UK digital challenger bank Starling has been very busy of late, announcing a Faster Payments tie-up with Vocalink, its European expansion plans and a new payments division. FStech’s Editor Michelle Stevens sits down with chief operating officer Julian Sawyer – who is also leading the new payments service – to discuss open APIs, coming out of beta and why Starling is really the UK’s fifth clearing bank.
This June saw another buzzing Money 20/20 Europe show take place in Copenhagen. FStech catches up with event director Sophie Wawro and content director Pat Patel to get their take on 2017’s conference and exhibition.
The Finstar Financial Group last week unveiled a $150 million fund that it will use to invest both in FinTech startups and its in-house research and development of financial technology. FStech asks the group’s chairmain, Oleg Boyko, about specific plans for the fund and the private equity group’s wider FinTech strategy.
FStech catches up with Andrew Bud, founder and CEO of iProov, to find out more about this authentication focused startup.
Hosted at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London, RBR’s 2017 Self-Service Banking Europe conference bought together more than 500 banking delegates this year. FStech’s Chris Lemmon reports from day two of the event.
Following another year when disruptive incidents related to IT security were visible in every industry sector, 2017’s Infosecurity Europe conference and exhibition, held in London on 6th to 8th June, seemed more relevant than ever. Presentations and panel discussions on the keynote stage considered the changing nature of information security risks, along with familiar themes including the old problem of finding the best way to persuade senior management and colleagues across organisations to do their bit to improve security.
Exciting transformations are taking place in the banking industry, following the Competition Market Authority’s announcement that it’s going to shake-up retail financial services for small business clients. To say that there is a banking revolution on the horizon is an understatement and it is being driven in no small part by a rapidly expanding, innovative FinTech market. For FinTech startups globally, ‘Open Banking’ and APIs are providing a wealth of golden opportunities for tech visionaries to develop pioneering solutions for SME banking customers.
Oz Alashe, the founder of cyber security startup CybSafe, chats to FStech about his career and views on the industry.
FStech’s Chris Lemmon sat down for an in-depth chat with Luis Uguina, the chief digital officer at Macquarie Bank, when he left his usual base in Sydney for a recent trip to London. They discussed the bank’s technology strategy, how the FI develops its systems, and why channels such as SMS and Facebook are relevant to today’s banking customers.
Tel Aviv is fast gaining a reputation as a FinTech powerhouse, serving as a base for both emerging startups and forward-thinking financial services firms. FStech’s Anthony Strzalek met the CEO of Leumi Tech, Yifat Oron, and asked her about the digital developments at parent company Bank Leumi, as well as the wider Israeli technology landscape.
At a launch event in the City on 28 February, ClearBank was unveiled as the first clearing bank to enter the UK market in more than 250 years. FStech’s Chris Lemmon sat down with ClearBank’s founder and executive chairman Nick Ogden to find out more about the new entrant describing itself as “the bank for banks”.
The announcement by the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) to implement Open Banking is set to transform how data is shared and how banking services are managed by the bank and the customer. This new regime will give consumers a much better understanding of the costs and benefits associated with their bank account and easier access to alternative products. As with any change in regulation or technology there will be both opportunities and risks presented by Open Banking.
Hundreds of FinTech startups, investors and bankers flocked to the Old Billingsgate market building in London for the much-anticipated FinovateEurope 2017 earlier this month. The two-day event, which took place between Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th February, saw more than 70 FinTechs demo their new and innovative products to a packed out crowd, with seven companies awarded Best in Show trophies at the end of the event. FStech’s Chris Lemmon and Anthony Strzalek round up the highlights of the eighth annual FinovateEurope.
Since the fallout of the financial crisis almost 10 years ago, there has been an almighty push to reinvent the banking industry. New and innovative technologies are being developed by FinTech firms to optimise banking processes that were previously seen as inefficient and time-consuming. However, Chris Gledhill, CEO of location-based, financial social networking app Secco, believes that 95 per cent of FinTech firms are just making “leaner, nicer looking versions of current banks” and not actually reinventing the sector.
2016 saw financial services firms embrace new technologies and the overall trend for digitisation in the sector sees no sign of abating as we enter 2017. Banks have had to adapt as agile digital challengers enter the space and new technologies such as biometrics and robo-advice gather momentum. The rise of interest in blockchain has been meteoric and more institutions are turning to the distributed ledger technology to streamline processes and boost efficiency. Over the past 12 months we have also seen an increase in cyber attacks and the need for businesses to respond with enhanced security and data protection measures. So what can we expect in the financial technology sector over the coming year? A range of industry experts have outlined to FStech their predictions for the next 12 months…
Attended by more than 2,500 people, FinTech Connect Live returned to London for a second year in December, this time splitting the conference into three dedicated sessions of FinTech, PayTech and InsurTech talks and debates. FStech reports from the PayTech stream on day two of the conference.
The 2016 RBR Branch Transformation conference was the research firm’s sixth and largest such event to date, with in excess of 500 banking delegates from more than 50 nations descending on London’s Park Plaza Riverbank hotel on 6 and 7 December. The two-day event included a packed speaker programme, including globally renowned industry leaders. FStech’s Anthony Strzalek attended the conference and gives his summary of the opening day.
Individuals have light bulb moments the whole time, but what makes the idea a reality is collaboration. This is how some of the greatest inventions of the last century have come to fruition. At the moment, the financial services industry is undergoing a rapid evolution, and FinTech companies are being established left, right and centre. SWIFT’s Head of Innotribe Innovation Programmes, Kevin Johnson, is at the epicentre of this evolution, and gives a unique insight into what supports FinTech innovation, and what practices are best to avoid.
