Thomas Byrne

Thomas Byrne

Head of Product (General Manager) EMEA

Thomas Byrne, Head of Product (General Manager) EMEA at nCino, outlines his leadership principles and how he thinks AI will transform commercial banking

Thomas, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at nCino 

I’m Thomas Byrne and I’m General Manager for nCino's Commercial and Mortgage Solutions in EMEA. In this role, I’m responsible for product strategy and development across the EMEA region. Prior to joining nCino, I worked in relationship management and then delivery at Lloyds Banking Group, where I managed the implementation of a variety of digital transformation projects across the commercial bank.

For anyone unfamiliar with nCino, how would you describe the company and its main activities?

nCino is a cloud-based banking platform that helps financial institutions (FIs) of all sizes around the globe to create efficiencies in their operations and continuously modernise the customer and colleague experiences. As partners, and through our technology, we help these institutions replace outdated legacy systems and manual processes to deliver a fully-digital and streamlined experience.

The nCino platform can span multiple business lines within an institution—from corporate and small business banking to consumer and mortgage lending—for maximum connectivity and a single source of truth. Think of it as an all-in-one tool that lets institutions manage their critical operations on one platform, and allows them to truly understand and service the customer end-to-end.

What's your favourite thing about working for nCino?

One of the aspects I value most about working for nCino is the dynamic and collaborative environment. The company fosters a culture of innovation and teamwork, where new ideas are not only welcomed but actively encouraged. I get the opportunity to partner with neo-lenders all the way through to the largest corporate lenders in the world, which gives me and my teams unique challenges on how we think about building a scalable product that delivers innovation for all our customers.

What I love about this is the intellectual challenge, but also the ability to work with passionate and driven individuals, knowing we are helping to transform the financial services industry. 

And what are the biggest challenges you face in your role?

There are never any challenges in software development! As mentioned, the greatest part of the job is having a varied customer base and being exposed to a variety of business needs. And as with any leader, helping teams avoid recency bias and keeping people focused on our mission—even while we’re growing and expanding globally—is a key priority. 

What are your professional goals for the next 12 months?

My goal is to keep nCino on the path we are on. We’ve consistently grown the team in EMEA, focused on innovation, and I’m passionate about continuing to guide the careers of those within the team and seeing them develop. As a leader, I learned a long time ago it is no longer about me!

At nCino, the mission is to transform financial services through innovation, reputation and speed. Within the market and solutions for which I’m responsible, I’m keen to double down on the innovation agenda and further our reputation for innovative lending in Europe.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t talk about what you do; talk about what you believe. This transfers across all walks of life, but I’ve found it to be especially powerful in a product and professional context. The difference between telling someone about a product or feature, and explaining how you think it will add value to and drive our industry forward, is massive. 

How do you think AI will transform commercial banking and lending over the coming months?

I think we all saw the power of AI in 2023 and became excited about the technology.  At nCino, we are uniquely positioned to bring this innovation to the market in a game-changing way. Given the breadth of the platform, we see so many opportunities to create automation and intelligence in the processes. 

I believe that, in the future, we’ll see disruption in all parts of the value chain, from intelligent recommendations on pricing for both the FI and the customer, to automating manual tasks completely. I think we’ll see the role of bankers change, and administrative tasks will begin to go away. 

But we’ll also see more specialised and typically more experienced roles emerge within FIs, with their jobs augmented by insights to help guide them to where their expertise is truly needed. Whichever way you look at it, the future is not going to be boring, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of taking our customers on this journey. 

Are there any specific areas you think could be transformed by AI?

Enhanced credit underwriting:

  • Smarter risk assessment: AI-powered algorithms can analyse vast amounts of financial and non-traditional data (e.g. news articles, social media) to create more accurate and holistic credit profiles. This leads to better loan pricing and reduces the risk of bad debts.
  • Automated loan decisions: AI models can streamline the approval process, enabling faster decisions for smaller loans and those with lower risk profiles. This improves customer experience and operational efficiency.
  • Fraud detection: AI can detect fraudulent applications and suspicious activity in real time, protecting lenders from financial losses.

Personalised lending:

  • Dynamic interest rates: AI can personalise interest rates based on a borrower's unique risk profile and market conditions, fostering fairer and more competitive lending.
  • Tailored loan products: AI can recommend and customise loan products to fit the specific needs and future growth plans of each borrower.

Improved efficiency and automation:

  • Document processing: AI can automate tasks like document analysis, verification or generation, significantly reducing processing time and manual effort.
  • Predictive analytics: AI can predict borrowers' future financial performance and potential challenges, allowing lenders to proactively offer support and avoid defaults.
  • Customer relationship management: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine inquiries and provide 24/7 customer support, improving borrower experience and reducing operational costs.

Challenges and considerations:

  • Ethical bias: AI models can perpetuate biases present in the training data, leading to unfair lending practices. Mitigating bias and ensuring ethical use of AI will be crucial.
  • Explainability and transparency: Borrowers need to understand how AI decisions are made to build trust and prevent discrimination. Explainable AI models are key to achieving this.
  • Regulatory landscape: Regulatory frameworks for AI in lending are still evolving, and lenders need to adapt their practices accordingly.


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