Features


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.

State banking: reforming the UK infrastructure

At the beginning of March, George Osborne travelled to the English seaside town of Bournemouth to make a speech at the JP Morgan operations centre there. It wasn’t Henry V’s St Crispin’s Day speech, but it may well go down as a watershed moment in the history of the UK financial services sector. Osborne is […]

Same day, same settlement?

The Payment Services Directive in Europe mandated next-business-day settlement – D+1 – for payment transactions between EC states from Jan 2012. But with some European countries already using faster operating standards, Neil Burton and Gareth Lodge ask: is D+1 good enough?

Mirror, mirror: how does your risk data look?

Following the release of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s Principles for Effective Risk Data Aggregation, middle and back office professionals in major financial centres now find themselves with a number of difficult questions, that senior management must be able to answer and evidence.

Grand designs

Arun Jain, chairman and chief executive of Polaris Financial Technology, is a great believer in the power of design to transcend ordinary development work and deliver superior results – results that pay. Banking Technology caught up with him at the opening of the firm’s new design centre in Chennai.

AMLD IV: Prove you’re doing it right

Anti-Money Laundering systems and controls continue to make news in the wake of the high profile failures of 2012. On 5 February, the proposal for the updated EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive was finally released. The proposal imposes a number of new requirements significantly increasing the scope and volume of firms’ KYC processes likely to be required by 2014.

Riding the OTC rollercoaster

As new rules for OTC derivatives take hold in Europe and in the US, banks and asset managers face a complex cocktail of mandatory clearing, reporting and increased collateral requirements.

Social media: handle with care

Social media can add value for banks, but they need to be careful that the risk of damaging their brand does not outweigh the potential benefits, according to Jaroslaw Knapik, senior analyst, financial services technology at Ovum.

Regulating the -IBORs: a global view of benchmarks?

Benchmark manipulation and fallout from it is not new news, but the global drive to regulate benchmarks is. Europe has made the first move to controlling benchmark manipulation but global co-ordination is needed to create an approach that works for everyone.

PFM: looking after the pennies

Personal financial management tools have spluttered in and out of fashion, but a combination of mobile, tablet and internet banking uptake may mean their time has come, Recent years have seen the emergence of a plethora of PFM tools, each of which purports to be the best way to keep track of your finances.

Avoiding spreadsheet Hell

The JP Morgan Task Force Report into its Chief Investment Office’s $6 billion-plus loss found the bank’s Value at Risk was being calculated with an Excel spreadsheet that “required time-consuming manual inputs to entries and formulas, which increased the potential for errors”.

Cease & Desist: Ill. Gets Tough with Square and ‘Unlicensed Money Transmitters’ (March 2013)

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation recently released five cease and desist orders from January 2013 against six entities for unlicensed activities under the state’s Transmitters of Money Act. These six entities offer a variety of services in Illinois, including domestic and international money transfer, bill payment services and prepaid cards.  One of […]

Fed’s Interchange and Routing FAQs Throw Prepaid in a Tizzy (March 2013)

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) quietly released changes to its FAQs on Reg. II’s restrictions on debit card interchange fees and routing. Five new FAQs were added and one existing FAQ was revised. Changes in two areas directly affect prepaid cards: the exemption for “general use prepaid cards” and the requirement for adding a second […]

The rush to Russia

Structural reforms and overhauls of financial infrastructures are intended to turn Moscow into an international financial centre, but there is still a long way to go.