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Global Banking & Finance Review is a leading Online and Print Magazine, which has evolved from the growing need to have a more balanced view, for informative and independent news within the financial community. Our experienced contributors provide this quality and in-depth insight in a clear and concise way, providing leading players and key figures with up to date information within the finance sector.Experienced industry Journalists providing up to minute coverage on Banking, Foreign Exchange, Brokerage, Funds, Islamic Finance, Wealth Management, Corporate Governance, Project Finance, Merger and Acquisitions, Tax and Accounting, Inward Investment, CSR Activities; all under one Global Umbrella.

Issue 6

Celebrating 96 Years

of Strong Partnerships

Mr. Ricardo R. Chua, President and CEO,

China Banking Corporation

Health Insurance in

Saudi Arabia

Mr. Tal Hisham Nazer, CEO, Bupa Arabia

Banking in The Gambia

UK £50.00

USA $62.00

EUR €55.5

CAN $82.00

AED 227.50

Mr. Bolaji Ayodele CEO and Managing

Director, Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Ltd

Americas | Middle East | Asia | Africa | Europe

Innovation is a Must.

What about you?

Best Banking




Best Investment

& Securities


Provider - 2015

Best Investment &

Securities Outsourcing Provider

Diversity. Change. Speed. Regulations.

That’s the market.

Customization. Evolution. Real Time. Solutions.

That’s Inversis.

It’s time to meet us. Visit

Brokerage –Clearing & Setllement- Custody

Open architecture. Equities. Fix Income. Funds, ETF’s

Real time technology. Mobility solutions

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Wanda Rich




I am pleased to present to you Issue 6 of

Global Banking & Finance Review. For

those of you that are reading us for the

first time, welcome.

In this edition we are pleased to present the 2016 Global Banking & Finance Review

Award Winners. You will also find engaging interviews with leaders from the financial

community and insightful commentary from industry experts.

Featured on the front cover is Mr. Ricardo R. Chua, President and CEO of China

Banking Corporation. Founded in 1920 by entrepreneurs, China Banking Corporation

is celebrating 96 years of strong partnerships. We spoke with Mr. Ricardo R. Chua

about the current business and banking environment in the Philippines.

For over 5 years, we have enjoyed bringing the latest activity from within the global

financial community to our online and now offline readership. We strive to capture

the breaking news about the world’s economy, financial events, and banking game

changers from prominent leaders in the industry and public viewpoints with an

intention to serve a holistic outlook. We have gone that extra mile to ensure we give

you the best from the world of finance.

Send us your thoughts on how we can continue to improve and what you’d like to see

in the future.

Happy reading!

Stay caught up on the latest news and trends taking place. Read us online at


Issue 6 | 3




Global Business

with Business

Bank Group

Three Things Banks Can Learn

from Pokemon Go



Digital Banking in Chile



Engagement in

Retail Banking





New Decision Management

Technologies Help Mid-Tier and

Smaller Banks Overcome Big

Data Challenges

Ashoke Dutt, CEO , Semantify

FRTB – Why Banks Must Act Now

Christopher Burke, CEO, Brickendon







How can CFOs stop the exodus of

young talent?

Thack Brown, Global Head of Line of

Business Finance at SAP

How to ‘keep calm and carry on’

during an M&A

Nick Pointon, Head of M&A at SQS

How to keep pace with the

changing global manufacturing


Stuart Hall, Sales Director for Epicor

Software, UK and Ireland

The Subscription Economy – a new way

to travel

Dr Steve Cassidy, Managing Director,

Viaqqio, part of ESP Group






Risk-based approach to KYC

Neil Jeans, Head of Policy & Regulation –

Thomson Reuters Org ID

Microfinance Movement: Time for a


Steve Polsky, Founder and CEO, Juvo

Lessons from retail marketing for the

financial services industry

Customer data attitudes and

postures: Breaking down siloes for a

better view

Chiara Pensato, Director - EMEA, Alteryx Inc.

Innovation is opening the door to a

real future of financial inclusion

Marija Zivanovic-Smith, Vice President of

Corporate Marketing, Communications and

Public Affairs, NCR Corporation

4 | Issue 6


36 Health Insurance in Saudi Arabia


Understanding the

next generation of

software robotics


Leasing in Mexico





Sydney Stock Exchange wins Most

Innovative Exchange

Sydney Stock Exchange Mr. George Wang,

Deputy Chairman and Non-Executive

Director, Sydney Stock Exchange CEO, Mr.

Tony Sacre and APX Settlement CEO Mr.

