Metro Bank: Meet the challenger

A retail revolution was unleashed last summer in Holborn, central London. I was there to see it but unusually it wasn’t just another fancy shiny new shop, loyalty card or clothes line, it was a bank. That’s right, the traditionally staid retail banking sector had a bit of hoopla about it for a change. Metro […]

Big Data: Joining the dots

The phrase "Big Data" has been around for a while now, but has come into sharper focus in the past 18 months with the explosion in social networking creating a need to address the content of some of that data – there are 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month. Is any […]

Mastering the data

Master Data Management means different things to different people, but once you get past the hype it is an important approach that will be central to efficient organisations. Data management is not one of IT’s shining stars, overlooked and taken for granted unless it goes horribly wrong. Why then is it receiving so much attention? […]

Biometrics: the case for convenience

The use of biometric technology in the financial services sector has generally been promoted from the angle of security, with an emphasis on fingerprints. But the development of mobile applications and a focus on customer convenience could make voice signature another strong contender. A recent study by the Mercator Advisory Group on payment authentication points […]

Navigating the new securities landscape

The capital markets are always dynamic, but these days uncertainty must be near an all-time high. US regulators are busy rehashing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The contents of the European Commission’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive Review consultation paper sparked fierce debate, and it will be months before the proposals […]

Faster, faster … HPC in financial services

High performance computing has been used in finance for years, even when high performance meant a big, complicated Cray supercomputer. Now that high performance is available on standalone workstations or commodity hardware clusters, financial services firms are turning to it for pricing, pre-trade risk analysis, global risk, and regulatory compliance. The most important advance in […]

Keeping the customer profitable

Banks are having to work hard to attract and retain customers and software to facilitate better service, relevant cross selling opportunities and thus enhance profitability is key, especially in the face of new market entrants giving the old ones a good run for their money. Indeed, traditional retail banks are at a key turning-point: coming […]

A new start: WorldPay’s Ron Kalifa

Breaking up is never easy, especially after spending nearly  22 years together. But that’s the challenge facing Ron Kalifa after joining NatWest Markets in 1989 as an assistant to the general manager with responsibility for the planning and control functions, and remaining with the company, even through its subsequent merger with RBS, right up until […]

Systemic risk: the view from IBM

Banking critics may complain that governments have made the danger of the next financial crisis worse by showing they will ultimately bail out banks, and then through fixing problems by mergers which make the surviving institutions even larger. Keith Saxton has a more optimistic view: IBM’s global director for financial markets, he says regulators are […]

SEPA End date: Light at the end of the tunnel?

The SEPA end date refers to the end of legacy payment instruments – for SEPA, it should really be the start date, but there is still some way to go. An unfortunate consequence of discussions about the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation establishing technical requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euros and […]