Our Articles

Banks struggle to break up the value chain

Banks are under pressure from all sides. From regulators to shareholders. Margin are down and costs are up. The banks need to do something, but what? This week, a few thoughts on where improvement might be possible. Industrialisation! This was the rallying cry at the largest Swiss bank, UBS, several years ago. In an attempt […]

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How to explain the importance of delivering on time?

Change in the banking business is a tricky art; finding a viable slot for your project on the schedule is seldom an easy task. This week I am hoping some readers will share some views on a challenge. Please read on and reply. There are a lot of fixed dates on the banking calendar: SWIFT […]

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The Power of Chocolate

A sweet topic to start 2015. This post might be titled: “How to win friends and influence people”. It does not matter which industry you are in and how you work, you will always be working with others. This week’s post is about how you nurture those relationships and inspired by recent evidence of how […]

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Account ownership. A hiding place for unexploded bombs

This week’s post is inspired by a comment on inter-company trades; last week’s topics. Inside banks, in all the automated processing, it is the humble “account” that owns the transactions that are booked. The history of banks is filled with sudden discoveries of accounts that were not reconciled and had loss making positions or were […]

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3 Cardinal Sins in Processing Inter-Company Trades

There are three great career wreckers in the Financial Services industry: interest claims, inter-company trades and FX hedging. Inter-company trades, trades between two different legal entities within a group, are the topic for this week’s thoughts. I picked the term “career wreckers” with good reason. There are no happy endings in inter-company trade stories. Well […]

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Uber versus Financial Services. New economy vs. old

What the banks need to learn from Uber. Irony, frustration and a suggestion are the ingredients for this week’s post. Uber, the upstart disrupter of taxi and limousine services, is the inspiration. Irony, because I recently read how a Goldman Sachs executive had moved over to Uber and worked out a whole new way to […]

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Liquidity costs come home to roost. Near 100% increases in transaction costs

Banks do not always get it right, in fact “hardly ever” may seem more apt. This week’s post tells the story of how the cost of liquidity when properly allocated and charged can dwarf the existing ticket charges we are all familiar with in transaction banking. Banks have to keep liquidity buffers. They are always […]

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Infrastructure: a $100B plus per year expense

Inspiration for this week’s post comes from a couple of articles in the press this week. One highlights just how expensive it is to organise what happens after one person says buy and the other says sell. The other highlights a great initiative to encourage the use of standards. The TabbFORUM published a very thought […]

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How competing banks need to cooperate properly

How to behave in the club? Last week’s post was about the unique requirement that the banks have to cooperate in order to effectively settle transactions. A Catch-22, because they need to cooperate and ideally not to have a “Heinz 57 varieties” situation with multiple solutions for the same problem, but as the regulators expect […]

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