Monday, 15 May 2017

Blockchain is hot, but where’s the beef?

In spite of the hype—news of blockchain developments and its associated Bitcoin currency has become nearly ubiquitous—large-scale enterprises have been slow to adopt the emerging technology that promises to disrupt and improve a wide range of industries from finance & banking, insurance and real estate to cybersecurity and even music.

Companies have played with it; they understand what blockchain does and how it works. Their innovation labs have participated in proof of concepts (POCs) and may belong to one or more industry consortiums created to vet the technology, but they haven’t taken the next step and implemented the technology for any mission critical apps.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Transformation of the Insurance Sector due to the rise of Artificial Intelligence

The need for a business to offer their customers’ personalised, efficient and reliable service has never been greater. Today, society demands instantaneous communication with one another. Technologies such as Apple’s FaceTime, Facebook’s Live Messenger and Microsoft’s Skype allow communication around the world to occur immediately. This ability has meant there has been a proliferation in the amount of data being shared and consequently, it has become expected that businesses provide the same level of communication across devices. Businesses must ensure they connect with customers on a more 1-1 basis and that the customer is at the centre of its business, regardless of time or location.

The need for insurers to focus on customer service is even greater than it is within other industries such as retail, given insurance historically lags behind other industries.

In years gone by Insurers operated in a highly regulated, controlled and predictable environment. They knew that individuals chose their insurer based on their parents previous decisions. Once chosen, individuals would stick to that insurance for years, even for life, accepting new charges and changes in operation as it used to be too difficult and complicated to change insurer, as well as challenging to gather the relevant information on what insurance policy was best for each individual. This is no longer the case.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Banking on loyalty – a bet worth making

Data protection has quickly grown from being a buzz-word to a concern keeping board-level executives up at night.

As demonstrated by recent high profile cyber attacks, the cost of a data breach now comes in all shapes and sizes – from significant financial repercussions to damaged reputation and loss of existing customers. Ensuring this is avoided while improving the customer experience is the real tightrope challenge.

Friday, 21 April 2017

When you have to be right, right now

In-Memory Compute Grids (IMCGs) allow banks to process data faster and more accurately, too. Richard Bennett, Vice President of Regulatory Reporting for EMEA in Wolters Kluwer’s Finance, Risk and Reporting business, examines the latest trends banks need to consider.

You’re limping through the desert, dying of thirst, when you come upon an oasis with what appears to be a bottomless well. You can’t believe your luck. Then you drop the bucket in and discover that the rope tied to it is so knotted and twisted that it stops short of the water line. By the time you straighten it out so that you can take that desperately needed drink, it may be too late.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

India’s take on large scale payments innovation: ‘Leapfrogging’ to lead the pack

A new wave of payments innovation is taking place globally and emerging, high growth markets are the ones to watch. Encouraged by increasing customer demand, favourable regulation and unburdened by legacy infrastructure, countries in high growth markets are beginning to lead the pack when it comes to large scale payments innovation.

A great example of this leapfrogging trend can be found in India. As the country’s leading payments services provider, we are seeing first-hand that India is fast becoming a hub of payments innovation and disruption at scale. India is home to several of the ingredients necessary to encourage new technology to flourish and old systems to make way for new. Key among these ingredients are the increasing customer demand for digital payments, a supportive regulatory environment and a highly skilled tech market.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Preparing data functions for the 2017 stress tests

In November 2016, the Bank of England (BoE) published the results of its 2016 banking stress tests which measured the resilience of UK’s major banks’ balance sheet in adverse scenarios. These incorporated a synchronised UK and global recession with associated shocks to financial market prices, and an independent stress of misconduct costs. The stress tests also represented the BoE’s first annual cyclical scenario (ACS), a new approach to stress testing, which examines the resilience of the system to a more severe stress than in previous years.

In 2017, the BoE is expected to extend stress testing even further by including a biennial exploratory scenario which will test the resilience of banks to risks that may not be directly linked to the financial cycle. At a UK level, the 2017 stress test scenario also includes a severe level of stress, with substantial impact on UK residential and commercial property, UK GDP and unemployment. However, the impact could be even more severe if the economic and political challenges currently facing the EU and Eurozone were to be incorporated, such as high-debt levels, security concerns and Brexit.

Friday, 24 February 2017

NSFR implementation in Hong Kong: practice makes perfect

As banks in Hong Kong gear up for the 2018 implementation of the Basel III net stable funding ratio (NSFR), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has launched another study into its likely impacts that should both reassure the local financial sector and also serve as a reminder of the need for careful preparation, not least on the technology front. Here Amita Cheung, Regulatory Reporting Manager for Wolters Kluwer’s Finance, Risk & Reporting business, examines the challenges ahead.

The HKMA’s quantitative impact study (QIS) on the modified net stable funding ratio (MNSFR) is the third of its kind and part of a broader, multi-year consultation exercise on NSFR’s local implementation. While previous studies targeted so-called ‘category 1’ institutions - generally larger, internationally active banks - that will be subject to the full force of NSFR requirements, this study will gauge the ability of smaller category 2 banks to adhere to MNSFR, essentially a less stringent ‘NSFR light.’