Show Preview: Sibos 2009 - Setting sail

Some of the world's leading financial professionals will be meeting at the Sibos 2009 show in the port city of Hong Kong on 14-18 September 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. The financial supply chain, Single Euro Payments Area, and how to enhance standards-based interoperability and efficiency will also be debated. Neil Ainger previews the event

Hong Kong is one of the busiest ports and trading centres in the world and its history of being a key location for global trade, going right back its controversial founding during the Opium wars in British colonial times, means that it is the perfect venue for a global conference and exhibition. The event in this famous trading city, where East has always met West, will seek to work out how the financial industry will be re-constituted after the shocks of the last 18 months, in terms of new regulations, capital requirements, technologies and shifting patterns of behaviour, such as the upturn in mobile payments, real-time systems and straight through processing (STP) trade finance. The party is literally over with the normal Sibos Thursday night party cancelled, and the debate this year, at the 31st annual get-together of the leading institutions and vendors in the financial services industry, is about how to recover.

Helping to shape the discussions will be the Big Issue debates over the first three days, which will respectively look at: Leading us through uncertainty; the Asian century and its implications for the financial industry; and if transaction banking will be the engine for sustainable growth. Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank will address the first issue looking at how the industry is responding one year on from the shocks and upheavals caused by Lehman's collapse and its immediate aftermath, especially how the industry can rebuild trust and try to shape the coming regulatory environment. Jing Ulrich, MD and chairman, China equities, at JP Morgan, will look at if the 21st century will be the Asian one in terms of if it can drive the recovery; while Catherine P Bessant, president, global product solutions, at Bank of America, will oversee a debate about how resilient the traditionally more stable transaction banking business model has been over the last year and what trends and challenges lie ahead. She will be joined by Andrew Long, head of global transaction banking & group general manager, HSBC; Werner Steinmueller, MD, head of transaction banking, Deutsche Bank; and Francesco Vanni d'Archirafi, CEO, global transaction services, Citi.

This year's conference at the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre has a line-up of hundreds of speakers organised into streams covering payments; securities; foreign exchange (FX); Asia; standards or cross-market topics. Numerous speakers from around the world will be flying in to participate, including Gerard Hartsink, of ABN Amro and chairman of the European Payments Council, who is taking part in a session entitled SEPA: Have we reached the cruising altitude?, and Colin Kipling, MD of global payments, Barclays, who is part of a Risk: Will we ever learn? session. Ben Robson, head of FX at Man will also be there as part of FX: Do relationships matter? and Shri M/V Nair, chairman of Union Bank of India will lead Outlook India: Is it leaving the BRICs behind? Rob Close, president of CLS Bank will be part of Can central counterparties save the world? There are also a number of separate standalone forums dedicated to pressing issues such as the service provided for corporates, traditionally an area where banks have struggled to please the multi-nationals. In addition, there's a standards forum; one covering securities market infrastructure; and trade.

Two open theatre areas will be situated in the exhibition halls, open to anyone who has a relevant 30 minute topic or case study. There are expected to be approximately 200 companies with stands, showing some of the latest technologies and strategies for financial services, although numbers are likely to be down due to the downturn. Attendees will also likely fall from last year's high 7,500 figure.

The World Bank and European Central Bank will be in Hong Kong, as part of the community stream, respectively presenting on payment systems in times of distress and an update on TARGET2 Securities, alongside other institutions such as the International Payments Framework and the Payments Market Practice Group, who will talk about the MT 202 COV message standard. Sibos will truly be a gathering of leading industry figures in one place and, as ever in Hong Kong where trading is at the core of the culture, the future of global commerce and banking, plus the technology systems, standards and regulations that support them, will be up for debate as the sector sets sail for a new post-crunch future.



Exhibitions overview

VocaLink, Stand: 3E05 The VocaLink theme for Sibos is 'extracting greater profits from your payments business'. This reflects the overwhelming mood among the processors' customers to stay focused on cost reduction, while aiming to identify new and profitable service offerings. On stand, VocaLink will be showcasing value-added services such as mandate management, routing and reformatting, and SEPA DD options, as well as real-time payments, service bureau offerings and ATM managed services. As part of the conference stream, the CEO, Marion King, will be speaking on Financial Market Harmonisation on 17 September, 11-12 noon, alongside representatives from the World Bank and EPC. For more information visit: http://www.vocalink.com/Sibos2009.