Over 600 bank branches have closed across Britain in the past year, with banks citing declining demand from customers in the wake of the online banking revolution as part of the reason for the closures. But, do customers really prefer not to bank in person at all, or are banks missing a trick by not digitalising the branch experience in the same way as they have digitalised the online banking experience?
As Head of BNY Mellon’s EMEA Innovation Centre, one question I’m regularly asked is, what do we mean by reimagining the future of finance and what is the outlook for European FinTech specifically? Looking ahead to the next 12 months, there are many themes I could reference, but narrowing it down to the top three I would say they are blockchain, regulation and Brexit.
It may be just under two years until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect across the EU, but businesses who are not preparing for this game-changing legislation now are already behind the curve, says Dana Louise Simberkoff, the Chief Compliance and Risk Ofﬁcer at AvePoint.
The world of payments descended on east London last month, as the Excel Arena played host to PayExpo Europe on 7-8 June. Chris Lemmon reports from day one of the show.
The themes that dominated 2016’s Infosecurity Europe (held at London Olympia in June), such as security threats associated with the cloud, mobility, social networks and the Internet of Things, should all resonate with financial companies facing competition from new entrants and alternative finance providers, particularly in relation to products and propositions based on digital technologies.
When it comes to the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), it is crunch time for European banks who have a very clear choice to make. They could wait in the wings as a utility, supporting other providers’ customer-facing solutions or play a more central role in their customers’ daily lives. The new directive has big technology implications which will lay the groundwork for a number of changes in financial services. PSD2 requires banks to grant third-party providers access to its customers’ online accounts and payment services in a regulated and secure way, and mandates banks or other account-holding payment service providers to facilitate secure access, for example through application program interfaces (APIs), to their customer accounts and data, if the account holder provides consent. As part of it, banks must also allow for customer identity verification and authentication.
For the sixth consecutive year, a combination of FinTech startups, investors and bankers descended upon Old Billingsgate Market for the European arm of Finovate’s conference series in February. Attended this year by more than 1,500 people, the event showcased 70 of the most innovative financial technology products on the market.
FStech chats to Ashish Gupta, president, UK corporate and global banking & financial markets, BT Global Services
As we frequently remind ourselves at Currency Cloud, no one wakes up in the morning and thinks, 'I want to make a payment'. Although we all make a number of transactions throughout the course of the day, that’s not the end goal – we want to grab a coffee, pick up lunch, commute into work, or grab a gift for a friend on the way home. The payment itself is simply a ‘necessary evil’ in accessing the product or service we want. As such, digital platforms are increasingly streamlining payments for both consumers and businesses – reducing the physical process involved with making a transaction and consequently making the function more ‘invisible’ to the purchaser.
So, farewell then 2015. And hello 2016. To kick things off, FStech brings you 10 FS technology-related predictions for the year ahead
The past 12 months proved to be another fascinating and dynamic year for financial sector technology, with huge strides made around digital channels, payments, wearables and blockchain, in a period which saw innovation and collaboration rise to the top of the industry’s agenda.
Transport for London, Barclays, wagamama, William Hill, VocaLink, Earthport and SWIFT were among the winners at the 2015 Payments Awards, which took place in London during November
FinTech insights will put banks back at the heart of business innovation, says Shakir Ladak, CTO, Alpha Insight
Scott Thompson reviews the 2015 FStech/Retail Systems Payments Conference, which took place in London during October
In the summer, SapientNitro and Fidelity Worldwide Investment launched an iPad app for all investors. The move signals a cultural shift in how wealth management is embracing digital innovation for the benefit of the customer experience. SapientNitro’s client services director, Bradley Gamage and Fidelity Worldwide Investment’s head of digital, Ian Hood explain
Glynn Davis provides a progress report on Zapp, the UK mobile payments startup formed by VocaLink
FStech catches up with Jays Shortt, the head of product development at online peer-to-peer mortgage lender Landbay
FinTech is an industry driven by innovation. So, asks Kate O’Flaherty, why are gender equality and diversity still an issue in the sector?
Financial technology is evolving at an incredible rate, with new startups and ideas constantly emerging. London, especially, is proving to be a hothouse for innovation in the field, with the UK government estimating that the domestic financial technology sector attracted £342 million in investment and generated £20 billion in revenue last year (2014) alone.
In a world in which our use of digital channels and demand for instant gratification has never been higher, we routinely expect to be able to carry out almost any transaction online. Banks are responding, at least for their existing customers. However, one core financial product remains firmly in the analogue age
Any new launch by tech titan Apple is guaranteed to arrive to a great fanfare. Apple fanboys happily queue around the block to be the first to get their hands on new products. But the response to its Apple Pay service has been markedly less fevered, notes Hannah Prevett
The banking industry has innovated steadily and carefully in a myriad of ways, but normally in collaboration and, broadly, in step with each other. Given the institutional role which banks play as the cornerstones of the financial transaction system this perhaps should not be surprising. Indeed, it served the development of international trade and domestic enterprise well over many centuries.