David Lawrence


Will 2017 be the year of data


Dan Sommer, Senior Director, Qlik

Seven logical steps to secure

today’s Industrial Control Systems

Sameer Dixit, Senior Director Security

Consulting, Spirent Communications






Five factors behind digital

transformation success

Roberto Mircoli, Senior Director Enterprise

Marketing – EMEA, Dell EMC

The Power of Graph

Wobi Plugs Into The Power Of Graph For

Insurance Price Comparison

Emil Eifrem, CEO, Neo Technology

Denial. Resistance. Adaptation

The Three Phases of SSH Key


Matthew McKenna, Chief Strategy Officer,

SSH Communications Security

What’s Next for Blockchain:

Disruptive Technology and New


Penny Sanders, Head of Financial Services

Regulation, Gowling WLG




Understanding the value of cyber


Darren Anstee, Chief Security Technologist

at Arbor Networks

Cyber Insurance: Protecting the

Financial Industry

Dan Trueman, Unit Head of Cyber with

Novae at Lloyd’s

Issue 6 | 5








Ricardo R. Chua, President and CEO, China Banking


(Founded in 1920 by entrepreneurs, China Banking

Corporation is celebrating 96 years of strong

partnerships. Global Banking & Finance Review

spoke with Ricardo R. Chua, President and CEO

of China Banking Corporation about the key to

successful corporate governance, the current

business and banking environment in the Philippines

and China Bank’s future strategy.


Mr. Bolaji Ayodele CEO and Managing Director,

Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Ltd

( Mr. Bolaji Ayodele CEO and Managing Director of

Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Ltd spoke with Global

Banking & Finance Review about the banking industry

in The Gambia and the role of Guaranty Trust Bank

(G) Ltd.)





Mr. Vladimir Eftimoski, CEO of Stopanska banka

a.d. Bitola

Global Banking & Finance Review spoke with Mr.

Vladimir Eftimoski, CEO of Stopanska banka a.d.

Bitola to find out the current banking trends in


Eduardo Pinto, COO of Banco Económico

(Eduardo Pinto, COO of Banco Económico has

been working in financial services for 23 years. He

joined Banco Económico three years ago as COO,

to lead its digital transformation. )

6 | Issue 6

98 Redefining

the ease

of banking








Issue 6 | 7


8 Issue 6


Will 2017 be

the year of data literacy?

Over the past twelve months we’ve seen an

explosion of data, an increase in processing it

and a move towards information activism. This

means the number of employees actively able

to work with – and master – the huge amounts

of information available, such as data scientists,

application developers, and business analysts,

have become a valuable entity.

Unfortunately, however, there still aren’t enough

people with the expertise to handle the everincreasing,

vast levels of data and computing.

You would assume, with all the information

currently being produced and held by businesses,

that 2017 would see us in a new digital era of

facts. But, without the right number of specialists

to consume and analyse it, there’s a gap in

resources. Data is, unfortunately, growing faster

than our ability to make use of it.

For many business leaders then, this means a

reliance on gut instinct to make even the most

important decisions. Unable to hone in on the

most important insights, they’re presented

with multiple – and sometimes conflicting –

data points, so the most important ones seem


The situation needs to change. Yes, that will

mean upskilling more data scientists in 2017,

but there will be a greater focus on empowering

more people more broadly. That will go beyond

information activists and towards providing more

people with the tools and training to increase data

literacy. Just as reading and writing skills needed

to move beyond scholars 100 years ago, data

literacy will become one of the most important

business skills for any member of staff.

So, what will change to see culture-wide data

literacy become a reality? Here are my predictions:

1. Combinations of data – Big data will

become less about size and more about

combinations. With more fragmentation of

data and most of it created externally in the

cloud, there will be a cost impact to hoarding

data without a clear purpose. That means we’ll

move towards a model where businesses have

to quickly combine their big data with small

data so they can gain insights and context

to get value from it as quickly as possible.

Combining data will also shine a light on

false information more easily, improving data

accuracy as well as understanding.

Issue 6 | 9


2. Hybrid thinking – In 2017, hybrid cloud and multi-platform will

emerge as the primary model for data analytics. Because of

where data is generated, ease of getting started, and its ability

to scale, we’re now seeing an accelerated move to cloud. But

one cloud is not enough, because the data and workloads won’t

be in one platform. In addition, data gravity also means that on

premise has long staying power. Hybrid and multi-environment

will emerge as the dominant model, meaning workloads and

publishing will happen across cloud and on-premise.

3. Self-service for all – Freemium is the new normal, so 2017

will be the year users have easier access to their analytics.

