Banking


Don’t be the slowest zebra in the herd

At lunchtime on the African savannah, you needn’t be the fastest zebra to survive –you need to avoid being the slowest. You can only be sure you’re not the slowest zebra if you can see what the rest of the herd are up to. Efforts in software security to share information on attacks, responses, and best practices are important to understanding what the herd is doing …

Citi Mobile Challenge extends deadline

The Citi Mobile Challenge, which seeks to unearth innovation and developer talent in some of the most far flung reaches of globe in a bid to get the best talent to help change the way the world banks, has extended its registration deadline to allow more people to take part.

Taking stock in fixed income

Fixed income markets have historically been a bastion of high-touch trading, with manual processes, large tickets and little standardisation. But as recent years have seen inventory slashed and balance sheets cut in face of rising regulatory pressure, finding liquidity has become more of a challenge. A group of banks are hoping to reinvigorate the market though a standardised messaging system.

Lloyds to plough £1 billion into digital banking

Lloyds Bank plans to invest £1 billion in digital banking capability over the next three years, re-investing a third of the savings it hopes to make in its drive to become ‘simpler and more efficient’.

Citi Mobile Challenge comes to Europe, Middle East and Africa

Citi has opened the doors to entrants for its Citi Mobile Challenge in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an annual competition that invites developers from around the world to build innovative financial services based on Citi’s digital platform.

Payments Council picks Swift for SEPA Only services

The UK’s Payments Council has selected Swift to build the country’s new central infrastructure platform in preparation for the next phase of SEPA regulation in 2016, through the provision of an automated central infrastructure platform for collection and maintenance of UK-specific SEPA routing data.

New entrant Ipagoo targets businesses with pan-European current account

London-based Orwell Group, founded in 2005, has launched a pan-European current account called Ipagoo in the UK, France, Spain and Italy. The product aims to take on services provided by traditional banks, using open architecture software and promising consumers greater choice and less hassle.

Italian banks go global as Europe prepares for T2S

Italian banks are preparing for T2S, as Europe seeks to reform its cross-border trading infrastructure and bring down barriers between EU countries. The preparations are driving smaller regional banks to make deals with larger global banks as they prepare for implementation in June.

UK current account battle continues

Several of the UK’s major banking brands are losing customers to rivals such as Spanish bank Santander and building society Nationwide, according to figures released by the UK Payments Council – while competitor bank Nationwide continues to add customers.

RBS sees future in start-up partnerships

RBS’ global transaction services business is exploring collaboration with a number of startup companies as a way of combining its own services with the innovation provided by smaller companies, through API agreements. The move comes as banks around the globe increasingly seek to bring products to market faster and reap the rewards of innovation.

Standard Chartered loses CIO and CRO as reorganisation bites

Jan Verplancke is stepping down as chief information officer and group head of technology and operations at Standard Chartered, as is Richard Goulding, chief risk officer. The news of their departure comes as the banks announced further restructuring, including the closure of its institutional cash equities, equity research and equity capital markets businesses as part of a strategic plan to ditch “non-core or underperforming businesses”.

Orchestral manoeuvres

When first reports of an integrated communications project that had attracted a $66 million investment from a consortium of banks led by Goldman Sachs appeared last year, there was an element of cloak and dagger about the enterprise. The truth is both more prosaic and more interesting according to David Gurle, chief executive and founder of the company behind it.

“Big four” banks lose ground in current account market

The big four high street banks lost ground in the current account market in the first year of the UK Payments Council’s current account switching service, mainly through poor customer service. But the guarantee did not accelerate the pace of account switching, according to an independent survey of bank customers.

Fingerprint authentication for mobile finance moves closer with FIDO

Widespread use of fingerprint authentication for financial transactions on mobile devices could start taking off from early next year as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Google, Samsung, Lenovo, Microsoft, Alipay and others adopt a new authentication standard through their joint project, the FIDO Alliance, which has just published its specifications and launched its first server.

Financial services disruption – why I’m backing the banks

For banks, a race to remain relevant is on. In the past few weeks, Lloyds Banking Group has announced its intention to double-down on digital banking, closing branches and cutting costs. In the US, BBVA Compass announced that its agreement with startup Dwolla to offer real-time payment facilities to customers makes it the first mainstream bank to open its technology platform to digital developers like Dwolla

The e-invoicing play for banks

The replacement of business processes based on paper documents with the exchange of information in electronic form is a highly beneficial global trend, and the competitiveness of Europe’s economic activity will benefit from this migration.