The UK now has one of the largest concentrations of emergent FinTech companies in the world. Innovation and investment can been seen among start-ups, innovation incubators financed or sponsored by banks, and governmental programmes to encourage FinTech development. Its importance is driven by both the desire from consumers for speed and security as well as a thirst from the traditional financial sector for greater efficiency and new ways to provide financial services. It has the potential to revolutionise customer experience (e.g. mobile banking platforms), to introduce new products and services (such as payment services and peer to peer lending), and to transform financial business models, for instance through the use of block chain technology. However, a number of questions remain. Should FinTech be regulated differently to the rest of the financial services sector, and is the UK regulator is doing enough to support the innovation (and therefore disruption) brought by FinTech?
The Current Account Switch Service is two years old today. Our Editor Scott Thompson, one of the two million current account customers to have moved banking providers under the initiative, gives his verdict
A host of new players are entering the payments space, vying to develop new solutions to enhance the transaction experience. With FinTech activity gaining momentum, Leda Glyptis, head, EMEA Innovation Centre, BNY Mellon, examines how banks are adapting to this digitally-focused transaction arena; aligning with FinTechs to explore ideas that could truly transform the world of payments
Is cash a goner or very much alive? Scott Thompson goes in search of an answer to a question that continues to dominate the payments landscape
Power-hungry datacentres consume a huge amount of resources. Energy is wasted as it enters the building and continues to leak until it reaches the servers. Adding to this, the computing hardware is always running but rarely functioning at maximum capacity
As their customers embrace the likes of Facebook and Twitter, many FS companies are finally embracing social CRM. Glynn Davis reports
FStech chats to Paul Shepherd, co-founder and marketing director at Hello Soda, a UK startup behind a platform called PLATFORM, which scans data and social media posts to predict consumers’ creditworthiness
Hannah Prevett takes a look at the thorny issue of core banking systems
Depending on who you believe, contactless is either done before it even got started. Or it’s finally achieving critical mass. Scott Thompson hears the arguments for and against this new(ish) way of paying
Starling CEO, Anne Boden, tells Scott Thompson why the time is right for Starling and other digital startups to disrupt retail banking
In a rapidly changing environment, UK retail banks know that omnichannel success is linked to innovation and significant investment in systems, architecture and new technologies. So, asks Scott Thompson, why are they lagging behind other sectors?
Michelle Stevens talks to Grant Bourbousson, the digital and marketing director at Tesco Bank, about the FI’s recent mobile launches and the way it approaches its digital strategy
Mark Mullen talks to Scott Thompson about making the leap from first direct to new digital-only bank Atom, and the challenges encountered thus far and opportunities involved
Scott Thompson looks at why so many investors are scrambling to get some FinTech action
The potential of financial technology is extraordinary. FinTech innovations such as mobile services, crowd funding platforms, peer to peer lending and behaviour finance software are transforming the future of banking and the way we engage with money and financial institutions. But how do we grow this sector? Beyond the praise and investment poured into superstar firms such as Transferwise, Stripe and Powa, there are many other companies grappling with fundamental challenges to growth
Scott Thompson reports from the British Banker Association's Annual Banking Conference
Scott Thompson looks back over what has been an extremely eventful 12 months for the FS technology sector, and ahead to 2015
It’s been the next big thing for longer than FStech can care to remember. As Scott Thompson finds, contactless is finally gaining traction, although the future is uncertain
Michelle Stevens takes a look at the capital’s thriving FinTech scene
Is the omnichannel revolution all that it’s cracked up to be? Scott Thompson wades through the hype and asks: how are banks faring when it comes to 24/7 access to accounts and services across multiple channels?
Scott Thompson reviews the 2013 FStech/Retail Systems Payments Conference, which took place at the IoD Hub, London, in late October
Green has over the years flitted in and out of financial institutions’ agendas. But how about the here and now? In tough times, is it high up on companies’ list of priorities? Glynn Davis reports
Whilst social CRM sounds great in theory, it also presents financial institutions with a series of far reaching problems and challenges. Scott Thompson reports
FStech brings you the lowdown on its 2013 Awards, which took place on Wednesday, 17 April at the Lancaster London Hotel
Scott Thompson goes beyond the hype and asks: are the UK’s banks anywhere close to delivering a seamless customer experience across multiple channels
Liz Morrell looks at the state of play following changes to FSA regulations around mobile call recording, which came into effect in 2011
Scott Thompson has been busying himself asking leading industry players for their take on key 2013 FS tech trends. Here, then, are 13 stand out predictions for the year ahead, taking in the likes of Big Data, the cloud, DDoS, BYOD, social media and m-payments
What, asks Glynn Davis, will the retail bank of the future look like and what chance new entrants seizing the day?
The FS sector was plagued by IT troubles throughout 2012 and a number of banks consequently found themselves under fire from the media, politicians and increasingly beleaguered customers. But, as Scott Thompson reports, there were also some bright spots this year
When it comes to mobile banking, the UK remains stuck in first gear. Marek Handzel reports on the long road ahead
This is a critical time for the m-payments sector. Progress has been made, but, as Scott Thompson reports, the mobile dream could yet be derailed
What does it mean to the highly regulated, security obsessed banking sector when its customers are increasingly using social media to communicate, share and network? Hannah Prevett investigates
Liz Morrell casts an eye over an intensifying cat and mouse game between financial services companies and cyber criminals
The traditional world of stock markets and trading is colliding with social networks. Will this be a marriage made in heaven or a quick fling? Hannah Prevett investigates
As the London Olympics looms large, Scott Thompson asks: will 2012 be the year of the contactless card?
