1 How and why do we use cookies on our website?

1.1 We are committed to protecting your personal data (anonymous or otherwise) that we collect about you online. This Section tells you how we use cookies, why, and how this allows us to improve our service. It also tells you how you can manage what cookies are stored on your device. We call it our "Cookies Notice".

1.2 When using our websites and mobile services (through any device) this Cookies Notice applies to that use.

1.3 We reserve the right to make changes to our Cookie Notice. Any such changes shall appear on all our websites and mobile services and become effective immediately.

1.4 Cookies are small pieces of data that websites and apps store on your device when you visit them. Cookies enable website operators to recognise your device and to track your use of websites. There are other technologies such as tracking pixels and plugins which perform a similar function. In this Cookies Notice when we refer to “cookies” we are referring to all such tracking technologies. Cookies do lots of different and useful jobs, such as remembering your preferences, and generally improving your online experience. We use necessary cookies to ensure our website and mobile services are able to function properly. We also use cookies as part of our application processes and when you access your online account for fraud prevention and detection purposes. With your consent, we also use cookies to help us analyse and improve our website and for marketing purposes.

1.5 We use cookies for a number of different purposes:

1.5.2 Strictly necessary cookies – Strictly necessary cookies ensure that our website is able to function properly, and include cookies that help you log in, that provide core services and features, that help keep our website secure and that help us detect fraud or crime.

1.5.3 Optional Cookies – We use cookies to provide optional features, improve our website and support our marketing. Where relevant, our trusted partners will help us make use of these optional cookies. Our optional cookies include both analytics cookies and marketing cookies, as explained further in the sections below.

1.5.4 Analytics Cookies – We use digital tools to study how you interact with our website and to improve it accordingly – this is known as website analytics. These cookies help us understand how many visitors we have to the website, how many times they visit and how many times they view specific webpages throughout our site. Although these cookies allow us to gather specific information about the pages that you visit and whether you visited the site multiple times, we cannot use them to acquire details such as your name or address.

1.5.5 Marketing Cookies – We and our partners use these cookies to understand what you are interested in on our website and on social media. These cookies are used so that we or our partners can tailor the marketing and adverts that you receive.

1.6 The cookies above are implemented in various ways or have different properties. Please read the sections below to find out more:

1.6.1 Session cookies – Session cookies last only for the duration of your visit and are deleted when you close your browser. These facilitate various tasks such as allowing a website to identify that a user of a particular device is navigating from page to page, supporting website security or basic functionality. Some of the cookies we use are session cookies. For example, they help us to ensure the security of your online account servicing session, and can also keep you signed in while you move between pages or services within your account. Our session cookies used for security are designed to be very difficult to read, change, access or use except by us when you have an active online account manager session.

1.6.2 Persistent cookies – Persistent cookies last after you have closed your browser, and allow a website to remember your actions and preferences. Sometimes persistent cookies are used by websites to provide targeted advertising based upon the browsing history of the device. We use persistent cookies in a few ways, for example, to remember your username for log in so you don’t have to. We also use persistent cookies to allow us to analyse customer visits to our site, for example our cookie named _ga. These cookies help us to understand how customers arrive at and use our site so we can improve the service.

1.6.3 First and third party cookies – Whether a cookie is a first or third party cookie depends on which website the cookie comes from. First party cookies are those set by or on behalf of the website visited. All other cookies are third party cookies. We use both first party and third party cookies.

Third party cookies are set for the following third parties – Google (analytics, performance management, and advertising), Facebook (targeting and advertising), Yahoo (targeting and advertising), Bing (targeting and advertising), Application Insights (analytics), Live Person (web chat facility), ThreatMetrix (fraud and threat assessment), Incapsula (security protection). Depending on the cookie consent options that you choose, different cookies from these businesses may be deployed.

1.7 If you wish to restrict or block the cookies that are set by our website or mobile services, you should do this through the initial cookie options screen. These will need to be refreshed every three months.

1.8 Please be aware that some of our services, for example online account management, will not function if your browser does not accept necessary cookies. However, you can allow cookies from specific websites by making them “trusted websites” in your internet browser.

1.9 You may wish to visit the website https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies/ that contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wider variety of browsers.

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