Options by the billions

The US, which is the largest options market in the world, saw double-digit percentage growth in exchange-traded options volumes every year from 2002 to 2008. Although volumes moderated in 2009, the trend remains upward. According to the Options Industry Council, as of August 2010 year-to-date trading volume stood at 2.56 billion contracts, an increase of […]

Feature: Facing the customer

Banks and their customers have never really seen eye-to-eye, but the financial crisis and subsequent economic slump have increased customer antipathy towards banks to unprecedented levels. So much so, in fact, that researchers studying the sector found that there was no longer a correlation between service levels and customer satisfaction – the customers are just […]

Security: Battling the bots

The use of hijacked PCs by criminals to create "botnets" that can harvest online credential has been known for some time, but the scale of these operations was revealed recently – along with the fact that the UK is the main source of infection. During the summer, a very sobering announcement was made by internet […]

Slamming the brakes on ETFs

Exchange traded funds were caught in a perfect storm of volatility on May 6 when stock prices plunged almost 1,000 points in minutes. The slide served as a catalyst for trading venues, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Finra to push for new circuit breakers to prevent another Flash Crash. Exchanges promptly began pilot projects […]

Jumping ahead: core systems in retail banking

For a number of years, the debate around core banking systems centred on the complexity of replacement. At the top of the scale the very large banks still face this issue, but below that the picture is different: around the world many smaller banks have gone through the replacement cycle and are now reaping the […]

Op, op and away – operational risk post-crisis

It may seem distasteful to talk about who enjoyed a ‘good’ financial crisis, given that so many did not. It certainly seemed in poor taste when certain BBC Iraq war reporters were said to have a had a ‘good’ war, or when NATO spokesman Jamie Shea was said to have a ‘good’ war when he […]

Corridors of power

Jan Verplancke1crop2

Standard Chartered has grown and changed dramatically over the past few years. Jan Verplancke, chief information officer and group head of technology and operations, tells David Bannister about the role of the technology underlying these changes.

Command & control: Ken Harvey, HSBC’s CIO


Outside HSBC, there are very few people that Ken Harvey, the bank’s chief technology and services officer, feels can help him with his job. “Most consulting firms think they can help us with what we do,” he says. “There are probably only three organisations in the world that look like us, so unless you came from one of those, I have to ask – what are you going to teach me?”