More and more data visualization tools are available at low

cost, or even for free, so some form of analytics will become

accessible across the workforce. With more people beginning

their analytics journey, data literacy rates will naturally increase

— more people will know what they’re looking at and what it

means for their organisation. That means information activism

will rise too.

4. Scale-up – Much a result of its own success, user-driven data

discovery from two years ago has become today’s enterprisewide

BI. In 2017, this will evolve to replace archaic reportingfirst

platforms. As modern BI becomes the new reference

architecture, it will open more self-service data analysis to

more people. It also puts different requirements on the back

end for scale, performance, governance, and security.

5. Advancing analytics – In 2017, the focus will shift from

“advanced analytics” to “advancing analytics.” Advanced

analytics is critical, but the creation of the models, as well as

the governance and curation of them, is dependent on highlyskilled

experts. However, many more should be able to benefit

from those models once they are created, meaning that they

can be brought into self-service tools. In addition, analytics

can be advanced by increased intelligence being embedded

into software, removing complexity and chaperoning insights.

But the analytical journey shouldn’t be a black box or too

prescriptive. There is a lot of hype around “artificial intelligence,”

10 | Issue 6


but it will often serve best as an augmentation rather than

replacement of human analysis because it’s equally important

to keep asking the right questions as it is to provide the


6. Visualization as a concept will move from analysis-only to the

whole information supply chain – Visualization will become a

strong component in unified hubs that take a visual approach

to information asset management, as well as visual self-service

data preparation, underpinning the actual visual analysis.

Furthermore, progress will be made in having visualization as

a means to communicate our findings. The net effect of this

is increased numbers of users doing more in the data supply


7. Focus will shift to custom analytic apps and analytics in the

app – Everyone won’t — and cannot be —both a producer and a

consumer of apps. But they should be able to explore their own

data. Data literacy will therefore benefit from analytics meeting

people where they are, with applications developed to support

them in their own context and situation, as well as the analytics

tools we use when setting out to do some data analysis. As

such, open, extensible tools that can be easily customised and

contextualised by application and web developers will make

further headway.

These trends lay the foundation for increased levels of not just

information activism, but also data literacy. After all, new platforms

and technologies that can catch “the other half” (i.e., less skilled

information workers and operational workers on the go) will help

usher us into an era where the right data becomes connected with

people and their ideas — that’s going to close the chasm between

the levels of data we have available and our ability to garner insights

from it. Which, let’s face it, is what we need to put us on the path

toward a more enlightened, information-driven, and fact-based era.

Dan Sommer

Senior Director


Issue 6 | 11


How can CFOs Stop

The Exodus of Young Talent?

Many of the CFOs I meet are worried and

disheartened about the exodus of young

millennials from the profession – and

for good reason. These talented young

professionals have both the skills and

the desire to spearhead finance’s

needed evolution from

looking at yesterday

to planning for


This outflow of talent is a lose/lose

situation. Those leaving lose the opportunity

to advance in a profession that holds great

promise, and corporations lose both the

talent and the costly investment they have

made in hiring them.

It’s nothing new for early-career finance

talent to abandon the profession. I speak

from personal experience. My career began

with 18 to 20 months of management

training, rotating through international

assignments throughout a Fortune 500

company. It was fun and exciting. Then we

newcomers settled into our actual roles:

tedious transactional accounting work.

Within a year, only about 10 of us

were left from the original 36

who started. Most migrated

out of finance to other


12 | Issue 6


The young people I meet today are highly

motivated; they want to have an impact. But

they are stuck with correcting accounting

problems and data gathering instead of

learning the skills they’ll need to solve future

problems. The churn rate is 15 to 20%.

Capitalizing on youthful enthusiasm

The reality is that we can eliminate that

wasted, useless work through automation:

business networks for procurement,

machine learning, software that supports

financial close, and so on. At SAP, we have

seen exactly that as we have shifted that

talent to doing things that can help the

business change – working on new billing

structures and more complex contracts, for


Here’s an example. When I was the SAP

CFO in Latin America several years ago,

we had a number of young professionals

under the age of 30, and wanted to keep

them engaged. We made transparent the

difference between management reports

and statutory reporting, and had them work

on analyzing how decisions that helped the

management books could actually have

negative effects on statutory results and

cash flow.

The results were incredible: tens of millions

of dollars in cash flow improvement,

favorable tax impacts, and balance sheet

cleanups. I was so impressed: they did this

on their own time, working crazy long hours

and making personal sacrifices. And they

were so incredibly proud that they could

show business leaders how the finance

team was adding value.

