40 Years of Innovation

40 Years of Innovation!

Target Group is 40!

We’re kicking off celebrations this week, and as part of the fun we’re sharing 40 facts and stats about Target’s 40 year history. Keep a look our for our upcoming posts! We hope you enjoy a look back at some great achievements and meet some of our fantastic team.

Number 40!

As Target celebrates 40 years in business this year, we’ve taken a look back at some of our achievements:

  • Target employs over 1,000 people in the UK
  • We operate over 6 sites
  • Target is part of the global tech giant, Tech Mahindra
  • Our first office opened in Cowbridge Road East in Cardiff in 1979
  • We process over £3bn of direct debits annually
  • We have over £25bn assets under management
  • We have 19m accounts under management
  • We support over 50 clients including DVLA, RBS, Barclays and Santander
  • We are a Crown Commercial Service supplier
  • We are FCA Authorised and Regulated and accredited by the BACS Bureau
  • Target is Certified to ISO 27001:2013 and is a PCI-DSS Service Level 1 Provider
  • We are proud to be accredited by Investors in People, and to hold the Cyber Essentials Plus certification
  • Teams from Target raised over £40,000 for charity in 2018/19
  • Target has an active Diversity and Inclusion committee, recently winning the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative category at the 2019 CIPD Wales Awards
  • We have trained 14 mental health first aiders
  • Our gender pay gap is 22.5% – well below the industry average of 33.4% – and improving year on year

Here’s to another 40 years!

Number 39

As we draw to the end of our 40 posts about Target and its 40 year history, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve boosted our public sector credentials with the delivery of a new contract with Development Bank of Wales, for Help to Buy Wales. We’ve also announced two key senior appointments for the sector.

Read more about the successful implementation of a new mandate for the Development Bank of Wales to provide a hosted loan administration system for Help to Buy Wales.

Number 38

Did you know… We are Investors in People accredited!

We are proud to continuously invest in our people, right across the business, with training, personal development and wellbeing initiatives for all.

A bit about Investors in People:

  • Assessed organisations for 28 Years to develop our approach
  • Made work better for over 11 Million people since 1991
  • Can now be found in 66 countries around the world
  • Keep none of the profits and invest into community

Number 37

We spoke to 100 senior banking professionals to understand their thoughts on the drivers of change in the lending sector and how lenders need to evolve to meet these demands.

Our findings are outlined in this white paper, where you’ll discover:

  • An understanding of the challenges lenders are facing with both consumer needs and regulation
  • A view on how lenders must evolve to meet these demands
  • Our interpretation of the real drivers of change in the UK lending industry

Download the white paper to discover the drivers of change in the lending sector

Number 36

Meet Jess Legge!

Jess is one of Target’s HR Business Partners. She covers the Group and Change functions, and is also passionate about delivering health and wellbeing initiatives at Target, as well as championing the Employee Voice.

“The Employee Voice group was set up to give people across the business the opportunity to raise concerns and be involved in decisions that affect Target’s people,” said Jess. “Employee Voice reps are really important to us. They’re nominated by their peers, and are responsible for listening to employees, and then we come together to work out action plans.”

The Employee Voice Group, coupled with the Health and Wellbeing strategy, are designed to support Target’s objective of “creating an environment where our people thrive”.

“The Health and Wellbeing Strategy includes mental health, physical health and financial wellbeing,” said Jess. “We’ve introduced many initiatives in the past year, including the introduction of Mental Health First Aiders, financial advisory talks, an employee benefits review, and the up-skilling of our managers with mental health skills and awareness,” Jess continued.

“Employee wellbeing is something that’s very close to my heart, and to everyone at Target. I’m really pleased to see the progress we’re making in “creating an environment where our people thrive”, said Jess.

Find out more about our health and wellbeing strategy and what it’s like working at Target

Number 35

We’re proud to be included in this montage of what Richard Theo (Founder Wealthify & ActiveQuote, FinTech Envoy for Wales, FinTech Wales) rather wonderfully describes as some of the ‘full-fat’ Welsh Financial Services Companies HQ’d in Wales…

Number 34

This week, in conjunction with BIO Agency, Target has launched TargetB – shaping the future of mortgages. Centred on CX and UX design, and built by behavioural scientists, the Mortgage Hub was launched to the market.

