The pivot to a leaner way of working

Elliot Avison, CEO of Dancerace looks back on the trends in 2021 and what the new year may hold for capital lenders in the UK.

We provide software operating systems for working capital lenders. For our clients, 2021 was about financial institutions moving from an ‘emergency’ state towards a shared focus on operational efficiency. Now, there’s no going back.

Boosting operational efficiency

Lockdown was a disorienting time for lenders in our sector, who previously relied heavily on paper-based processes and client visits.

Overnight, firms had to adapt to remote working, forcing them to confront and change areas of their businesses that were previously seen as ‘too hard’ to modernise. Lenders turned to digital systems to handle onboarding and due diligence remotely. Banks dipped their toes into using public cloud systems like AWS. Across the board, financial institutions were forced to rethink how they engage clients online.

By the time 2021 rolled around, these experiments had become permanent. Lenders realised how much time and money they could save onboarding clients digitally. Banks had become the biggest cheerleaders for public cloud. Clients of all sizes were busy building customer relationships without stepping foot in a car, train or plane.

As a result, boosting operational efficiency became the business priority for firms in our sector in 2021 – not just a trend imposed by the pandemic.

Before this year, many of our conversations with banks and lenders revolved around GDPR and data security. Today, our clients instead want to talk about adopting lean, technology-enabled ways of working. As a software-provider, these are exactly the discussions we want to have. But the focus on operational efficiency is good news for the planet, too, because lean business is sustainable business.

Looking forward

In the next twelve months, I think banks’ and lenders’ focus on operational efficiency will continue to intensify, as firms continue to save and make more money by rethinking their operational models. As banks and lenders rebuild strength, I also expect them to turn that focus on efficiency maximising business sustainability.

Then again, they might not.

As one speaker at a recent industry event put it; if 2021 taught us anything, it’s that the future is growing increasingly hard to predict. Perhaps the best thing businesses could do in 2022 is to focus on building agility, to handle whatever madness comes next.


Founded in ’92, Dancerace offers a complete working capital operating system for lenders across the globe. Supporting a full range of lending products, Dancerace systems are the simplest, fastest way for lenders to digitise their borrower experience and make their operations more efficient and profitable. To find out more, visit