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The Power Of Partnerships

Smart Data Foundry is delighted to announce new partnerships with Equifax, FreeAgent, Moneyhub and Sage Group. These new partnerships will support Smart Data Foundry’s mission to use data-driven insights to help with the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisations are the latest to work with Smart Data Foundry, which will see the secure sharing of financial data and trends with the specific purpose of achieving societal change and supporting the economy.

This builds on the successful pioneering partnership with NatWest Group, which has demonstrated the wider positive impact organisations can make through a trusted partnership with Smart Data Foundry.

The High Street bank shared de-identified data from over a million householders to provide a factual account of the impact of the pandemic on household finances, based on bank transactions. To protect customer rights and privacy, all of the data was de-identified and analysed by accredited researchers in the security of the Smart Data Foundry Safe Haven, operated by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, a controlled and secure service environment for undertaking data research.

Insights from the NatWest data were shared with the UK Government at the start of 2021 and continue to be updated.


The partnership with FreeAgent is focusing on the impact on SMEs during the pandemic, and the work with Equifax will complement that, investigating changes in creditworthiness during this period. Working with Sage Group, the causes and impact of late and slow payments to small and medium sized businesses will be examined, and all of these insights will be shared and continually updated with the UK Government as financial behaviour adapts to the pandemic environment.

Smart Data Foundry is also working with Moneyhub, the award-winning financial wellness FinTech, which covers spending trends in the UK economy to help with research into the financial impacts on citizens due to the pandemic.

Julia Unwin fireplace black and white

Commenting on the partnerships, Smart Data Foundry’s Chair, Dame Julia Unwin said:

“We have started a movement within the financial services sector, which is gaining momentum at pace, driven by our purpose to improve people’s lives.

“These partnerships demonstrate the significant progress Smart Data Foundry has made to date in collaborating with these significant organisations which will enable us to unlock the power of financial data that, up until now, was not available for public purpose or common good.

“It is important not to underestimate the work that has gone into getting to this stage which includes data governance agreements to protect privacy. This headway, and the success of the NatWest Group partnership, paves the way for many other partnerships as we strive to improve the lives of ordinary people and support the resilience of the SME sector.”