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How to save millions, and your people, with automation

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How to save millions, and your people, with automation

By Simon Richards is the Global Managing Director of Financial Services at tekVizion

When Standard Chartered announced in its end of year results that it will include a $900 million provision for penalties relating to investigations into FX trading issues, trading compliance was once again thrust firmly into the spotlight.

Simon Richards

Simon Richards

In the UK alone, the FCA found that more than 1,000 investment firms were falling short of transaction reporting requirements under MiFID II in 2018; with the true figure being possibly “many thousands more” as regulators become ever more vigilant. The rather uncomfortable truth is that this 1,000+ figure only counted firms that “noticed they were in breach” of the new rules while “many thousands more firms are likely submitting inaccurate reports, but are not catching them and informing the regulator”.

And what happens if the eagle-eyed regulator uncovers a reporting failure? Well, as Goldman Sachs found out earlier this year, it can be very expensive. Fined over £34,000,000 by the FCA, their lack of “accurate and timely reporting” related to some 220 million transactions over a decade.

From electronic chat rooms to email, video calls to phone calls, there is a constant fight by banking regulators around the world to have effective oversight of the communications channels and so clamp down on unscrupulous traders set on cheating the system.

But to be clear, this isn’t just about stopping the tiny minority who are committing fraud, it’s about creating a level playing field where all parties are protected, where trading transparency is paramount, and where a single record of truth is created should there be any confusion or dispute over the intricacies of a trade further down the road.

The challenge of the ‘fickle FICC call’

In the world of fixed income, commodities and currency (FICC) trades, voice trading remains paramount. These highly complex financial instruments are far from straight forward vanilla; they require long and detailed negotiation and definition. In short, they need explaining.

The final contractual element of the financial instrument is clearly important. But so is all the preamble to the trade. Where small print in contracts can be argued over, it is critical that every step of the process that went into creating the trade is known.

MiFID II requires comprehensive and evidence-proof recording and archiving of all communications relating to a trade. In practice this means that every bank must record all calls which will/may result in transactions, notify the customer that the conversation is being recorded, store all these recordings for a minimum of five years, and then finally be able to quickly retrieve upon request from the regulator all communications leading up to a specific transaction or in a given time period.

Put simply, if a trade needs explaining, it needs recording. What’s more – and on this MiFID II is clear – you cannot trade if you cannot record the trade.

Large players in FICC trading have trading volumes in the billions of dollars per year, meaning every minute a system is shutdown translates to substantial losses.

All this means that for FICC traders, their Dealerboard or Turret voice trading systems are mission critical. So, reliability is vital – and being able to rely on your reliability is the key.

How to lose over $9 million in an hour

An ITIC survey found that reliability requirements for the Banking and Finance sector were above the average of other industries, and that 86% of companies in this sector require a minimum of 99.999% (five nines) of uptime from their IT systems.

But here’s the rub: UC systems have a base reliability of no more than 99.5% guaranteed uptime under industry standards. That means at the very highest performance level, an investment firm will lose 29 hours. At an average loss of $9.3 million per hour, that’s a costly $269.7 million thrown away.

Manual testing increases system uptime to 99.8% on average, a 0.3 percent improvement in reliability that cuts downtime to 12 hours. That’s still $111.6 million in losses that could be prevented by keeping voice trading systems up. Plus manual testing adds operational costs to deployments and regular upgrades.

Augment with automation

Augmenting manual testing with automation can increase system reliability up to minimum of 99.99%, which reduces downtime per year to 36 minutes or less. That brings voice system outage losses down to about $5.6 million (and that’s for the year, not the hour!). That’s still a hefty sum, but a mere fraction of what is lost through manual test or no testing.

A more proactive automated program that increases frequency and includes after-hours testing can get that reliability up to the all-important ‘five nines,’ driving annual downtime to just five minutes. That brings the annual downtime loss to $775,000.

