Close Brothers Accelerates its Digital Transformation

July 13, 2023

Chris Loake, CIO of Close Brothers Premium Finance

“Integration gives us the capability to make change. We can decouple all of the components of the architecture. It enables our business to make changes quickly. Prolifics really understood their stuff and knew the platforms in great detail.”


Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services, and securities trading. It employs over 3,000 people, principally in the UK, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange as a FTSE 250 company.

Close Brothers is committed to traditional values of service, expertise and relationships, alongside teamwork, integrity and prudence, to help the people and businesses of Britain thrive over the long term.

Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF) is a division of Close Brothers, and had the ambition to decouple its systems in order to speed up its pace of digital transformation.

The Solution

Prolifics, working with IBM, proposed to implement IBM’s integration technology in order to enable CBPF to “connect applications once” and thus provide a more flexible IT architecture fit for future change.

A key factor in CBPF’s decision to work with Prolifics was our deep expertise in integration. CBPF’s leadership and technical teams worked closely with their counterparts at Prolifics in the UK and India to understand in detail the plan, milestones and agreed outcomes.

Prolifics was able to use pre-existing assets and delivery capability in IBM’s IIB and Datapower software. This allowed us to share the risk of the delivery and ensure that CBPF was confident that the solution could be delivered on time and on budget.

The Result

CBPF now has the flexibility it sought and has been able to concentrate on the next phase of its digital transformation – a Cloud-based broker platform, also developed with Prolifics.

The approach to integration has been a key determinant in the speed and success of CBPF’s digital transformation. This has enabled CBPF to take a hybrid Cloud approach, linking Cloud-based systems with existing applications on premise.

Close Brothers’ annual report (2019) references these technology investments, citing a 34% increase in the loan book to over £1 billion. Several significant new broker relationships have been formed as a direct result of the enhanced service capability, and substantial cost savings have been realised.