More and more financial services firms are fully committing to open source software, but as Glynn Davis finds, issues remain
How is 2012 shaping up for the FS technology sector? FStech brings you some predictions for the year ahead, not all of them comforting
With more and more customers banking online and showing an interest in mobile banking and social media, what does the immediate future hold for FS technology vendors? Liz Morrell reports
Maeña Twomey, programme manager, Lloyds Banking Group, looks at the issue of enhancing assurance on large cross divisional change programmes
Online and mobile banking are of increasing importance. But the bank’s High Street branch still has a significant role to play, notes David Adams
So, how was it for you? Scott Thompson looks back at 2011 and asks those in the know: how did the financial services sector fare and what were the key technology developments?
Mobile has the potential to revolutionise the customer experience in retail banking and banks across Europe are gearing up to respond to this growing opportunity. But, as Liz Morrell highlights, problems and issues remain
Scott Thompson reviews the first ever FStech/Retail Systems Payments Technology Conference
Two-thirds of financial firms believe they have analytics programmes and infrastructures that are insufficient in handling increasing analytical complexity and data volume, recent research showed. Christopher Andrews reports
With the Solvency II deadline approaching, financial services organisations will be able to reap the benefits of a well-designed cross-functional technology platform. But challenges remain. Dave Howell reports
The European Payments Council (EPC) recently said that inconsistencies between the European Commission’s objectives threaten to hamper SEPA progress. David Adams reports
Liz Morrell asks: what does it mean to the highly regulated banking world when millions of people are using Facebook etc to communicate, share, network and entertain? And who are the pioneers in this field?
Smartphone uptake is continuing at a blistering rate and these devices are now shaping the way we behave. Yet mobile banking adoption has stalled. As Scott Thompson finds, fraud and security concerns underpin the stalemate
Glynn Davis looks at the latest mobile payments developments and the challenges facing banks as the m-payments/NFC bandwagon picks up pace
Wil Cunningham is an independent consultant who was contracted with LBG as the IT Lead for HBOS LIVE IT Planning, Command and Control and Execution for LBG/HBOS Integration, now the Delivery Lead new LBG Disaster Recovery Strategy. Here he discusses the best ways to plan and execute implementations
Elaine Graham looks at the rapidly changing world of trading systems and highlights how technology can help win competitive advantage
Data quality has moved up financial institutions’ agendas ahead of new regulatory regimes. But good data management also offers several advantages, reports Graham Buck
A recent report from the Treasury Select Committee criticised UK banks for not doing enough to protect against online fraud. The claim has been met by the industry with mixed views, with some in agreement and others blaming the Government for not taking data security seriously enough and calling for a regulatory body to set regulations to protect bank customers. Liz Morrell reports
The financial sector is at the head of the pack when it comes to combating security threats, but, with global cyber attacks on the rise, companies remain vulnerable. David Adams reports
As cybercrime mutates and hackers change gear in their quest to get hold of sensitive data, the challenge facing financial organisations is greater than ever, says Christopher Andrews
On Thursday 31 March 2011, IT professionals from across the financial sector gathered at the Lancaster London Hotel, Bayswater to attend presentations from prominent members of the IT industry speak on IT Security and Storage, Data and Cloud. Sophie Baker, Elaine Graham and Justin Quillinan review the day
How suitable is the Cloud for small and medium businesses? Is it as accessible and relevant for them as it is for larger institutions? Do they face different challenges? Duncan Jefferies finds out
The UK’s banks appear to have been rather slow on the uptake of cloud, but what about their European counterparts? Christopher Andrews looks at the benefits European finanical institutions have seen; the risks they have had to get to grips with, and asks what the future is for the cloud in European banks
Against a backdrop of ongoing unease and uncertainty across the Middle East and North Africa, how are UK and European financial institutions coping under the pressure of identifying and dealing with this renewed focus on their efforts to combat money laundering? Graham Buck reports
On the evening of 31 March 2011, at the Lancaster London Hotel in Bayswater, representatives from banks, regulators and suppliers gathered to celebrate the 11th Financial Sector Technology Awards. Sophie Baker looks back on a night of euphoria, dancing and celebrating...
Wil Cunningham, an independent consultant currently on a contract with LBG as IT Lead for HBOS LIVE Command and Control and Planning and Execution in London, part of the LBG/HBOS Integration, discusses the best ways to optimise your infrastructure provisioning
Brett Farrell, an associate at Barlow Robbins LLP, looks at the issue of datacentres and N+1 redundancy, a form of resilience that ensures system availability in the event of component failure
2011’s Infosecurity Europe conference will feature speakers and topics to address all financial institutions’ concerns, finds Alison Ebbage
Philip Gregory, business intelligence manager at Chaucer Syndicates, talks to Sophie Baker about the importance of data quality for an insurance company, how technology and customer service are linked, and how IT and upcoming regulation will affect insurance services
In December 2010, the FSA put rules into place that would see all pertinent customer information held in one place, creating a single customer view (SCV). How has the industry dealt with the deadline, and what are the benefits for both the customer and the financial sector? Liz Morrell asks the industry
The FSA has studied the way financial services companies communicate to the public and has found that some communication through new media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook, lacks compliance with its safeguards. Duncan Jefferies looks at the FSA’s rules, and asks whether banks are embracing communication through these more informal mediums
Following the Basel Committee’s publication of rules and regulations for banks to comply with, with the aim of creating more resilient banks and banking systems, what must now be considered by the industry? Alison Ebbage finds out
Banks are sometimes viewed as slow when it comes to adopting the latest technology; but in a world of secrecy, confidentiality and heavy steel vaults, the idea of using open source codes – freely available over the Internet – is rapidly gaining traction to cut administrative costs, reports Justin Quillinan
In September 2010, the FSA proposed changes to its complaints handling rules as part of a package of measures to up the standards of complaints handling in the industry. But what is the FSA proposing? And how have the proposals been received by the financial services sector? David Adams asks the industry
What does 2011 hold for the financial sector? Sophie Baker asks the industry about technology, regulation and security for the coming year
The UK’s Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme is being withdrawn on 30 June 2011, and from 2018 cheques will also be pulled out of circulation. Jacqui Tribe, manager of the UK Domestic Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme, looks at alternatives to the guaranteed cheque
FST invited a group of retail bankers to tackle the issues hitting the Retail Banking sector the hardest
Over a series of roundtables, FST got together with EMC Consulting and a panel of financial sector commentators to discuss the industry’s current hot topic – Cloud Computing. Are the benefits clear as day?