TargetB - Mortgage Hub - shaping the future of mortgages

Number 33

We’re proud to have won the People Development category at the 2018 Welsh Contact Centre Awards! We faced stiff competition from Admiral, HSBC, Blackhorse Motor Operations, Lloyds Banking Group, Conduit, Legal & General Retirement, and Cunningham Lyndsey: Read More 

It was a great achievement for all of our Learning and Development Team who have worked hard to put in place successful people development strategies. Well done team!

Number 32

We’re proud to be sponsoring this year’s DVLA Code Challenge!

Following the success of last year’s competition, we’re delighted to be involved once again in this fantastic competition. Last year’s event included a special prize-giving for over 180 children and 150 adults in attendance. Thousands of pounds worth of prizes were given out to 50 Primary schools and Community Groups in Wales.

The competition is once again open to children aged between 7 and 11 and 11 to 14, and we’re just 2 weeks away from this year’s competition and Prize Giving which will be held on the 3rd December 2019, at the Richard Ley Development Centre in Swansea.

The Code Challenge enables interested pupils to develop their problem solving, communication and teamwork skills as well as improving their knowledge of computer programming in a fun and innovative way.

We wish all those entering this year’s competition the best of luck!

Find out more: http://dvlacodechallenge.dvla.gov.uk/ 

Number 31

Millennials’ attitudes to the lending market

It’s important to get an understanding of what matters most to this group of borrowers when they take out a mortgage, personal or unsecured loan.

Download the white paper “Millennials – Attitudes to the lending market”, and you will discover:

  • An understanding of millennials and how they prefer to interact with lenders
  • Millennials’ appetite for borrowing
  • This generation’s expectations from lenders
  • Our view on how lenders can adapt to meet the needs and expectations of this generation
  • Brand lessons to learn

Download the white paper here

Number 30

We are thrilled to have won the CIPD Wales Award for our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative!

The judges said at the awards ceremony on Friday last week: “We were all unanimous about who the winner should be in this category and we have been blown away by the simple and clear agenda of the Target Group to encourage a strong culture for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

See all the award winners here: http://cipdwalesawards.co.uk/

Pictured (l-r): Peter Cheese (CEO, CIPD), Rhiannon Williams (HR Director, Target), a representative from category sponsors, the University of South Wales, Harriet Rees (HR Advisor, Target), Kerry Ann Sheppard (Head of Bid and Solutions, Target), Matt Davies (HR Business Partner, Target) and Carol Vorderman (Legend, off the TV).

Number 29

Businesses of all types are vulnerable to disruption, either from a malicious or accidental source. This threat of disruption is becoming increasingly complex and intense thanks to developments in technology and an increasingly hostile cyber environment. But how should firms prepare? In this video, Target’s Risk and Compliance Director, Terry Baxter, explores how businesses can achieve good business resilience.

Watch the video

Number 28

Will chatbots revolutionise customer experience in financial services?

In this free 9-page white paper, we explore the views of 1,000 consumers about their attitudes to customer service, data security, communications and complaints handling in financial services.

During the survey we asked questions around consumers’ attitudes towards the use of virtual assistants, automated chat, online chat operated by humans.

Read the white paper

Number 27

Here at Target we take cyber security very seriously, and we’re proud to hold the Cyber Security Plus certification. The Government-backed scheme involves rigorous verification by an independent Certification Body.

Number 26

Did you know… Target is proud to have been rated “Above Average” for Primary Servicing. Our ranking reflects Standard and Poor’s view of us as a well established business with strong customer service, along with a robust, stable and flexible IT platform. Find out more about Target here 

Number 25

Did you know… earlier this year, Target launched its very own “Women in Target” group.

The aim of the group is: “To provide support to women in Target who have a desire to improve their skills and confidence and would like to progress in their role and career”. So far the group has been a real success, with training and mentoring sessions taking place throughout the year, helping to develop the skills and confidence of women from across the company, whilst also having some fun!

Read more about the group:

Target Group launches Women in Target

Number 24

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve been ranked number 74 in the Financial Insights FinTech Rankings for 2019! That’s an increase of 3 places since last year, and 19 places in the last 5 years.

Huge thanks to all our teams who have contributed to this great achievement!

Number 23

We are really proud to have recently been FSQS approved. Banks and  other financial services organisations are increasingly looking for this accreditation to ensure their suppliers have the correct policies and procedures in place. It’s a great addition to the many credentials that we hold here at Target.

