How The Co-operative Bank Achieves 80% Savings in Processing Costs with Blue Prism

The Co-operative Bank is a retail and commercial bank headquartered in Manchester, United Kingdom. The bank provides high street and internet banking, current accounts, mortgages, savings accounts, credit cards and loans. It is the only UK high street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy which is now incorporated into the Bank’s Articles of Association.

The Business Challenge

At The Co-operative Bank, the excess queue process is carried out daily to accept, reject and return direct debits, checks and standing orders as customers having insufficient funds to meet payments. However, overnight BACS processing results in a daily queue of customers with payments due to leave their accounts and with insufficient funds to meet these payments.

A nine-person team in the bank would have the daily responsibility of manually reviewing approximately 2,500 higher risk accounts. They have the ability to make decisions to either return or process the payments that depend on the account profile of each customer. However, due to the manual and time-consuming process of reviewing each account, The Co-operative Bank was determined that the excess queue procedure should be automated.

The Solution: The Co-Operative Bank Leveraged Blue Prism’s Connected-RPA Platform

To address and automate its queue process, The Co-operative Bank came to the decision to use robotics process automation (RPA). To do so, the bank found Blue Prism connected-RPA platform and completed its automation project.

The connected-RPA platform enables non-technical users to integrate and orchestrate systems and processes noninvasively, with no change to the bank’s core systems. The automation of the entire procedure provided the bank to complete the workloads by taking less time. It means only 20 Digital Workers now are completing the workloads by 11 a.m. each day rather than a team of employees who work to meet a 3 p.m. daily processing deadline.

The Outcome

With Blue Prism connected-RPA, The Co-operative Bank has seen several benefits by automating the excess queue procedure.

Proactive Customer Account Management 

Employees who previously engaged in manual processing now have been released to work on proactive customer account management. And outbound customer calls now make every day of the week instead of only on Saturday when there was no activity required on the excess queue.


Treating customers fairly and in a consistent and timely manner is now supreme importance to The Co-operative Bank. The rules-based Blue Prism process ensures that the excess queue procedure is followed in exactly the same way every time, making sure that the bank is able to meet its FSA obligations. 

Time Saving

Before automating the queue process, 11 employees would work beginning at 7:30 a.m. to clear the queue. And on high-volume days they would struggle to meet the 3 p.m. deadline for payment processing. However, by automating 80% of the process, the time reduced and nine team members have been moved across to customer-facing roles.