Rethinking our own paradigm

But I think CFOs are starting to better

understand the frustration of young people

in the field, whose expectations are dashed

as they are sentenced to years of mindnumbing

work before being given a chance

to make a meaningful contribution. At a

recent meeting, I heard CFOs expressing

the importance of changing their own

mindset if they are going to stop the

hemorrhaging of talent. They are beginning

to understand the need to abandon the

“rite of induction” mentality, that the way

you learn is through painful, mind-numbing

account reconciliation work – and whoever

can take the most pain for the longest time

survives. Creating opportunities for young

professionals has to start early.

And we need take another look at how

we educate them. It’s essential to ensure

that finance professsionalis develop a firm

grasp of the cornerstones of the profession

– accounting rules, balance sheets, cash

flows, and P&L – while helping them focus

their skills where they are most needed in an

increasingly complex business environment.

Thack Brown

General Manager,

Global Head of Line of Business Finance


Issue 6 | 13


New Decision Management

Technologies Help Mid-Tier

and Smaller Banks Overcome

Big Data Challenges

14 | Issue 6

Banks have always had to manage large

amounts of critical data. Yet, in spite of the

buzz around the value of “big data”, most

frontline employees in mid-tier and smaller

banks still lack direct access to timely and

relevant data insights.

Traditionally, data analytics has been seen as

a back-office function that utilizes expensive,

complex business intelligence solutions and

requires a level of IT support often out of reach

for smaller institutions. But not anymore.

Thanks to innovative, new “decision

management technologies”, smaller banks

without large IT staffs can transform how their

less tech-savvy employees work with data

and get the same kinds of actionable insights

as larger banks.

As the banking industry becomes increasingly

complex, these new cutting edge data

technologies help mid-tier and smaller banks

mitigate risk and fraudulent activity and create

more compliant environments. And, they

provide real time metrics to improve customer

service and enhance product development all

at a fraction of the cost.

Struggles with Traditional Data Analytics

Many mid-tier and smaller banks struggle

with basic customer and business analytics

because they cannot afford traditional data

management platforms that are expensive,

highly technical, and often incompatible with

their existing infrastructure. Built for power

users who routinely prep, collate, extract and

compile data and reports, these platforms are

difficult and time consuming for nontechnical

employees even after training.

Unfortunately, these barriers prevent frontline

employees and their managers from having

direct access to information that is critical

to timely business decisions and customer

response. Prompt responses to regulators is

also of particular importance to smaller banks

since they are often subject to as much, if not

more, regulatory scrutiny than larger banks.

New decision management solutions take

aim at all of these challenges. Most are highly

“self-service” in nature, low maintenance and

do not require expensive technical consultants

to get work done. They empower smaller

players to be more nimble, competitive and

satisfy their employees’ growing need to

access information.


to bonds for

over 90 years

Ranked among the top 10 municipal trustees in the U.S. 1

While many banks have exited this line of business, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.,

has remained dedicated to bonds and the complexities of bond

administration for nearly a century.

Our relationship managers have an average of 18 years of in-depth

experience in corporate trust, escrow, and project finance. Ongoing

education to strengthen this knowledge enables our specialists to provide

insights into industry trends. Whether it’s making timely interest payments

to bondholders or providing comprehensive recordkeeping, you can count

on our support for the life of the issue.

MUFG Union Bank, N.A., was named Best Corporate Trust Bank in the U.S.

for four out of the last five years. 2

MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) is one of the world’s leading financial

groups. The global MUFG network encompasses 2,200 offices in more than

40 countries. MUFG provides access to corporate banking, trust banking,

securities trading services, credit cards, consumer banking and finance,

asset management, and leasing.

Learn more at

Corporate Trust Services

Carl Boyd


Southern California


Dean Levitt


No. California &

Pacific Northwest


Julie B. Good


Mid-West & Texas


Nils Dahl


Eastern U.S.


MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

A member of MUFG, a global financial group


Thomson Reuters Financial.


2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 Global Banking & Finance Review.

©2016 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The MUFG logo and name is a service mark of Mitsubishi UFJ

Financial Group, Inc., and is used by MUFG Union Bank, N.A., with permission. Member FDIC.


How It Works: Conversations with Data

Today’s decision management platforms use technologies like

artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive search

to perform simple vocabulary-based data analysis. What this

means is that non-technical users can perform their own

analytics by simply typing questions like “How many customers

with more than one account take advantage of special perks for

having multiple accounts?” into a familiar, Google-like search

bar. Within seconds (not minutes!) the platform responds by

generating a customized report of real time, authenticated data

in easy-to-understand formats.