Number 22

Our very own Emma Jane Williams won the Silver Award in the Trainer/Coach of the Year category at the 2019 Welsh Contact Centre Awards. Charlotte Davies from our Investments team was also shortlisted for the Support Person of the Year Award. Congratulations Both! A fantastic achievement.

We’re hoping to replicate our past success at these awards in 2020.

Sandra Busby, managing director of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, said:
“The winners and nominees represent the very best in an industry which continues to deliver not just economic value, but valuable careers to people all across the country. The uncertainty around Brexit might be causing bumps across the business world, but our workforce in Wales remains steady.”


Number 21

When one of the UK’s leading sub-prime motor finance providers took the decision to close its loan operation, they required an outsourcing partner to provide specialist support to manage their complaints and disputes arising from the operation closure.

Read about how Target provided a consistently strong, timely and cost effective solution.


Number 20

Did you know… we work with over 50 leading financial organisations including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Shawbrook Bank, RBS, Morgan Stanley, LV= and Barclays.

Number 19

Did you know… we have over £25 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM)!

Number 18

Did you know… each month we prepare a Risk and Compliance Bulletin, designed to keep you up to date on all the important changes to regulations, reports from the regulators and key dates for your calendar.

Read the latest edition

Number 17

Find out more about how Target helped Yorkshire Water to manage the entire arrears lifecycle.

Number 16

Did you know…. We run a really successful Graduate Programme here at Target.

Meet one of our current graduates, Rhiannon, who has just started the 2nd year of her placement:

My name is Rhiannon and as well as being on Target’s Graduate Programme, I’m also part of the Gender sub group of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. I am passionate about Diversity and Inclusion as I strongly believe that everyone should be provided with the same opportunities to succeed in their careers regardless of gender, race or background. I am particularly interested in helping to develop career paths for women in leadership and ensuring that everyone has the same opportunities to gain additional skills and develop their careers without facing stigma or barriers. As we all spend so much of our time in work, I also think that it is important that we do everything we can as a company to encourage a supportive and inclusive working environment, and I believe the D+I working group is a great first step to achieving this.

Number 15

Did you know… We’ve conducted research looking at the next generation to become financial services consumers – Generation Z.

We discovered “they want to experience the security that a personal touch and one-to-one professional advice can provide, but they want it to be accessible at a time and place that suits them.”

Download the white paper to find out this latest generation’s thoughts on financial services products and providers.

Download the White Paper: Generation Z - fuelling disruption in financial services

Number 14

What a wonderful milestone to celebrate! Well done and thank you to Dan Ferris, Target’s Head of IT Operations and Support, for 20 years of service. What a different world IT must have been 20 years ago! Here’s Dan picking up his award from CEO Ian Larkin. Congratulations Dan!

Number 13

Did you know… Sophie Grant, HR Manager at Target, was named the Best HR Professional in Financial and Professional Services in Wales at the Wales HR Awards 2019? A fantastic achievement!

Darwin Gray’s Head of Employment Law and HR Fflur Jones said:
“Despite being relatively new to HR, Sophie has accomplished some outstanding achievements from upskilling, to reducing staff absence levels at a staggering rate. This was a truly deserved win, well done Sophie!”

You can read more about Sophie’s award here: http://www.targetgroup.com/latest-thinking/articles/targets-sophie-named-best-hr-professional-in-sector-at-wales-hr-awards

Number 12

We are proud to have worked closely with ALFAM Consumer Finance for an incredible 26 years! Over that time our core software has helped them run their business and this is what they had to say about our relationship:

Number 11

Here at Target, we love celebrating key milestones. As we turn 40 it’s great to congratulate our Long Service Employees! This month we have 5 people in our teams who have achieved 10 years working at Target. Well done and a huge thanks to Adam Lewis, Nigel Harris, Nigel Watkins (seen here receiving their awards from Steve Wright, Director of Business Change), Alison Bond and Simon Bromley!

Number 10

Hi, I’m Liam Williams, and I’m part of the ‘Multi-Cultural’ subgroup within the Diversity and Inclusion committee at Target. I’m passionate about encouraging and promoting Diversity and Inclusion at Target because I want to work for a Company where “being different” is celebrated and people are able share their stories and experiences. I also want to help drive the workforce to overcome stigmas and the negative connotations that still exist, and to be a part of a supportive, inclusive and educated work community, where people strive to help each other, as well as our customers.

Number 9

We welcome the opportunity to report our Gender Pay Gap figures. We like to be transparent about our gender pay difference and highlight the positive actions we as a Company can continue to take to ensure equal opportunities for all employees.