Banking on Big Data

The volume, speed and power of technology has transformed the Financial Services industry into one the most sophisticated data driven sectors in the global economy, allowing for the execution of complex global transactions at the push of a button. From high frequency trading to eCommerce to mobile banking, the financial sector is generating a huge amounts of data – in fact, almost too much data. Like individuals, institutions are facing an information overload that is limiting the promise and opportunity of technology.

Barclays rolls out “anytime, anywhere” video banking

Barclays has launched a new video banking service on smartphone, tablet and computer, which it says will allow customers to have face to face conversations with the bank anytime, anywhere, without having to visit a branch.

Monitise deepens ties with partners to raise £49 million

Monitise plans to raise £49.2 million through extensions of its relationships with Santander, Telefónica and MasterCard. The money raised will be used to ‘support the development and accelerated roll-out of its global platform capabilities’.

Fines drive data to top of banks’ AML concerns

Market participants are worried about data and are deeply concerned about their ability to monitor transactions following a string of major fines to global financial institutions, according to a new report by NICE Actimize.

European banking industry under the competition and regulatory spotlight

It has been a busy week for the banking industry. The first big news was the publication of a comprehensive health check of 130 large European banks by the European Central Bank, which was commissioned in response to the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone. Brussels lauded the latest investigation as the most intense scrutiny that European banks have ever been put through.

Banking and biometrics – a whirlwind romance?

As Bob Dylan, famously sang, The Times, They Are A-Changin’. Once, the tools required to carry out a bank raid usually comprised a shotgun, old stockings and a bag labelled “swag”. Today, it’s a laptop, computer programming skills and patience. And the nature of the crime is changing too – previously, the goal was often to get away with a few thousand pounds, before lying low for a while. Now, the “prize” sought may be the theft of millions or the personal details of thousands, to be then sold on.

Deutsche Bank hires Salesforce chief scientist for new data role

JP Rangaswami has been appointed as chief data officer at Deutsche Bank, a newly-created role in which he will “play a key role in standardising the bank’s processes, tools and governance around information and in supporting its digital strategy”.

FSB ‘too big to fail’ proposals welcomed by industry

The Financial Stability Board is proposing a new minimum standard for total loss-absorbing capacity, which is designed to provide confidence that systemically important global banks can absorb losses without upsetting financial stability and the wider economy.

IT teams need to address the challenges facing UK banking

The challenger banks are coming of age. Aldermore, the UK’s fastest growing bank, is rumoured to be preparing for its IPO, just like OneSavings Bank, which was the first bank to list on the stock exchange since Bradford & Bingley in 2000.

Starting over: Lloyds Banking Group’s transaction banking ambitions

While a great deal of attention has been given to Lloyds Banking Group’s retail operations as its various elements are split up, less has been given to its activities in transaction banking, where it is “one year into a three-year journey” to transform itself and its customer offerings to create“the best global transaction bank in this region”.

Gearing up for the future of payments

It is essential for banks to ensure they have the right strategies and technology in place now, if they are to retain their position as market-leading payment providers in the future, writes Saket Sharma,chief information officer, treasury services, BNY Mellon.

Europe braces for Wednesday ‘double witching day’

Banks and brokers in Europe are bracing themselves for ‘double witching day’ on Wednesday, in which two days’ worth of trades are expected to settle on a single day, as 25 European nations move to T+2 settlement for the first time.

Onboarding challenges can be overcome

Increased sanctions, tighter anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) controls, plus client demands for a quicker, better all-round service in the cloud and the move to shared service platforms present client onboarding challenges to banks. But there are also opportunities, said Karen Braithwaite, BNY Mellon’s global head of client service, treasury services.

Cool it on compliance, says HSBC

While banks want to root out fraudulent activity as much as governments do they “need to take the temperature down”, said Bob Werner, global head of financial crime compliance and group general manager at HSBC. Speaking at a panel session on trends in financial crime compliance, Werner said: “Every time something goes wrong we don’t need the scalp of a regulator or the scalp of a banker.”

New epoch for finance as trade unbundles …

Rising political tensions and the increasing use of sanctions are making companies think twice about relying on long global supply chains, said John Calverley, head of economic research at Standard Chartered. Firms may decide that rather than hedging their bets with production, they will keep it closer to home, he said during a roundtable session yesterday.