Microsoft, Stand: 3G08 The software leader will demonstrate the next generation of financial messaging solutions using BizTalk, its enterprise integration product bearing the SWIFTReady Financial EAI label. Banking and corporate payment solutions from Microsoft's expanding community of partners will also be highlighted at the show by Fundtech, Temenos, BankServ and Cashfac.

Oracle, Stand: 1G11 Oracle Financial Services will exhibit several of its core banking and financial and risk management solutions in Hong Kong. The company will seek to demonstrate how its technology can help banks deliver innovative products, optimise costs, increase fee-based income and comply with regulatory mandates, such as the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP). In addition, Oracle will highlight its Financial Services Consulting arm, which can provide institutions with application management and business and technology consulting services.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Stand: 1C14 RBS, a leader in transaction banking services and a top five global payments provider to corporate and institutional clients, which like many has had to accept government help over the last year to survive, will be showcasing its Global Transaction Services (GTS) business, which offers expertise in international cash and liquidity management, global trade services and supply chain management, merchant acquiring and commercial card products and services. The bank will also be unveiling its comprehensive and generally very helpful 'World Payments Report', which it produces in conjunction with the Capgemini consultancy and The European Financial Marketing Association (EFMA). Simon Newstead, head of the financial institutions advisory group, GTS, at the bank, will be part of the conference speaking slot on Thursday 17 September at 11am on 'Payments in the new era: Market evolution in a cross-regional context'.

Citi, Stand: 1G07 Experience innovation with Citi at Sibos 2009, invites the bank, claiming that its state of the art technology will showcase their key show themes and solutions. We'll be providing insight for breakfast with briefing sessions hosted adjacent to the conference centre at the Grand Hyatt, they say, with topics covering: Innovation post-crisis; Navigating the trading landscape; Revamping the payments value proposition; and Revitalising the global supply chain. Citi's industry representatives have been invited to speak at 11 sessions by the organisers SWIFT, on subjects ranging from risk management, trade credit, payments innovation, and the closing plenary on sustainable growth for transaction services. Signing ceremonies for the year's major achievements and on stand drinks will be a regular highlight throughout the show.

Temenos, Stand 3G08 The core banking systems provider offers software in the retail, corporate & correspondent, universal, private, islamic and microfinance & community banking markets, a full range of which will be on display from 14-18 September. The company serves over 700 customers in more than 120 countries and will be highlighting its packaged core banking T24 system in particular on stand, which it says can replace a large number of disparate legacy systems and streamline banking operations.

Sungard, Stand: 3G11 "With the financial crisis now part of daily life, the banking industry is faced with a renewed set of priorities," says David Hamilton, President of Sungard Ambit. "For many, the focus is now on customer retention, improving operational efficiency and risk management. These are topics that we will be looking at in-depth in Hong Kong, alongside the growth potential and challenges of islamic banking. To keep hold of customers, banks must be able to overcome their plethora of back-office systems - often the result of merger activities, especially recently post-crunch - to ensure that they have a customer centric approach to their operations. I believe our multi-channel products can help and our front-office systems, which offer an SOA-based approach enabling componentised implementations of priority projects to easily integrate with existing systems, can also assist overall efficiency. A direct result of the current economic crisis is a renewed focus on risk management. Unlike times of old however, banks are talking about making risk management an integral part of their operations and not just an isolated function related to compliance. We'll be demonstrating how this is possible."

Fundtech, Stand: 3E11 At Sibos 2009, Fundtech will continue to discuss its E-2-E Squared strategy, referring to the emerging field of financial supply chain services, which offers cost savings to corporations and improvements in working capital management. For financial institutions, these services can create deeper client relationships and additional fee-generating opportunities, if handled correctly. A key requirement is to monetise the data stream that accompanies transactions. Fundtech believes it can help achieve this with its Service Orientated Payments Architecture, part of its SOA services catalogue, which can be used to create payment hubs and more agile providers. The vendor will also announce new enhancements to their line of cash management products at the show, which are specifically targeted to the Asia-Pacific market. New strategic alliances with major technology companies are also promised, designed to enable new low-cost options to deploy SEPA credits and debits.