Intellectual Property is a hot topic right now, particularly with David Cameron’s recent pledge to conduct a review into the UK’s current regime. Philip Bartlett, Partner, Simmons & Simmons, looks at the issue, and sets out some top tips for employers
The Independent Commission on Banking is to conduct a series of hearings in an effort to address the problems in the banking industry. The British Bankers’ Association’s chief executive, Angela Knight, looks at the importance these conclusions will carry
With new banks popping up on the High Street, more traditional banks’ core systems are under increased pressure to stand up and be counted in the midst of the hype. Duncan Jefferies asks if their technology systems are hindering their services
There’s pretty much an ‘app’ for everything, but is it appropriate – and safe – to move money around using mobile or contactless technology, asks Justin Quillinan
A loss of consumer confidence in the banking sector, thanks to the financial crisis, paved the way for new banks to launch on the High Street, with new offerings to tempt customers away from more ‘traditional’ banks. Liz Morrell looks at what they have to offer
Failure to accurately monitor and manage credit risks was a significant factor in the crisis – but what has the sector done to lessen the risk of recurrence? David Adams asks the industry
With the UK’s financial services market climbing out of the recession, it’s no surprise that businesses are now more than ever concentrating on keeping their systems running. Alison Ebbage finds out what’s next for business continuity
Our panellists got together in June to look at the issues surrounding datacentres, from virtualisation challenges to the very real pressures of operating in an increasingly regulated world
The Financial Services Authority’s Mortgage Market Review outlines best practice for responsible lending. Amir Ghani, policy adviser, Mortgage Policy Team, at the Building Societies Association, looks at the potential consequences of the consultations
In two cases in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal parties to swaps have challenged the agreed jurisdiction clause under an ISDA Master Agreement in favour of their home courts, on the basis that the proceedings concerned the validity of internal company decisions. Jonathan Brogden, partner, and Laura Davis, solicitor, at Davies Arnold Cooper LLP, look at the ISDA Master Agreement
With regulators demanding global financial transparency to combat organised crime and terrorism, banks took a step in the right direction on November 21 last year by implementing SWIFT’s new message standard for cover payments, MT202 COV. Vivienne Rosch asks how opening single cross-border customer credit transfers to intermediary banks’ scrutiny has been received
The collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG’s struggles left the industry’s lack of centralised clearing mechanisms and trade repositories plain for all to see. With the panic button well and truly hit, the industry responded. Duncan Jefferies looks at the initiatives the financial sector has come up with in an effort to address the problems
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is preparing to bare its teeth yet again with a Consultation Paper looking at making the recording of mobile phone transactions mandatory for firms. Sophie Baker looks at the proposals and the implications for banks and suppliers alike
With a plethora of technology available to the financial markets, and competition hotting up as banks fight to win back consumer confidence, one would be forgiven for assuming institutions might have tossed out the paper by now. So why, in today’s electronic world, do ‘paper junkies’ remain in the finance sector, asks Justin Quillinan
The SEPA initiative does what it says on the tin – creates a zone for the euro in which all electronic payments are considered domestic; but what’s holding up full adoption? David Adams investigates
The UK’s Faster Payment Scheme has been on the industry’s radar for two years now, but how well has it been received? Liz Morrell investigates
Sandy Hamilton, vice president of the European, Middle East & African (EMEA) region, at EMC Consulting, explains the drivers for the adoption of private clouds, how they can be implemented and why she believes now is the perfect time to start
Many people were pointing the finger of blame at Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) for the financial meltdown, blaming them for giving triple-A ratings to collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and other toxic instruments that were stuffed with junk sub-prime elements. Jonathan Brogden, a partner at law firm, Davies Arnold Cooper, looks at the latest EC moves to reform the sector
The 360 degree IT show to be held at London’s Earls Court on 22-23 September used to be known as StorageExpo, but it has been rebranded to better address the growing importance of other infrastructure developments, outside of traditional data storage, such as hosted services, cloud computing, SaaS, and so forth. Neil Ainger previews the new beginning
Green IT, in the form of more efficient PCs, printers, building designs, remote working practices, chips, and so forth, can save you money by increasing efficiency and improve the image of your firm, so what’s not to like? Vivienne Rosch looks at whether the reality is living up to the dream
These are austere times but most financial institutions have already made their cuts with outsourcing increasingly taking up the slack for decimated internal IT departments. Justin Quillinan questions this short-term focus, and examines other outsourcing trends such as the rise of cloud computing and its impact on traditional managed service models
Dr Nathalie Aubry-Stacey, advisor on regulatory policy at the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), discusses the European covered bond market and the changes it is undergoing to try and improve transparency
There is an operational and environmental cost in meeting the ever increasing demand from financial institution data centres, whose power surge is being driven by the rising amount of customer and regulatory data that needs to be kept and new technologies such as algorithmic trading and blade servers. Optimising data centres to keep costs down is now a key concern, especially as budgets are tight for new builds and the government’s CRC ‘carbon tax’ kicks in. Duncan Jefferies looks at the best ways to ‘sweat’ existing facilities
Financial services is increasingly a data business, with good information and fast processing delivering new customers, cross-selling opportunities, arbitrage and numerous other advantages. The data centre is, therefore, the engine of growth for most retail/wholesale banks, insurers, exchanges and other financial institutions. Given its vital position then do you really want to outsource it? Liz Morrell looks at the issue of Datacentre-as-a-Service (DaaS), its differing definitions and whether it’s suitable for financial services
