Features


Retail banking: underwriting the revolution

New technologies are transforming the consumer experience in retailing and in banking. For banks to remain relevant, they need to work with innovators, writes Paul Skeldon

Payments: the final push

For those involved in European payments, the final months of this year are likely to be characterised by a frenzy of activity as the deadline for migration to single euro payments area instruments looms.

Securities settlement: the guessing game

With implementation of Europe’s Target2-Securities beginning in 2015, financial institutions are still defining their strategies and business models. Some questions remain to be answered.

Data management: Knowledge is power

Standardised data architecture at financial institutions is no longer a ‘nice to have’. Regulatory pressures and headline grabbing fines have rocketed enterprise data management to the top of the boardroom agenda.

Brave new worlds

International financial centres can play an important role in easing companies’ participation in new markets. Heather McKenzie looks at the elements needed to build a successful financial centre

Talking Heads: a matter of principle

Five years on from the financial crisis and banks still face a rising tide of regulatory initiatives. Daily News at Sibos asked several industry executives whether the price of regulation is becoming too high

New game, new rules: how banks can re-invent utilities

The world we know is changing. As the famous baseball player Yogi Berra once said, “the future ain’t what it used to be”. In the old future, collaborative sourcing involved banks creating a single provider to deliver ‘the least common multiple’ at a lower/utility cost.

Swift at 40: James Willis

To mark Swift’s 40th Birthday, Banking Technology is publishing a series of interviews with staffers looking back over how the organisation has changed during their time there, and where they see it developing in the future. Today: James Wills, senior business manager, banking initiatives/standards

Swift at 40: Beth Smits

To mark Swift’s 40th Birthday, Banking Technology is publishing a series of interviews with staffers looking back over how the organisation has changed during their time there, and where they see it developing in the future. Today, Beth Smits, head of corporate affairs, Asia Pacific

Swift at 40: Alain Raes

To mark Swift’s 40th Birthday, Banking Technology is publishing a series of interviews with staffers looking back over how the organisation has changed during their time there, and where they see it developing in the future. Today, Alain Raes, chief executive EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Where the world is your lobster …

Rapidly becoming an international transport hub, Dubai is a thriving multicultural city. David Bannister, editor of Banking Technology, samples some of the city’s culinary and cultural delights.

Stand by for light speed: high performance computing in financial services

Most debates about High Performance Computing in financial services quickly turn into conversations about high frequency trading, but there are many more reasons for getting the best of out of systems. Electronics and computer technology have always been pushing the boundaries of smaller, faster, cheaper (or at least, ‘more affordable’) and financial services firms have always been quick to take advantage of the latest advances.

Market surveillance: a watching brief

The US Securities & Exchange Commission is often accused of using skateboards to chase Ferraris in its attempts to keep up with trading houses, but less than a year after announcing that it intended to create a new market surveillance system – and six months after going live with it –  its cloud-based approach is […]

UK retail bank reform: a road to nowhere?

The introduction of seven-day account switching in the UK in September is a fundamental pillar of UK government plans to inject more competition into retail banking. But the plan has its critics – some of whom warn it may achieve the opposite of what it intends.

Data protection compliance: the biggest hurdle facing the back office?

In an effort to improve the protection offered to consumers, and to harmonise data practices, the EU is currently in the process of passing two pieces of legislation: the Cybercrime Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Few people have given much thought to how these will align with international financial regulation.

Here algo again: MiFID II will require your attention in 2014

For firms who remember MiFID I, and those that don’t, round two is almost upon us. This month, the Council of the EU agreed their general approach, meaning that the draft of MiFID II/MiFIR is free to advance to the European Parliament. If all goes according to the current plan, the new combined legislation will be with us in time for 2015 implementation.

A road to nowhere?

The introduction of seven-day account switching in the UK in September is a fundamental pillar of UK government plans to inject more competition into retail banking. But the plan has its critics – some of whom warn it may achieve the opposite of what it intends.

Risk data: can it be both efficient and compliant?

With six months before the 4th Capital Requirements Directive comes into force, many will be asking what technological improvements will be necessary to efficiently manage risk going forward. Before they embark on a costly overhaul of their data systems, firms should look at what regulatory trends are likely to require similar changes in the future and adjust their specification accordingly.

Roundtable: the Future of Standards

Predicting the future is never easy, but trying to anticipate likely developments in a particular area is essential in order to take timely action. With that caveat, Stephen Lindsay, head of standards at SWIFT, sets a boundary on a discussion on the Future of Standards: “What we are trying to do is extrapolate a little bit from where we are now to where we might be in a few years’ time,” he says.

The battle for benchmarks: divisions in the ranks?

With lots of different regulatory benchmark efforts now underway, the industry could be forgiven for not taking a common stance. With IOSCO issuing final principles, ESMA and the EBA are simultaneously consulting on a European set of principles. Meanwhile the UK is moving ahead with its own reforms.

Stars of the south

Brazil, according to a long-standing joke, is the country of the future and always will be. Founded by a mixture of Portuguese explorers and colonists, indigenous peoples, and European and African immigrants, Latin America’s largest country boasts a population of 200 million and a GDP that eclipsed that of the UK in 2011. The country’s banking infrastructure reflects both its rapid rise in recent years and its historic status as an emerging market.

Making cross-border payments work

As the value of global cross-border payments such as workers’ remittances increases, billions of dollars are being lost to inefficient legacy systems – but that could be about to change, according to Hank Uberoi, executive director at Earthport.

Temenos: moving beyond the core

The extent to which a targeted series of acquisitions over the past few years have moved Temenos from being simply a core banking system vendor to a fully-fledged financial technology specialist became clear at its recent annual user event, this year held in Abu Dhabi.

The gathering storm

Recent months have seen rising tensions over the seemingly insurmountable demands for collateral prompted by tough new financial regulation. With US Treasury estimates ranging as high as to $11.2 trillion in stressed market conditions, some observers are deeply concerned that the industry could be in danger of sliding into a black hole

Notch one up for the War on Cash

The latest figures from UK retailers show a significant move to debit cards and new mechanisms like PayPal as consumers shy away from cash and credit cards.

Remittances: a window to the future?

The $400 billion global remittances market is moving from cash to account-based transfer, but costs, regulations and new competitors are still the key issues.

Identity and mobile figure large at payments and cards event

The themes of security, identity and mobility ran strongly through the Cards and Payments Middle East conference in Dubai this week – and not just because the event itself is sandwiched between related and interlinked events focusing on Mobile and Identity.

Funds under fire

The funds industry is going through a time of great change, with a combination of regulation, cost pressure, consolidation and globalisation forcing many participants to take a close look at their business and operating models and consider what their future role in the ecosystem should be. For some, this means outsourcing activities, creating opportunities for […]

Building societies: bouncing back to the future

Harrogate, where the Building Societies Association holds its annual conference, is located at the end of a branch railway line from York. The route takes in the town of Knaresborough, crossing a picturesque gorge with a river at the bottom and the remains of a medieval castle up on the hill. Arriving at the BSA conference venue the taxi driver observed, with a distinct sense of regret, that “there aren’t as many building societies around as there used to be.” That’s true

Building a better society

In the debate about the future of UK retail banking, the role of the building society is often overlooked, but technological change is playing to their strengths.

Electronic bonds: fixed income trading platforms proliferate

In contrast to the highly automated world of equities, bond trading is an area of the markets that is still heavily reliant on the telephone as a a trading tool, with person-to-person calls making up the bulk of activity on bond desks.