Financial Services Tech Forum

Archives for July 2014 « Recent Articles

Photo of Michael VersaceOffline

The Chief Data Office (CDO) the newest and most significant up-and-coming business line function forming across vertical markets, particularly in tech and data thirsty sectors like ours. To take a mid-year pulse on how the CDO role is being shaped and defined by the end-users, IT buyers and practitioners, I sat in on the annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality (MIT CDOIQ) Symposium in Cambridge last week. #MITIQ, in its 11th year,is designed as an open-dialogue forum for information-centric industries and organizations. The Forum this year recognized the emerging criticality of the CDO's role in business and offered an event for industries and academia to collaborate and "accelerate the identification and establishment of best practices in data management."

Photo of Marc DeCastroOffline

Are Big Banks Being Treated Fairly?

By Marc DeCastro

Recently, Consumer Reports Facebook page shared a link from an article published by Mother Jones magazine. The title of the article was "America's 10 Most Hated Banks" and the byline was "the consumer complaint box for financial institutions is overflowing with outrage". Upon further review, this of course is not a big surprise - they highlight that the four largest banks have received the most amount of complaints on the Consumer Finance Protection Board's website.

Photo of Li-May ChewOffline

This post follows my earlier blog on how mounting economic, financial and competitive pressures across the globe are driving insurers to seek greater collaboration between their risk and finance offices (See: posting on 8th July on

In a global IDC Financial Insights study commissioned by SAP to better understand these trends, we found that the most convincing reason for collaboration is to enhance financial forecasting. Indeed, two heads are better than one, with the support of flexible business analytics and valuation engines to manage a range of risk and finance requirements, including reporting, planning, and capital management. For instance, an insurer with greater awareness of its exposure to natural disaster risks within a geographic region and how it would impact capital will be able to make quicker, more informed decisions. Another critical driver is to enhance the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of information, and thus obtain a 360-view for effective decision making. The advantages of being able to respond more swiftly to regulatory requirements and to achieve cost savings from operating off common data sets are also spurring integrational activities.

Photo of James WesterOffline

Transaction data has long been used for risk and fraud mitigation, and now merchants are looking to use it for messaging and marketing. But all that data can be harnessed for a host of reasons, including creating brand new products to help both merchants and consumers.

Photo of Karen MasseyOffline

We at IDC Financial Insights are excited to launch the 2014 FinTech Rankings!
This post provides additional information on this most established and prominent ranking of global technology providers to the financial services industry, and how to nominate your fintech company.

Nominate your company using this link to complete the online entry form. A pdf of the form is available here as an attachment to assist in gathering information. However, all applications must be completed ONLINE by August 15, 2014.

Photo of Michael AranetaOffline

The Malaysian banking regulator last week gave the go-ahead for CIMB Bank to start talks for a potential merger between CIMB Bank, RHB Capital and Malaysia Building Society (MBSB) to form one the largest banks in the Southeast Asian region. If the merger pushes through, Maybank will be dislodged from the top spot as Malaysia’s largest bank, and the fourth largest in ASEAN.

The merger may portend a race for size for banks not only within Malaysia (we do not expect Maybank to sit idle), but also within the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), and especially in the context of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which begins in earnest 2015. The deal will also bring up very interesting IT spending implications.

Photo of Li-May ChewOffline

A perfect storm is brewing across the global insurance industry. Unless you have been hiding under a rock these past years, you would know how the volatile markets and intensifying profitability pressures from mounting consumer expectations and regulatory requirements are driving the entire financial services industry to revisit their value propositions and seek new, sustainable avenues for grow. In fact, there is a huge rally call for financial institutions - and insurers included - to realign strategies in response to these changing industry dynamics. And one such avenue that is beginning to catch attention is to explore the possibility that enhancing interdepartmental coordination between risk and finance could raise return on investments.

To better understand how this partnership between risk management and finance functions is evolving and if there are any key differences across various regions, SAP commissioned IDC Financial Insights to undertake a global study across 10 countries. Over the last three months, we interviewed 75 leading insurers across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the North Americas (NA), Asia/Pacific (APAC) and Latin America (LATAM). Respondents were decision makers from the risk management and financial disciplines and include chief risk officers (CROs), chief finance officers (CFOs) and their deputies, with more than half of our respondents representing mid-size to large insurers with annual gross written premiums in excess of US$500 million. These aggregated survey results, our analysis of the global and regional trends, and essential guidance for insurers will be published in an upcoming IDC Financial Insights White Paper to be released by month’s end. By sharing the results and lessons learnt, we hope to have our readers incorporate these best practices when they themselves begin their own journey towards better interdivisional collaboration.

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