An automated solution costs about two percent of the overall UC and voice trading system but represents a 60 to 70 percent annual savings compared to manual testing.

Augmenting and enhancing the testing of these high-leverage systems can dramatically mitigate risk and reduce the cost while increasing the coverage of testing. By integrating test plans into areas such as audio recording compliance, automated and proactive testing every night means that issues are identified before they impact a trader and the bank’s senior management are kept fully informed together with the steps that are being taken to quickly correct the issues.

Weekends don’t have to be testing

But this isn’t just about avoiding lost revenue through downtime, it’s also about operational efficiency – and both the financial and human cost that comes from operational inefficiency. The reality for banks’ Operations teams is that the weekend is the only time when they can get access to the trading floor and carry out the all-important upgrades and testing of these business-critical voice trading systems.

This traditionally manual task quite literally requires them to ‘walk the floor’, testing each and every turret to ensure that essential security patches and feature upgrades have been installed correctly and that the system is working properly ready for the markets to open on Monday morning.

Not only is this a significant labour cost for the business having to pay a premium for weekend hours, it’s also a significant investment of time by the Ops team which means they are having to work anti-social hours at a time when recruitment is already a challenge across the financial services sector.

For an average sized trading floor of about 1,000 turrets, this requirement to physically ‘walk the floor’ and conduct manual testing over a weekend is a significant overhead. It translates into a team of 20-25 people having to come into the office on a Saturday and each spending 4-5 hours simply checking everything is still working.

And this assumes everything is working. If they find something wrong, then the impact on both people’s time and labour costs soon start to snowball.

If the onsite team can’t identify the problem, they have to bring in on-call engineers (so their weekends and family time are also never their own even if things are working). If these engineers can’t explain the reason for a failure and correct it, they have no choice other than to roll-back the software and schedule a repeat of walk the floor on Sunday with the previously working version.

Banks of course try to keep to their own Ops teams as small as possible and augment them with specialist on-call engineering support from their vendors and SIs. However, with security patches going live every month, break/fix patches quarterly and feature releases twice a year, maintaining the voice trading system is a costly business. If issues are found and roll-backs are required and the update rescheduled, these costs are quadrupled with the bank is left with no alternative but to pay for this engineering resource at premium weekend rates.

Test don’t trust

Banks aren’t conducting this testing for fun, it’s not a nice to have. Their trading systems are business-critical; and getting it wrong exposes them to the potential wrath of the regulator. MiFID II mandates effective call recording, making effective testing processes even more important and onerous. Just because the proverbial ‘red light’ is flashing on the call recording system, it does not automatically follow that the system itself is recording properly. You can’t record silence when the trading floor is closed over the weekend; you need to record live traffic.

To ensure compliance, testing must be done daily and cover every Turret on the trading floor. Periodic sampling can no longer be seen as a ‘every reasonable effort’ by the regulator, and leaves the bank exposed to significant compliance risk.

And this daily testing of live systems would be a time-consuming and costly operation – were it not for automation.

By augmenting manual testing with proactive automated testing, banks can reduce downtime, free up Ops time for innovation and value creation, and provide real peace of mind that if/when the regulator comes knocking they’ll have the all-important recordings available.

How To

How You Can Make Money From Home

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How You Can Make Money From Home 1

There is no secret to making money online, the only secret is your persistence. Hidden away between the tips on starting a wine club, taking up a photography club or joining the wine revolution, there are smart tips that anyone could use to earn money online without having to quit their day job. We have written lots about the many ways people abroad to help finance their lives.

A good place to start with online jobs is with paid surveys. Surveys pay for your time and allow you to earn a bit of extra cash. The reason you will be able to earn more than what you are actually worth is that a survey company will pay to send you their questionnaire so that you can answer it. The more accurate and detailed your answers the more likely you are to get paid.

There are many survey companies available, you need to choose wisely and carefully as some surveys are paid better than others. For example, you may get paid well if you give an opinion on the health of wine or food. You may get paid just as well if you offer an opinion on which type of music you like.

