data in virtually every area of business life, and have spent the last few years studying data science, analytics and engineering. Read more

Castlight shortlisted in the FT’s Future of Fintech Awards 2017

The Financial Times have included Castlight in their shortlist for their Future of Fintech Awards.

Castlight was shortlisted by the FT along with four other early-stage firms as a leading fintech innovator. The awards recognise both innovative ideas and the ability to bring them into widespread use, with the Innovation Award in particular rewarding newer fintech companies that are bringing out novel solutions.

CEO, Phil Grady said,

“It’s great to have Castlight’s innovation recognised as capable of creating lasting change in the financial services sector on a global scale.”
The FT judges, on including Castlight said:
“The idea of better credit scoring is attractive and it is significant that the company has made a profit from the first year and has not had to take any financing.”
Read more on the Financial Times Future of Fintech Awards 2017 here.

35 Year Mortgages – Can You Afford Not to Have One?

One in four first time buyers are taking out a mortgage that will last 35 years or more. Claire Miller, writing for the The Mirror, reports this week on a phenomenon, which could see borrowers in mortgage debt all their working lives and possibly well into their 70s. Read more

Castlight – Up for the Challenge

Earlier this month, our COO, Martin Leonard took part in an amazing fundraising event. He was part of a three man relay team that swam the 24 mile length of Loch Lomond to raise money for the Scottish charity John Maurice Aitken Trust, which provides support for those in financial hardship. Read more

Mark Carney’s Warning: We Need a New Zeitgeist of Affordability

Mark Carney warned this week that Britain could be heading for another economic crash as households over extend on consumer credit. It seems, as a nation, we have short memories. Read more

Sub-Prime Lending: Lets Stop the Next Financial Tsunami

10 years ago the US sub-prime mortgage market hit the rocks and triggered a financial tsunami around the world. Many of us, I’m sure, will never forget the sight of panicked queues outside Northern Rock banks as the waves of destruction reached UK shores and began to lap at the doors of our High Street banks.

There were many reasons for the financial crisis – it was, in fact, a perfect storm. Read more

A Week of Awards in the Company of Fellow Disrupters

It has been a whirlwind of a week for the Castlight team. In the course of just a few days Castlight has won the first ever Deloitte’s Disrupt the Enterprise event to be held in Scotland and then we secured a place for the live final of TEDxGlasgow at the beginning of June. Read more

Castlight® Wins Deloitte’s Kick Start a Start Up Award

Glasgow-based fintech company, Castlight®, has won the first ever Deloitte’s Kick Start a Start Up event to be held in Scotland. Read more