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At Registry Trust, the non-profit organisation which maintains the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for the UK & Ireland, data processing is a huge and very important part of what we do.

Our ‘live’ data on monetary judgments (including CCJs) supports millions of lending and credit decisions every year, helping to keep the economy moving and identify economic trends. It even creates usable credit metrics through the absence of a judgment record.

Every day we receive a secure data feed from the courts, providing new or amended entries to the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines, which contains millions of records – England & Wales alone has 6m+. We process an average of 134,822 records per month – more than 6,199 records per working day.

Our operations team review, quality check, and process the data within hours of receiving it. They also manage the removal of records from the Register after five years for fines and six years for all other records. The data is then uploaded to our public-facing website, TrustOnline, and sent to our bulk data users including credit reference agencies.

To illustrate what a big job this is, one of our Operations Supervisors, Lawrence Ransome, who has been working in data processing at Registry Trust for almost 20 years, recently needed a key replacing on his computer keyboard because the surface of it had worn away through repeated use inputting record after record! Here’s a photo of the worn key next to its new replacement:

RT data processing - Worn out computer keyboard.jpg

Lawrence says: “I am responsible for the supervision of the Data Processing and Customer Services teams at Registry Trust, ensuring that the judgments, orders and fines data we receive from the courts is accurate and can become a trustworthy source of credit information. This may sound like a monotonous task, but it is absolutely vital that the records are robust as the information is used to inform responsible lending and borrowing and can have a huge impact on both people’s lives and the functioning of the financial services system and wider economy.”

Accelerating digitalisation in the wake of the pandemic

He adds: “When I first started working in data processing at Registry Trust more than 18 years ago, we were dealing with huge sacks of posts from all the courts on a daily basis. We had to sort them into three categories – consumer, corporate, and non-corporate – and verify them by hand with highlighters. I’ve gone from wearing out highlighter pens to wearing out computer keyboards! We’ve come a long way and it’s changed a lot.

“The speed and the quality of how we receive, process and disseminate the information has significantly increased as a result of advances in technology and the pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of everything. Our paper count has gone down dramatically and we’re working towards going completely paperless, especially as we look to return to the office. I only started my current supervisor role six months before lockdown so it has been a steep learning curve but all the change has meant I can put my own stamp on things using both my fresh perspective in the new role and years of experience.”

Increasing speed while maintaining accuracy

Lawrence also says: “Every day is different and the turnaround of information is very fast paced. We can now process 17 records per minute. This has to be done quickly and most importantly accurately to ensure that our data is sound. Some days we might have 10,000 records coming through the door so it’s vital that we can work flexibly and efficiently. We have a training programme in place across the team who can then provide support when we do have a large amount to process and this team effort ensures that we can get the job done.”

Experience and teamwork

He concludes: “It’s paramount to our business as part of our contract with the Ministry of Justice (which we have maintained for many years) that we have the most clean, up to date Register possible and I get huge satisfaction and motivation from ensuring that will fulfil our obligations to the highest standard. This takes years of experience and understanding of the purpose and values of the organisation. We must remain completely impartial.

“Every judgement is treated in exactly the same way, always applying the same guidelines across the board. Records including County Court Judgments (CCJs) stay on the Register and therefore on people’s credit files for up to six years and this impacts their access to credit and business decisions. Ensuring that records are updated if they are ‘satisfied’, ‘set aside’ or cancelled is vital. Keeping our mission of ‘public data for the public good’ at the front of our minds while processing the data is the key to fulfilling our role responsibly.”

Find out more about what we do and working with us in our e-brochure here.

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