Another great way to make money online is to write articles. You could write an article and then sell it to an affiliate. If someone likes what they read you will get a commission.

If you are unable to write or if you do not have the time, you could hire someone to write for you. This could be someone who has experience in web content writing or a freelance writer. You could also sell your own articles on an affiliate website such as Clickbank or Commission Junction.

It is easy to make money, it can take some time but it is definitely possible. All you need is determination and discipline to keep at it.

Many people overseas have chosen to live off the grid lifestyle. There are many benefits to living this way and one of them is being able to make money from home.

There are also a lot of opportunities to make money doing research online, there is a constant increase in the amount of knowledge that is available to the public. It is much easier to research and discover new ways of earning money. and you can get started in a short space of time. So, I encourage you to give it a go.

One of the easiest ways to make money online is by becoming a blogger. It really is very easy to become a blogger. Just type ‘blogging’ into Google and then fill in all the details. It is easy and it can even start to look lucrative.

Blogging is a good way to earn money if you have an understanding of the basics. You need to write about something that interests you. This could be about your family life, your interests or even a hobby that you like.

Once you have set up a good website for your blog, the next step is to get visitors to it. One way of doing this is by putting up advertisements. This is just the same as writing articles for other websites.

Some people choose to make money by selling products. You can do this in two ways, through a site such as eBay or through affiliate marketing. You could sell e-books or products related to the niche you are blogging about. The great thing about eBay is that there is always a steady flow of visitors.

These two ways are only two of the many ways to make money online. I recommend you look at all the options and find the ones that work best for you. Once you have found them, you will never stop learning about ways to make money online.

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How To Avoid the Risks of Poor Credit

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How To Avoid the Risks of Poor Credit 2

Security Finance is an unsecured debt collecting agency that, via a network of affiliated companies, provides “secure” personal loans to consumers who may otherwise struggle to meet their existing debts. Their loans are generally short-term, and their conditions often vary dramatically from those of traditional short term personal loans. The services they provide can be invaluable to both the consumer and the lender.

Security finance offers a wide variety of loans. These include: home equity loans, revolving credit lines, commercial and business loans, car and motorcycle loans, and other types of unsecured loans. These loans can be used for almost any purpose, and they will be more beneficial to the consumer than those offered by banks and other unsecured lenders.

Secured personal loans offer an excellent alternative to the high rate of interest paid by unsecured loans. The interest rates are often less, the terms are easier to meet, and they are often better suited to meeting a consumer’s unique financial situation. The collateral provided with the loan usually allows security that the loan will be repaid in a reasonable amount of time, with little or no difficulty.

Secured loans require the debtor to place collateral, such as his or her car, home, or other valuable asset, in order to receive the money they have been borrowing, and are therefore considered by the debt collector as an attempt to recover something that has been taken. Debt collectors will not hesitate to call a borrower who does not follow the terms of his or her loan agreement and in some cases will go as far as harassing them, calling and/or sending letters in an attempt to collect on a debt.

When applying for a secured personal loan, many borrowers are worried that the debt will affect their credit score. The fact is that there is virtually no correlation between the amount of credit available and the credit score. However, secured loans will typically have a much lower credit score than unsecured loans. This is because the borrower is putting his or her assets in a bank account where they are likely to be liquidated for payment.

It is important to remember that the loan does not negatively affect the credit history. The only time it can result in damage to a credit report is if it is reported incorrectly. If a borrower were to try to pay off a loan on a credit card that was reported as being “lost”, he or she would then be making the error a second time.

Security finance offers consumers an exceptional opportunity for personal development through the use of online applications, and the ability to make several payments on the same day to avoid late fees and penalties. This service also makes it easy to avoid late fees when paying loans off at the end of the month.