Business users in every corner of the organization can become

their own data analyst, engaging and collaborating in real time

data exploration to investigate business hunches, increase

efficiencies, share insights and information, maximize returns

and minimize risk exposures. Here are just a few ways teams

can benefit:

• Governance, Risk and Compliance can use AI, machine

learning and cognitive search to automate the process

of searching, understanding and managing changes to

regulations. A simple search-like interface can be used for

everything from looking for policy and procedure documents

to complex analysis of transactions by searching across

both structured and unstructured data.

• Risk Management can use natural language querying and

machine learning to connect the dots between emails,

phone calls, text and transactional information to spot

anomalies or compliance issues. (e.g. bankers opening

multiple accounts for the same customer; creating

online banking accounts with bogus email addresses;

customers performing fraudulent activities). Combined

with predictive analysis, this functionality can help predict

likely occurrences of fraud as well as detect and report of

fraudulent patterns.

• Sales & Marketing can easily track sales performance

and other key performance indicators (KPI) using both

internal and external customer data. This improves their

understanding of customer behavior and how to refine

customer segmentation.

• Customer Service now has the ability to search across

multiple data repositories and easily extract customer

data without using multiple systems and windows. This

facilitates response time and accuracy, improving customer

satisfaction and outcomes.

16 | Issue 6


Considering the latest advancements in data analytics, there is

no reason why mid-tier banks still need to rely on yesterday’s

expensive, complex technologies and deny their business users

access to the kinds of actionable data insights that benefit

larger banks.

Ready to take the Plunge? Avoid the Pitfalls

In order to insure your organization gets the long term value

it deserves from a decision management solution, make data

analytics a part of your corporate DNA. This means getting top

management involved as well as line-of-business managers.

Let’s take a look at some basic things to keep in mind:

• Do your homework: With a growing number of solutions

available, look for a platform that is adaptable, scalable and

customizable to your unique business needs. The solution

should be truly “self-service” and require minimal employee

training and vendor support to run and maintain. Take the

time to properly define your business requirements upfront so

potential vendors can help you make the appropriate decisions.

• Get your workplace onboard: Remove corporate resistance

to empowering frontline staff to access data. Executive

Management should support a workplace culture free of central

gate keepers who decide how, what and when information

should be fed to the business.

• Reduce the need for human intervention: Think twice about

investing in multiple incompatible tools and building a larger

IT team to manage disparate systems. This is a decision that

many large banks suffer from today and smaller banks should

steer clear of this strategy.

• Find a technology partner that meets your needs: Consider

doing a gap analysis on the needs and support required by

your business teams to achieve company objectives. Ask

potential technology vendors to address these gaps and do

not settle for rigid prescriptive tools that only partially get the

job done. The right technology vendor must be a good cultural

fit for your company and understand what your organization

requires to truly meet the needs of its customers, employees,

and business goals.

Data has always played a critical role in day-to-day bank operations

and solving business problems. Until recently, most mid-tier and

smaller bank employees have missed out on the benefits of direct

and prompt access to big data. But now, thanks to the growing and

evolving world of data technologies, smaller financial institutions

finally have the opportunity to level the playing field.

Ashoke Dutt



Ashoke Dutt is the CEO of Semantify, a

pioneering semantic search technology

platform company based in Chicago,

Illinois. His career in global financial

services spans more than 30 years

and includes the launch of India’s first

credit card business in 1989 at Citibank.

Dutt went on to assume various other

leadership roles at Citibank, including

EVP, International Cards. He also served

at Morgan Stanley (EVP, International

Retail), and Discover Card (EVP,

Marketing). Today, Dutt is an active

entrepreneur and investor, serving as

on boards of various start-ups and

philanthropic organizations.

Issue 6 | 17


FRTB – Why Banks

Must Act Now

The final rules for the Fundamental Review

of the Trading Book (FRTB) regulations were

published in January and although details

of how the regulators in each jurisdiction

will implement them still remains ill-defined

we know the changes are coming and that

now is the time to prepare. FRTB, part of the

Basel III rules which were finally published

in January 2016, will transform the way

banks manage their capital requirements

in addition to how they are structured and

managed internally.

Risk models, liquidity horizons and data for

risk calculations, back testing and hedging

must be changed to meet the new regulatory

guidelines, with a significant component of

this change impacting desk structures and

their oversight, management and reporting.