Pegasystems, Stand: 3B19 Technology for client on-boarding & account maintenance, Know Your Customer (KYC) stipulations, and undertaking payment investigations and sanctions management will be unveiled alongside the new Build for Change technology, which the manufacturer assets will enable financial institutions to become more agile and realise rapid and significant business returns. 15 of the top 20 global banks use Pega's SmartBPM (business process management) suite to increase flexibility, productivity and improve client interaction.

SmartStream, Stand: 1G03 Transaction lifecycle management specialist, SmartStream, will be showing its TLM OnDemand reconciliation service, which can now be accessed via the SWIFT infrastructure on a non-exclusive basis, potentially reducing operational risk and the time needed to process reconciliations. The SaaS subscription-based solution requires no upfront expense but does of course require constant payment. SWIFT says it intends to forge similar partnerships with other providers of SaaS solutions where there is a clear benefit to the SWIFT community. According to Philippe Chambadal, CEO, SmartStream, "the integrated service makes on-boarding as simple as possible, providing a higher automated throughput of transactions and lower break rates. The single subscription fee means customers of the joint service will not be charged for the SWIFT messages consumed." Commenting on the move, Chris Church, global head of securities at SWIFT, said: "The partnership help firms simplify the transaction process, deliver increased STP rates and drive down TCO."

BT, Stand: 1G15 BT, which provides 25 per cent of members with connectivity to SWIFTNet, will be displaying a number of products on 14-18 September, including the Infonet service that enables this linkage; its managed service messaging that can be used for transactions in securities, treasury, derivatives and payments messaging; and the BT Cardway service, which delivers card authorisation to the debit, credit and prepaid card sector.

Misys, Stand: 3E09 A portfolio of offerings will be available to see, including Misys' transaction banking solutions, covering trade services to cash management and payments - the TI Plus, Global Cash Portal, and various pooling products will be on display. The vendor is also presenting its vision at Swift's innovation Innotribe plenary, the aim of which is to bring together the collective intelligence of its community to find new ideas and new projects. The annual Misys party will be on the evening of Wednesday 16 September, with invitations available on stand.

Distra, Stand: 3E04 At Sibos 2009 Distra intends to demonstrate how its agile technology can enable the convergence of payment types in real-time. With the changing payments landscape, post-SEPA, UKFPS and so forth, Distra's believes its technology allows financial institutions to streamline their operations and quickly and easily comply with regulatory changes. The firm 's clients include National Australia Bank, which owns the Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks in the UK.

Sterling Commerce, Stand: 3G03 SWIFTReady Financial EAI Label holder Sterling will showcase its portfolio of solutions for financial organisations and customers, covering managed file transfers, B2B integration, enterprise integration and enterprise hub payment solutions. Richard Spong, Industry Marketing Manager, Financial Services, will be on stand throughout the show to discuss key industry issues, such as the impact of SEPA on direct debit processing and streamlining e-invoicing procedures between banks and businesses. He'll also be talking about how to achieve straight through processing (STP) and customer best practice.

Logica, Stand 3D17 Representatives will be on hand to discuss how banks can not only comply with regulations such as SEPA and the Payment Services Directive (PSD), but also reduce processing costs and gain new revenue streams. Payments services and software will also be available to view, including the Laps payments hub, FastWire Open for financial message routing; the Hotscan payments filtering solution; and CAS for real-time gross settlement.

Tata Consultancy Services, Stand: 1D20 Each product in the TCS BaNCS portfolio, which will be on display at Sibos, is designed to run as a scalable and robust service, completely integrated with existing business models, enterprise infrastructures and technology architectures, claim the manufacturers. Solutions across various different functions will be available for inspection, covering universal banking applications through to securities processing, payments and corporate actions.

EastNets, Stand: 3F10 Visit the stand in Hong Kong and you could win some cool gadgets in Hong Kong by entering the five question on stand financial crime quiz. Prizes include a solar charger, iPod solar charger, a solar car, and anti-gravity globe.

• For more information on the show please visit http://www.swift.com.

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