Ulster Bank

Putting artificial intelligence at the heart of business

Industry: Financial Services
Region: Ireland and UK
Headquarters: Ireland
Company size: 3,000 employees

“Salesforce Einstein is a great example of how Ulster Bank is harnessing emerging technology such as AI to enhance how we interact with and meet the needs of our customers, and compliments the wide range of use cases being explored in this area across Ulster Bank and RBS. It’s a very exciting time for the financial services industry.

Robin Marshall,
Chief Information Officer, Ulster Bank

Putting artificial intelligence at the heart of business


Based both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank forms part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS). It’s one of the traditional Big Four Irish banks, with around 3,000 staff serving approximately 1.9 million customers. Ulster Bank’s ambition is to become number one for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020. To achieve this, the Bank continually works to better understand and serve the needs of its customers.

As part of its wider digital banking strategy Ulster Bank, in line with its parent company RBS, has embraced the use of artificial intelligence (AI). One such initiative the bank has embarked on is a project using the Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with Atos. The bank has been using CRM since 2008 and therefore it made sense to extend the functionality to deliver a data driven approach to meeting customer needs. The AI component will empower Salesforce users with accurate, timely and relevant customer data to enhance the bank’s digital journey

The challenge


  • In uncharted territory and with an aggressive timeframe, user buy-in and engagement was critical.
  • Success required significant organizational, technical and cultural change – in essence, to deliver the previous 27 releases of the Salesforce system simultaneously.
  • While also changing the look and feel, incorporating analytics and AI.
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The solution


  • Refine the Bank’s customer and product data to ensure it was fit for purpose and robust enough to be used by Einstein.
  • Create one single view of each customer – a key part of Ulster Bank’s Customer Service strategy.
  • Develop an Einstein powered ‘next-best product’ recommendation engine for Relationship Managers to get closer and satisfy the needs of their customers.

Business benefit


  • Ulster Bank now has a one-stop-shop AI platform for CRM giving the business significant competitive edge. New opportunities can arise in an instant; with the platform, the Bank can capitalize on them in a controlled and efficient way.
  • The Bank is more accurately segmenting and leveraging intelligence on its customer base for strategic planning, decision-making, product development and so on.
  • Resources across the customer-facing teams are better allocated to serve customers’ needs and wants more effectively – releasing cost savings, efficiencies and synergies across the business.
  • The platform is in place to improve performance, efficiency and productivity even more by using automation and machine learning to continually model, analyze and exploit rich customer intelligence.

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