The rules at a local level are not yet granular

enough for banks to implement them with

confidence. While this makes preparation

difficult, the deadline of January 2020 is not

far off considering the massive scale of the

changes. Financial institutions need to get

lean, streamline efficiencies and ultimately

prepare ahead of this change. With this in

mind, we propose some critical steps to help

during this period of uncertainty:

18 | Issue 6

Step One: Understanding the Scale of

the Changes

The implementation of FRTB will be

substantial and undoubtedly incur significant

costs, so if you haven’t already, setting up

a programme to ensure good governance

and structure is critical. It is important that

the FRTB team establish and maintain early

communication with impacted stakeholder

groups (especially Risk, Finance and Front

Office) as they will be looking at potential

impacts based on findings presented by

the team and as well as those assessed

internally. There is a degree of uncertainty

around the new rules for desk definition

and the need to clarify the P&L attribution.

This is currently being worked through via

the International Swaps and Derivatives

Association (ISDA) panel and examples

include repos for funding and liquidity

purposes that should be in the banking

book, but are in fact currently managed on a

trading desk.

Another complication is the difference

between the Volcker and FRTB desk

definitions, giving rise to speculation about

virtual, or “reporting desks”, versus physical

desks. Such an arrangement might be

acceptable under Volcker but is unlikely to be

valid under FRTB where desk management,

P&L attribution, strategy and remuneration

– all physical things – need to be clearly and

singularly associated with a desk.

Step Two: Get Lean Quick

The estimated costs of implementing FRTB

will double or quadruple the cost of doing

business across a bank. To stay competitive

and ensure you have the right mix of desks

to operate your business, it is important

to reduce costs and align procedures and

systems. Streamlining and rationalising

business and IT processes, implementing

automation in areas such as back testing,

consolidating systems and reducing your

costs per trade are all critical activities. Some

desks may no longer be viable businesses

once the changes have been made, but if you

know your structure, at least you will be in a

better position to decide which desks should

or shouldn’t remain.

Step three: Organise Your Data

One of the main concerns the various

regulatory programmes have raised for

banks relates to the completeness and

consistency of their data sourced from

multiple systems. Additionally, business


desks will potentially need to produce up to

60 times more data than current levels for

certain desks. The subsequent increased

workload for regulators will be enormous. In

preparation, allocating more resources and

processes to interpret the data is essential.

Just like the ‘multiple trading system issue’

encountered in various trade repowrting

programmes, banks are about to have a

‘multiple risk system issue’. This is not

because those systems are deficient but

because, as with the trading systems, they

are generally single-purpose, operate in

relative isolation, and as a result do not

share a common data dictionary. This is

exacerbated by the current granularity

of the data versus the required degree of

granularity (i.e. risk measured at portfolio vs

transaction level) under the new regulations.

What is certain is that risk data will need

to be much more granular to provide

the correct inputs to calculations with

new categorisations for reporting to the

regulators. With banks juggling multiple

risk systems across asset classes and

geographies, there will be a requirement to

consolidate risk data in a central repository

from which calculations and reporting can

be derived. Firms that have already taken

steps to create central data repositories –

even for non-risk data, such as trade or client

data – will be in a much better position than

those who have not.

There will also need to be a much tighter

integration of data between the front

office and risk and finance functions to

ensure consistency of P&L attribution

calculations. If these fail three times in any

12-month period, the approved internal

model used by the desk will be withdrawn

by the regulator, immediately increasing

the desk’s capital charge.

There are many other topics to watch out

for within FRTB, such as multijurisdictional

implementation challenges, hypothetical

versus risk theoretical P&L, the move from

VaR to Expected Shortfall (ES), the treatment

of Non Modellable Risk Factors (NMRF), and

the uncertainty around CVA calculations.

Intertwined within these are the ‘softer side’

HR impacts of the new guidelines. The

rearrangement of the trading desks and

more stringent requirements for staff job

descriptions aligned to those desks and

their strategies and business cases will

have a significant impact on a company’s

organisational structure. Anything that so

fundamentally impacts a person’s role, their

responsibilities and authority levels, and

directly links them to a reportable, regulatorapproved

business case and strategy is

likely to significantly affect where and how

businesses are run post-FRTB.

This has been a brief look at only some of

the critical topics within FRTB. What’s known

is that it is coming – what’s not known is

how the banking world will look once all the

yet-to-be confirmed regulations are finalised

by local regulators.

