NatWest launches AI solution to enhance ESG data for SMEs


Driven by the recent integration of ESG data into its extensive data management, NatWest is keen to ensure that its system remains both robust and agile.

As a testament to its stature, NatWest continuously evolves its data management strategy, serving countless small to medium-sized businesses, many of whom might not find support elsewhere.

NatWest’s latest endeavour utilises AI to link individual customers and properties with ESG and other pertinent data. While new loans benefit from sophisticated mapping techniques linking them to environmental insights, older loans pose a challenge. The bank believes AI could be the answer to matching these loans with relevant ESG data, especially when faced with gaps or inaccuracies in the original information.

The integration of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) is evident in how NatWest aims to handle its extensive Back Book. Comprising myriad loans and mortgages, this AI tool hopes to sift through volumes of data, providing clarity and precision.

Banks worldwide grapple with incorporating ESG data, given the variance in their operational scopes. Whether it’s business, retail, or mortgage lending, each domain demands a unique approach, often constrained by regulations and consumer preferences. Adopting cloud-based data management is a growing trend among banks to streamline ESG data processing. Furthermore, AI’s role in the ESG realm is ever-evolving, with tools like ML, NLP, and generative AI software making headway.

8Kaushik Ghosh Dastidar, head of ESG data and solution architect at NatWest, commented on the challenges of matching vast loan data with ESG insights, “Our Back Book is massive and unless you have a team of people who are manually typing and searching those loans one by one, it’s difficult to match data to every one of them. But we are running a few pilots to see if AI can do this. So far, we’ve seen some promising results.”

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