Lots of financial institutions these days are moving away from the traditional PC route with the hard drive next to your desk, and instead looking to adopt desktop virtualisation. Moving to such an arrangement however, places a lot more demand on your data centre. Making the move requires FIs to adopt a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which is the server computing model that enables desktop virtualisation, encompassing the hardware and software systems needed to support the environment. David Adams looks at the impact of VDI on your operations and data centre
In the wake of the new coalition government's statement that it intends to end 'unfair' bank charges, reopening a case that the OFT has already lost, and the FSA saying that it wants to take action to improve the way banks handle customer complaints, Eric Leenders, executive director, retail banking, at the British Bankers' Association (BBA), comes out fighting arguing that numerous initiatives are already underway and that competitive pressures are transforming the sector anyway
In a speech to the City of London last year Hector Sants, the outgoing chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, said "people should be very frightened of the FSA". In the wake of recent high-profile moves by the watchdog to prosecute insider dealing cases, Richard Sallybanks, a partner at law firm BCL Burton Copeland, thinks you'd better take notice
For years, IT departments have had full control over their own infrastructure (for better and worse) and are naturally uncomfortable with anything that prevents them from being in sole control. This is likely to change with the rise of cloud computing, argues Justin Pirie, director of communities and content at Mimecast, but it isn't something to fear
The stock exchanges space has undergone tremendous changes over the last decade with many new entrants joining the market and automated systems driving capacities and proximity hosting services up. More changes are on the way post-crunch as new business models are tried that are less reliant on low margins and fast disappearing high volumes. David Adams maps out the road ahead as the consolidation phase begins
As the global village arrives, the mobile phone has become an important tool linking people together. It's increasingly being used to send remittances back home by those working abroad or as an alternative to traditional banking and payment systems in developing countries. Viv Rosch looks at this growing remittance market and examines if banks are doing enough to grab a slice of it
A good cabling solution can 'sweat' an existing data centre or squeeze every last bit of investment out of a new build ensuring you get the best out of your telco and data communications architecture. Philip Hunter investigates what is the best cabling design, port options and mix of fibre and copper to use in reducing data centre heat, while maximising latency and efficiency
As the pace of modern life quickens the mobile phone is now an indispensable tool, with many using it in their everyday working lives. Tony Dennis looks at how financial institutions are catering for and taking advantage of this increased mobility to try and gain staff efficiency benefits, while still protecting their networks. The best smartphones, operating systems and mobile devices are also examined
Politicians and central bankers have been working overtime to overhaul the banking system in an effort to prevent another crisis. Graham Buck looks at the impact of the new international liquidity standards, dubbed Basel III, that are coming in and assesses how best to deal with the issue of liquidity risk on a global basis
Wil Cunningham, environments manager at Lloyds Banking Group who is currently working on contract on the integration with HBOS, discusses the best ways to sweat existing systems when budgets are tight, with particular reference to his previous work optimising a data centre at a well known High Street bank based in Edinburgh
Have the computer scientists at Cambridge University, who last month found a flaw in Chip and PIN so serious that they think the whole system needs a rewrite, got the financial services industry thinking the same thing? John Colley, CISSP, managing director, EMEA, for the (ISC)2 non-profit security organisation, investigates
Dai Davis, a partner at law firm Brooke North, discusses the implications of the recent high profile court case involving BSkyB v EDS, which the former finally won at the turn of the year after much argument, potentially smashing the constraints of limited liability in the IT contract / outsourcing world
Every day millions of financial services customers voluntarily provide personal identity details - passwords, first schools, maiden names and so on - to banks, insurers and others. Liz Morrell investigates the wisdom of this in the wake of numerous data breaches and what financial institutions are doing to protect our identities. it'd better be good as, starting in April, UK firms could face fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act thanks to new powers given to the Information Commissioner
Sometimes security professionals at financial institutions can make themselves paranoid worrying about the threats - both internal and external - to the security of their networks, forever fretting over the cloud, mobile technologies, and other new spectres on the horizon. David Adams looks at the latest attack vectors out there and tries to provide some reassurance to worried financial services professionals
Application security is one of the hottest issues for financial institutions right now as more and more mobile applications and web-based offerings are rolled out internally or to customers. Firms have invested a lot of time and money on their perimeter defences over the last decade, beefing up firewalls and monitoring tools to keep hackers out, but when it comes to securing their applications they've been nowhere near as pro-active. Duncan Jefferies calls for this to change
Ahead of the G8 and G20 summits due to be held in Canada this June, a plethora of papers is spewing forth from regulators intent on meeting the ambitions and timetable set out at the last G20 meetings in Pittsburgh and London. This has left financial institutions struggling to understand and integrate the various proposals and their implications in advance of the meeting. Barbara Ridpath, CEO of the ICFR, reiterates the need for cooperation