“As with most employers in our sector, our gap is driven by the imbalance of women in senior leadership, technical and professional fields. We recognise change will take time but by taking positive steps we aim to reduce these gaps.”
Rhiannon Williams, HR Director

Read more on our work to reduce our gender pay gap, and download our Gender Pay Gap Report

Number 8

Over our 40 year history, we’ve helped many Tier 1 banks to improve their operations efficiency. For example, we helped this Tier 1 bank to transform 8 processes (and counting) which resulted in:

  • 84% reduction in back office processing times
  • 64% increase in customer satisfaction
  • 80% reduction in manual intervention

Read more here

Number 7

Today (10th October 2019) is World Mental Health Day! We’re very proud of our wellbeing and mental health initiatives. Did you know… this year we trained 16 Mental Health First Aiders? You can read more here:

Mental health matters

Number 6

Did you know… Target Group is part of the Tech Mahindra global family.

£4bn multi-national specialist in digital transformation, Tech Mahindra, enables us to bring wider propositions and services to our clients, to enhance our deep knowledge and experience of the financial services sector.

Read more about Tech Mahindra here:

Target Group to be acquired by Tech Mahindra

Number 5

Did you know… Target has signed up to the Women in Finance Charter! We have committed to the following:

  • 50/50 by 2022 – We’re committed to increasing representation in our senior leadership team from 32% up to 50%
  • Our CEO, Ian Larkin, has performance related pay in relation to gender diversity
  • Our HR Director, Rhiannon Williams, is accountable for driving Diversity and Inclusion at Target, including gender diversity and closing the gender pay gap
  • We will report annually on our progress on all Diversity and Inclusion Measures, including gender

You can read more here:

Target’s Women in Finance Charter commitments

Number 4

Hi! I’m Matt, and as well as being HR Business Partner at Target since March 2017, I’m also Chair of our Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and part of the LGBT+ subgroup. Creating a workplace that’s completely equal for everyone was a huge part of the reason that I moved into Human Resources and I’ve led Diversity and Inclusion activity ever since.

In my last role before joining Target I set up and chaired the company’s LGBT+ forum. Before that I worked with Trade Unions organising campaigns for LGBT+ rights, such as marriage equality and young people’s worker’s rights, like the removal of different minimum wage levels for younger people.

I’m also really pleased that our hard work has been recognised by Target’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative has just last week been announced as a finalist in the CIPD Wales Awards!

Number 3

Have you heard about Target’s award-winning solution for the DVLA? In just 18 weeks we developed and deployed a direct debit solution for vehicle tax payments. Over £5bn has been collected so far, with £175m collected in just one day!

Read more here:

DVLA – award winning direct debit service

Number 2

Did you know… Last year, Target employees raised £40,000 for charity, including over £25,000 for our sites’ chosen charities Mind, Save the Family, CHICS, Alzheimer’s Society and Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Well done Team Target! Keep up the good work!

Number 1 

Where better to start celebrating 40 years of Innovation at Target than hearing from our longest serving employee, Selwyn George!

“I started work at Target in October 1980, having previously worked for Triton Trust, a computer bureau owned by a large firm of accountants, Mann Judd March. When Mann Judd March were taken over by a larger firm of accountants, some of the employees (most notably Chris Davis, Steve Rowson and Steve Royal) took the ongoing external work from Triton and set up a company called Genasys with Chris and the two Steves as the directors. Genasys was renamed Target a few years later. I joined Genasys as a Computer Operator/Trainee Programmer in October 1980. In the beginning we were a jobbing software house/computer bureau/data prep agency that did everything from stock control systems, to sales/purchase ledgers, building society systems (borrowers and investors), to a travel agency package and a payroll package. Part of the business was data prep (manually keying data onto floppy disks), and the name Target actually came from a data prep company we bought in London when we found out that the name Genasys actually belonged to another company.

“After a while, the government started to de-regulate the mortgage market, and we were asked to write a mortgage system for an American bank called Chemical Bank, and to tag an application processing system on to the front of it. This system was very successful, so we started to specialise in financial systems, branching out into other types lending, not just mortgages. And after a few iterations, we arrived at the Centrac system that we all know and love today. Over the years I have been an RPG Programmer, Business Analyst, Project Manager and A BI Consultant, but I am currently working as a Product Consultant as part of the Business Solutions team.”