Christopher Burke


Brickendon Consulting

Issue 6 | 19


7 logical steps to secure today’s Industrial

Control Systems

Critical infrastructure is evolving fast. No longer residing

in splendid isolation, many control systems are joining the

great migration to the Internet – with all its advantages

of ubiquitous coverage, easy access and potential

integration with other services and systems. There is a

real need for security testing, auditing and monitoring

– as well as physical and logical security training says

Sameer Dixit, Senior Director Security Consulting, Spirent


Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are taking industries’

control mechanisms online, allowing management to

monitor and control critical infrastructure remotely over

the Internet. This brings many management benefits,

providing a distributed workforce with real time monitoring

and control. As a result, individual companies and public

services are growing more efficient. They are reducing

overheads while gaining in agility and responsiveness – but

they also face new risks.

Welcome to cyberspace

Traditional security challenges include loss or theft of

employee and consumer data, and corporate secrets such

as intellectual property, future project designs and business

strategy plans getting leaked via breach in physical security,

network compromise, social engineering attacks or other

zero-day system vulnerabilities. Enterprise and financial

systems have grown up with these challenges and an entire

industry has developed around secure coding practices,

safeguarding databases and hardening networks with

firewalls, intrusion detection systems and deep packet

inspection devices to examine all the traffic on a network

and look for anomalies and cyber threats.

Critical control systems, however, were often developed as

stand-alone solutions, designed to fulfil a specific function

of replacing widespread manual operations with central

control. So they were not designed with cyber-security in

mind. When security became an issue, defence measures

were often layered on in a piecemeal fashion after the

networks become operational

– with a bias towards keeping out intruders or unauthorized

access, rather than the more devious and malign threats

that infect the Internet. Because of a strong incentive to get

the process operational, rather than imagining how it might

perform under attack, network routers were often installed

with default factory settings and an “administrator”

password that worked just fine, but left the system

vulnerable to attack.

Issue 6 | 21


22 | Issue 6


Critical control systems, many of them designed and built

long before the Internet became the backbone of our world

economy, are now increasingly being connected online,

and remote control of industrial processes brings new

risks of remote tampering. Manufacturing industries that

have already learned the vital necessity of cyber-security

to protect office networks now face a new threat that goes

beyond information or financial loss because it can result in

direct physical damage, wastage or breakdown. Increasing

automation also means that a lot more harm could happen

in a shorter time before management is alerted.

New Security Challenges

The expansion of integrated technology in the industrial

sector has created a surge in demand for process

automation, and an increase in self-driven heavy

machinery. These improvements in manufacturing are

creating a new cyber security challenge for industries

where cyber- attacks could destroy machinery and threaten

workers’ lives.

The Stuxnet worm is a famous example of what can

happen to physical systems – in January 2010 it reputedly

damaged up to a thousand centrifuges across Iran

by deliberately pushing them beyond recommended

operational rotation speeds. So the potential threat to ICS is

proven, and the risk to critical infrastructure has prompted

the US Department of Homeland Security to create a task

force ICS-CERT – “The Industrial Control Systems Cyber

Emergency Response Team”.

ICS-CERT aims to reduce risks within and across all critical

infrastructure sectors by partnering with law enforcement

agencies and the intelligence community and coordinating

efforts among Federal, state, local, and tribal governments

and control systems owners, operators, and vendors. ICS-

CERT also collaborates with international and private sector

Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to share

control systems-related security incidents and mitigation


Seven key steps for hardening critical systems

1 Defence-in-depth strategies

• Establish network segmentation, firewalls, and “de-militarised


• Deploy firewalls on SCADA and process control networks

2 Harden ICS remote access

• Authentication, authorization, and access control for direct and

remote connection

• Use virtual private networks and encryption for secure


• Secure all wireless connections

• Deploy intruder detection and prevention systems

3 Manage patching for control systems

• Patch and vulnerability management

• Enterprise password management

• Computer security and privacy controls

• Secure control system modems

4 Establish a secure topology and architecture

• Apply and comply with security standards

• Always re-examine security when modernizing and upgrading

• Establish an industrial automation and control systems security


• Establish specifications for control system security procurement

5 Assess assets, vulnerabilities, and risks

• Understand and analyze critical infrastructure interdependencies

• Look for common vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure control


• Conduct penetration testing of ICSs

6 Security and response training

• Initiate cyber-security training for control system engineers,

technicians, administrators and operators

7 Cyber-forensics planning for control systems

• Develop an ICS incident response plan

An extensive list of recommended best practices to

safeguard Industrial Control Systems can be found

on the ICS-CERT website at:

gov/Recommended-Practices. Not surprisingly, the

recommendations follow similar lines to typical enterprise

network and perimeter security best practices.