Justin Quillinan looks at a number of recent legal cases that threaten to change the way anti-money laundering (AML) rules, procedures and technology are implemented in the UK, especially the HSBC/Shah case which could force banks to compensate customers who've suffered delays due to AML procedures. Beware of the lawyers bearing sheaths of court papers, he warns
Unusually for language used in the IT world, there's something quite poetic about the term 'cloud computing'. It sounds pleasantly distant from the mundane reality of servers and silicon. Looking at it in a more negative way though, clouds can be opaque, or dark and threatening. David Adams investigates if the cloud is going to bring rain or sunshine to the financial services sector in the years ahead
Protecting your IT has never been more important with lots of new mobile payment applications and web-based offerings coming on to the FS market, all of which are potentially vulnerable to attack unless appropriate security procedures are taken. The InfoSecurity Europe 2010 show will showcase the latest threats, solutions and trends that you should know about. Neil Ainger previews the event
The Supreme Court ruled on 25 November last year that the Office of Fair Trading may not launch an investigation into the fairness or otherwise of charges levied on retail bank customers for unauthorised overdrafts. The OFT then officially dropped the case on 22 December, with billions of pounds in potential compensation on the line. So is this long-running battle finally over? Jonathan Brogden, of Davies Arnold Cooper, investigates
The last two years have presented many challenges for building societies and banks alike. Rachel Le Brocq, public affairs manager at the Building Societies Association (BSA), believes we are now over the very worst of the crisis, but that 2010 could still be a tough year, especially with mutuals facing competition in the savings space from state supported banks, proposals for a 'people's bank' at the post office, and the new liquidity requirements coming in, to name just a few challenges
Staying liquid and being able to prove it by complying with the new liquidity requirements that are now coming in post-crunch is a vital concern for banks, explains Liz Morrell, as she examines the readiness of the sector for the challenges ahead. The FSA's rules, Obama's plans and the international co-ordination, or lack of it, regarding future liquidity requirements are all examined here
You may well have unpleasant memories of the preparations for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, introduced back in November 2007. But more than two years on, has it brought pleasure or pain to the financial markets and what lessons have been learnt, asks David Adams? The EC is currently undertaking a review of MiFID to try and find out
With the Retail Distribution Review proposals now largely clear, advisors and financial firms should start getting ready for fundamental changes in the distribution channels for retail financial products across various sectors, such as pensions, insurance, banking, and wealth management. Resistance is futile, says Duncan Jefferies, as the early movers will gain first advantage
The credibility of financial regulation, and indeed services, has taken a battering in recent years, but in the insurance industry the Solvency II capital adequacy regulations hope to learn from past mistakes, establishing a gold standard for many years to come. Justin Quillinan looks at the latest developments ahead of the 2012 start date and assesses whether the industry is on target to meet it
The panic caused by Dubai World at the end of last year asking for a 'standstill' on repaying its multi-billion debts sent global stock markets tumbling and has spooked some people causing them to question sukuks and other wholesale Islamic finance instruments. Vivienne Rosch cautions not to follow the herd, pointing out that the market has grown massively over the last decade, offering technology vendors, banks, exchanges and many others much needed growth opportunities over the long term
The last year or two have been some of the most difficult on record for IT teams at financial institutions, as they have sought to learn the lessons from the banking crisis and comply with the raft of new regulations that are coming in post-crunch, while dealing with reduced budgets and impending revolutionary changes, such as the SDD payment scheme and the rise of mobile banking. New technologies like cloud computing have also demanded the attention of IT teams across the sector. Neil Ainger looks ahead at what the challenges in 2010 are likely to be
Mobile banking in Europe has clocked up its first decade, but much of the market's potential is still unrealised. Graham Buck reviews how this 'sleeping giant' is likely to stir into life over the next few years from checking your account, making payments, to remittances, and a myriad of other uses, the mobile has the potential to take centre stage
Home owners will have to pass a mortgage affordability test in future from lenders says the FSA in its Mortgage Market Review discussion paper, which sets out proposals for the future regulation of the sector after the housing crash. Under the proposals, self-cert mortgages will also be banned with lenders having to verify borrowers' incomes. Neil Johnson, policy manager of the Building Societies Association, gives the industry's response
With swine flu vaccination for millions of 'at risk' people in the UK starting recently, in anticipation of a second wave of the H1N1 virus in the winter, and the World Health Organisation officially declaring it a pandemic, many financial institutions could find their business continuity plans being tested to the full. Philip Hunter looks at how ready the financial services sector is and what technologies, such as home working, might help firms cope with absent workers
With financial institutions increasingly looking to cross-sell or up-sell during the recession, modern business practices creating more unstructured data, and regulators demanding more information post-crunch to prove liquidity and sound judgement, Duncan Jefferies investigates if traditional enterprise content management (ECM) systems can cope as the data load ramps up and the electronic mountain grows
Once upon a time, technologists sneaked open source software into IT infrastructures under the radar, using it for minor tasks like running print servers. Later, as open source started to become a viable option in other areas, they were more and more eager to find excuses to use it. Now, says David Adams, the onus is on the sceptics to come up with reasons not to use it as open source grows up and enters the mainstream
The FSA has announced a far-reaching overhaul of the liquidity requirements expected of financial firms in the future with its Strengthening Liquidity Standards document. The new rules are intended to enhance liquidity risk management practices in light of lessons learnt during the credit crisis. Simon Hills, executive director, prudential capital & risk, British Bankers' Association (BBA), gives the industry response
