A cookie is a small text file which is stored on a user’s computer. It can contain information about the user and the way they interact with the internet and can help make a user’s online experience more efficient. We use encrypted information gathered from them to help improve your experience of the site. For example, they help us to identify and resolve errors, or to determine relevant information to show you when you’re browsing.
We’re giving you this information as part of our initiative to comply with recent legislation, and to make sure we’re honest and clear about your privacy when using our website.
- Session cookies: These are cookies which are necessary for the operation of the site. However these cookies are temporary, so they will be removed from your computer as soon as you close your browser. They usually store an anonymous session ID allowing you to browse a website without having to log in to each page but they do not collect any information from your computer.
- Persistent cookies: These are cookies that remain on your computer even after you close our website and your browser. These types of cookies allow our website to remember details about you if you visit again, like how you previously used the site. We use persistent cookies for Google Analytics and for personalization.
- Analytical cookies: These are cookies that help us understand and analyse the use of our website. They record things like the number of times you visit, how long you stay on the site and how you reached our site. These cookies only track your use of our site and do not track your use of other sites on the internet.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.
Cookies are used by nearly all websites and do not harm your system.
Cookies can also be categorised as follows:
- Strictly necessary cookies – these are essential to enable you to use the website effectively, such as when applying for a loan, and therefore cannot be turned off. Without these cookies, the services available to you on our website cannot be provided. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you have been on the internet.
- Performance cookies – these enable us to monitor and improve the performance of our website. For example, they allow us to count visits, identify traffic sources and see which parts of the site are most popular.
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually check or change what types of cookies you accept, this can usually be altered within your browser settings. Each browser is different, so check the “Help” menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
For more information generally on cookies, please refer to aboutcookies.org.