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We offer banking and financial services organizations the opportunity to remove complexity across a full range of business processes. Customers in this sector already trust us with securities processing, funds administration and investment account administration. In addition, we can also process payroll, learning and development, recruitment, and HR administration as well as providing offshoring services. By unburdening themselves of back office functions like these which support their operation but are peripheral to their vision and mission, we give our customers time and efficiency to focus on what they do best. The result is more flexibility and greater efficiency in the face of formidable challenges.
We offer extensive technology capabilities across a variety of industry sectors. In banking and financial services specifically, our solutions include a platform for processing equity exchanges in India together with a proprietary middleware solution that links legacy systems and the SWIFT gateway for over ninety banks across the sub-continent.
We deliver high-availability transactional processing systems that support trillions of annual global non-ferrous metal trading. Furthermore the partnership has delivered a tenfold increase in electronic trading volumes and enabled the customer to move into new markets.
On the wider stage, our infrastructure team supports customers’ growth with cost-effective, scalable and rapidly-deployed solutions. We also design, build and run the software that supports a range of business processing solutions. We embed our intellectual property (IP) to create a solution faster and more cost-effectively than our customers can themselves. We can also provide customers with Total IT Outsourcing (ITO) solutions – a single point of supply for an end-to-end managed service.
We are experts in supporting procurement professionals with services including sourcing, spend management, procure to pay (P2P), system management and software solutions. In this industry, we already provide sourcing and category management across Europe for a French banking group, a source-to-pay service for a bank in the UK and strategic sourcing for a customer in North America.
In July 2012, Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond resigned a week after his bank had received a record fine for trying to manipulate the LIBOR inter-bank lending rate.
That event provides a useful touchstone for how the challenges facing the banks and financial services providers have developed since Xchanging last reviewed the sector in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Then, the overwhelming consideration was liquidity as the world found itself in the grip of the worst credit crunch for a generation.
Now, a more dominant theme may be a deficit of trust as scandals and continuing negative publicity undermine confidence in the sector.
This may be having a discernible effect on business:
Yet the political fallout from the financial crisis and ensuing scandals has shocked the bank into an apparent retreat. In July Mr. Diamond, the architect of Barclays' investment bank, was forced to resign as chief executive amid revelations that some employees had submitted false estimates of the LIBOR interest rate. His successor hints that the firm will focus more on retail banking. Outsiders are bewildered. "Barclays Capital used to be a genuine world-class competitor," says the boss of a big European rival. "But they seem to have torn up the business model.1"
In this environment, there is also increasing pressure for more stringent regulatory regimes.
In the US, the Dodd-Frank Act of July 2010 represented the most fundamental change to the American financial system since the Great Depression. More recently, regulators have urged the authorities to introduce restrictions on big banks' ability to borrow that would be in excess of those stipulated by the Basel III rules. 2
In the UK, in mid-2011 Chancellor George Osborne announced sweeping changes to the way financial regulation would work in the future plus an independent commission that would look into the breaking up of big banks. This was followed by the Financial Services Bill of January 2012, giving the Chancellor the power to veto decisions made by the Bank of England, abolishing the Financial Services Authority and creating three new regulatory bodies. 3
A changing regulatory regime such as this may well mean that banks must reassess their business strategies just as in the example of Barclays quoted above; especially as such regulation effectively mandates the raising of more and higher quality capital to satisfy investors and reassure the public.