The third FST IT Security Conference on 8 October at the IoD Hub in the City of London carried the theme of 'security in a downturn', looking at everything from the insider threat from disgruntled employees to the likelihood of higher levels of phishing, ID theft and malware. Neil Ainger reports on the discussions, case studies and possible solutions on offer
As Tesco Bank and the Co-op put branches in stores and seek to use loyalty card data to win financial services business, and as the government forces RBS and Lloyds to sell off almost 1,000 branches, opening up space for new entrants, the normally staid world of branch banking is hotting up. Liz Morrell looks at the drivers of changes and assesses how the branch might look in the future
Paying for goods with a contactless card is easy and instantaneous. The underlying technology has been around for years, used to access buildings or public transport, but only recently have UK banks started issuing debit and credit cards with a contactless payment feature. FST examined various pilot projects and limited rollouts last year; Vivienne Rosch revisits the contactless market now to find out how it is growing
Gerry DeMarco, a managing director at Morgan Stanley who is currently on a three-year secondment in London running the global datacentre projects team, overseeing the bank's facilities upgrades, discusses the best way to migrate your applications and commission new or upgraded datacentres
Some larger financial institutions are taking the opportunity to radically restructure outsourcing deals in the wake of the recession to release cash and shift the balance of financial risk towards the outsourcing provider. Philip Hunter looks at the state of the market, how it's been affected by the downturn and the coming trends, such as performance-based shared risk models
The ever-increasing demand for data storage from regulators and businesses, who want to know more about the customer for cross-selling purposes, has seen a rapid expansion in the amount of data being kept by financial institutions, but storing it all is expensive. Justin Quillinan asks if data de-duplication technologies are able to help?
An inflexion point has been reached now that the number of virtual servers being shipped is outstripping the number of physical machines, says Tony Dennis. He examines the implications for financial institutions as virtualisation becomes standard operating procedure
Andrew Baker, chief executive of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), says that far from reining in the excesses of speculation, as France and Germany seem to hope, the European Commission's Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive could actually threaten jobs and pension returns, and concentrate risk rather than dissipating it
Neil Ainger reports on the lively discussions at the fifth FST DCEV Conference on 1 October at the IoD Hub in the City, where the need for efficiency in these recessionary times was touched on, alongside green taxes, virtualisation, and more efficient power and cooling
Duncan Jefferies looks at the drivers for financial institutions adopting so-called 'green' data centres, including carbon taxes, erratic electricity supply and image, and urges firms to forget about whether it's going to save the environment or not and focus on the energy and operational cost savings
Emissions trading schemes are already providing business for traders, brokers, and exchanges in the financial sector and there is market share to be won as more schemes are rolled out. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme Phase II began last year, with Phase III coming on stream in 2013, and the US and UK are introducing their own cap and trade schemes. Liz Morrell looks at the incentives to go green
Green IT, such as better lighting, air conditioning, chips, storage and so forth, can save you money. For those who take it seriously, and not just as a vacuous publicity policy, there are potentially vast efficiency savings to be made, no mere consideration in these recessionary times. David Adams looks at best practice
Owing to colossal losses from structured financial instruments, many banks are now showing a net worth close to zero. Jean-Pierre Wellens, the International Capital Market Association's chief representative in Brussels, gives his personal opinion of the credit crunch, its causes and implications for the future
New execution venues in Europe, like Chi-x, Turquoise, Bats and many others are challenging the supremacy of the old incumbent national exchanges. Neil Ainger interviews the respective CEO and COO of Chi-x, Mark Howarth and Hirander Misra, to find out if there is room for all these players
As part of a drive towards straight through processing (STP) in trade finance, e-invoicing's time may finally have come. Justin Quillinan looks at the various EU and European initiatives underway to provide standards and encourage uptake. Will Europe finally get wired and forge the way forward?
A service orientated architecture (SOA) needs a shared web services framework and common protocols to enable financial institutions to expose proprietary systems and share applications across their network. Tony Dennis investigates how close we are to making the connection
The UK Faster Payments Service (UKFPS) was introduced last May to great fanfare but some people are still unable to access it. Viv Rosch looks at when full rollout can be expected and how some more far-sighted banks are hoping it will provide new opportunities
Some of the world's leading financial professionals will be meeting at Sibos 2009 in Hong Kong to discuss the most important issues facing the industry today, not the least of which of course is how to prevent another crunch and understand the global shift in power eastwards. Neil Ainger previews the event
French banks are delaying the implementation of the Direct Debit scheme in the Single Euro Payments Area by a year, and continued national disagreements about the Payment Services Directive (PSD), are causing delays in the harmonisation project. David Adams investigates the troubles
Has the recession helped or hindered progress towards the fully electronic financial supply chain and the end of paper-based transactions? It depends on who you ask, reports Graham Buck
The pressure is on in the European securities settlement and clearing space with the EU Code of Conduct, T2S and interoperability all driving change. Duncan Jefferies reports on the transformative energy in the sector
FStech talks to Tony Reid of HDS about the compliance issues facing financial institutions and FinTech firms
MarkLogic’s Chris Atkinson discusses how data affects your ability to comply with regulation with FStech