The ability to apply for secured loans online provides a tremendous opportunity for the consumer to improve his or her credit score. Security loans can provide a large number of benefits to people who are in financial difficulty, including: low cost, low rate loans, low credit, and the flexibility of being able to make multiple payments.

If you are considering applying for a secured loan but have never applied online, you should take advantage of the opportunity to make several purchases in a short period of time, rather than waiting until the last minute to apply for an unsecured loan. By using the secured finance website, you can save yourself the time and stress associated with filling out an application and can ensure that your credit report shows your financial progress accurately.

Once you have applied for a secured loan, you should also make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your loan, including any interest rate that may apply to the loan. Be sure that you understand the term of the loan in full and fully. Do not hesitate to ask any questions that may arise. You should always contact the company directly when you feel that you are not fully clear on a matter regarding a loan.

Secured finance loans are a great way to increase your credit score while avoiding the hassle and expense of filling out and paying off an application by mail. Because the borrower is making a direct deposit of money into an account, the credit report that shows up on credit reports is often inaccurate.

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How To Find Free Rates On Money Exchange

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How To Find Free Rates On Money Exchange 3

Money is a common item that can be bought, traded, exchanged or sold. This usually includes the value of the currency as well as gold and silver. Money is commonly accepted as payment of certain obligations, including taxes, and payment of certain goods and services in a specific country or socioeconomic context.

There are three money systems in the world. The first is the use of coins or other units of currency, which are available in fixed denominations. The second is barter. It involves exchanging items of utility with other items of utility. In the third system, known as fiat money, there is no central authority that decides what the money supply is, and the monetary base is determined by political will.

The most common monetary system is the gold standard, which was used as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. In this system, coins were designed to be redeemable for gold bars. Gold, however, had a relatively high price at the time, and most individuals had no access to it. Barter is much more popular today, and most people live their lives in barter, trading items with one another.

In some nations, the second money system is called paper money. Most countries have national currencies, and each government issues money in the name of their country. This type of money is not backed by anything of physical value. It is not held by the government or bank. It is simply made from paper. Since most countries use this kind of money, it is known as the official “money” of the country.

Electronic cash was introduced in 1970. This system is very similar to barter. Instead of bartering for items, electronic money is created electronically. It is created electronically to represent actual objects that can be used as payment, and then is transferred to the buyer. The process is very similar to barter, except that there are no actual goods to be bartered for. It is considered a virtual currency.

There are many different types of money, and each one has its own characteristics. Money in the U.S. has a backing and is created by the federal reserve. Money in England is backed by the pound sterling, while the European Central Bank in Germany uses the euro. has a currency known as the Deutschmark.

Each form of money has its own advantages and disadvantages. People who use different forms of money have their own reasons for doing so. Many people choose to exchange one form of money for the other, to get the best rate on an item they need or want. Some choose the same form of money for more than one transaction.

Money exchange services offer different services to help people get the best rates on money exchange. They include a variety of methods that can help someone get a better rate. Rates vary depending on the length of time you wish to get money, the size of your order, and the current value of the item you are exchanging. Some of these services can also provide you with a credit card or other form of online payment to transfer your money through.

These services are available almost everywhere. You may call around to various companies for rates, or you can check out the Internet. There are several places on the Web that will give you free quotes, and compare rates among companies. It is important that you understand the rules and regulations that govern the rates you receive from these companies before you agree to any deal.

There are several different online providers. You will often find them listed under the names of a variety of different names, such as Money Exchange, Moneygram and eCash. If you are interested in getting quotes from multiple companies, make sure to ask around for quotes from at least three. so that you have a clear picture of how much the rates will vary and from which company to go with.

Many places will offer you a variety of free quotes if you fill out a form. Others will charge a fee for this service. To get an estimate, you should send out several free quotes. and then make sure to follow up with the companies.

To be able to get the best rates, it is very important that you get as many quotes as possible from different companies on the Internet. There are many sites that you can go to. Some will charge a fee to get these quotes.

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