May 16
Sibos Update

Sibos Issues: Geneva agenda reflects changing landscape

Sibos 2016 to highlight forces of change for finance sector and its clients

What are the forces transforming the finance sector? And how are strategies, operations and products evolving in response? These are the central themes of the first 2016 edition of Sibos Issues and, of course, of Sibos 2016 in Geneva.

The structure and content of this year’s Sibos is being reshaped to focus on four key areas – banking, compliance, culture and securities. The aim is to provide delegates with a deep and clear understanding of far-reaching competitive, technological, cultural, and consumer-based shifts and as such Sibos 2016 will include a more prominent educational aspect than previously. Our lead story – ‘Change: the only constant’ – gives more details on our plans for Geneva, but do also monitor www.sibos.com for further news.

The role of technology in the services banks deliver – and how they deliver them – is widely covered in this edition of Sibos Issues. In ‘A world of opportunity for blockchain?’, for example, we take a look at the scope for distributed ledger technology to reduce the costs and enhance transparency and process efficiency in the correspondent banking sector. Experts agree that blockchain-based innovation can help correspondent banks handle the challenges posed by the weight of KYC/AML regulation, but many decisions and investments must be made before its potential is realised.

Technology-based responses to challenges posed by regulatory reforms are also highlighted in this edition’s articles on financial crime compliance. In ‘Reinforcing the chain’, we consider the data quality issues raised by FATF Recommendation 16 on wire transfers for banks along the payment chain from originator to beneficiary. Industry-wide initiatives are helping banks to improve data quality but, as Laurent Lafeuillade, deputy head of interbank relationships at Societe Generale, observes: “Financial institutions need to upgrade their systems to process debtor and creditor information accurately.” Elsewhere, ‘Searching for the Synthesisers’ explores the role of ‘RegTech’ innovators and industry utilities in helping banks tackle regulatory compliance and reporting obligations, while ‘Countdown to compliance’ looks at the tools and tactics that may be deployed by firms in the securities sector as they revisit counterparty relationships in  light of the International Securities Services Association’s Financial Crime Compliance Principles.

In a number of other articles, Sibos Issues explores how technology is supporting product innovation across the finance sector. In ‘Open questions’, experts outline the contribution of open APIs to the development of new payment services in Europe, also pointing out some of the standards governance implications and the outstanding regulatory issues. Open APIs are also cited as one of the building blocks of evolving operating architectures that could help banks deliver a more personalised customer experience. Drawing examples from the retail and wealth management sectors, ‘This time it’s personal’ looks at the challenges of delivering tailored services consistently across channels – from the traditional to the digital – including the potential benefits of artificial intelligence. Back in the corporate sphere, ‘Delivering the digital dividend’ highlights initiatives to close the gap between digital services available to consumers in sophisticated national markets and those available to treasurers of international corporates, while standard-based efforts to build next-generation domestic and cross-border payments services are examined in ‘Standards shift as real-time payments aim for added value’.

As is amply demonstrated in ‘European securities – a market transformed’, much has changed in the six years following Sibos’ last visit to continental Europe. Since Amsterdam 2010, not only the securities markets, but the whole finance sector has been undergoing transformation. As that process unfolds, Sibos will also continue to change in step with delegates’ needs. Watch this space and start planning your Sibos week!