Knowing where to start is often the biggest initial challenge.

Of course we do need more in- depth detail once we start

putting security into place, but it is better to begin with a

palatable summary. So, to save you reading hundreds of

documents, I will summarise the key requirements below

into seven common sense steps.

Sameer Dixit

Senior Director Security Consulting

Spirent Communications

Issue 6 | 23

“Strategic Alliances to support

SME Institutions making a

more effective impact

in financial inclusion

of the majority

population in


Financiamiento Progresemos, S.A. de C.V., SOFOM, E.N.R.


How to ‘keep calm and

carry on’ during an M&A

In June 2015, U.S security regulators

investigated a group of hackers, known as

FIN4. The group were suspected of breaking

into corporate email accounts of 100

listed companies and stealing information

in relation to mergers 1 for financial gain.

Hackers are always on the lookout for

opportunities to exploit vulnerable IT

systems during mergers or acquisitions.

Starwood Group, an American hotel and

leisure company, was the victim of a data

breach in 2015 caused by malware infected

point-of-sale terminals, shortly after the

acquisition by Marriott Corporation had

been announced. As a result of the breach,

hackers gained access to customer names,

payment card numbers, security codes, and

expiration dates. It was later questioned

whether IT systems were appropriately

assessed before the acquisition was made

public knowledge.

There is so much going on in the process of

an acquisition or a business merger that IT

systems are often neglected. This creates

vulnerabilities, potentially exposing sensitive

information which cyber criminals can

exploit. IT teams must focus their attention

on ensuring the security of existing

systems before a company even considers

undergoing an acquisition or merger.

Pre-acquisition technical due diligence

Technical due diligence refers to the

period during which IT systems are

inspected, reviewed and assessed for

areas of vulnerability that need to be

addressed. Organisations looking to be

acquired or merge, should begin a process

of technical due diligence internally before

seeking interested parties. By carrying out

such an internal technical due diligence, the

company being acquired can be satisfied

its systems are robust, secure and fit for

purpose, and the acquirer’s due diligence

will not expose any issues that may

jeopardise the deal.

In addition to the security vulnerabilities,

many organisations carry open-source

licensing risks. Open-source modules

or snippets of code are commonly

incorporated by developers into software to

aid rapid development. Although this opensource

code is freely downloadable, it is

normally subject to an open-source licence,

and this licence places restrictions and

obligations on what can be done with this

code. Companies often have no idea what

open-source code is used in their systems

and any breach of licensing restrictions can

be costly to fix and endanger the deal. So

the internal technical due diligence should

include an assessment of open-source

licensing risk, allowing the company to

resolve any problems in advance.

By conducting thorough technical due

diligence before embarking on the process

of an acquisition, organisations will have

a greater appeal to interested parties and

can ensure the deal will proceed smoothly.

Those looking to acquire will have a clearer

understanding of the technical assets for sale,

with the added reassurance there won’t be

any unpleasant surprises.

Yahoo recently felt the ramifications of

neglecting IT systems in anticipation of the

Verizon acquisition, after it was revealed earlier

this year that 500 million customer email

accounts were hacked. This now has the

potential to affect the final deal - Verizon have

issued a statement stating that the company

is looking to alter the terms of the deal, as it felt

Yahoo wasn’t completely transparent about the

breach. This is a prime example of technical

due diligence that hasn’t been thoroughly

conducted and proves issues unearthed during

the closing stages of an acquisition have the

potential to affect the final sale price.

Pre-implementation hurdles

Once an acquisition has been agreed in

principle, senior stakeholders must then

address which systems are being continued

and which should be decommissioned. A

skilled project manager must be chosen to

manage and monitor the implementation of

the systems; ensuring decisions impacting

the seamless integration of the acquisition are

made on time.

Issue 6 | 25

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that connects you

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Companies often underestimate the amount

of work that goes into managing the

process of an acquisition. This can result

in the appointment of a project manager

without the necessary skills needed to

efficiently run the entire process. All too

often it is assumed acquisitions only affect

the financial and legal teams, when in reality

it affects every department. An individual

is needed with the skills to communicate

across all departments and at all levels.

Post-acquisition finishing touches

The sale is agreed and personnel have

merged, but it doesn’t stop there. Postacquisition

integration is a separate

project in its own right and requires close

engagement from senior stakeholders.

Merging IT systems across companies

can affect the smooth running of daily

operations, exposing flaws in acquired

systems likely to cause system downtime.

By bringing third-party experts on-board,

companies facing both pre- and postacquisition

challenges can be kept safe

in the knowledge that IT systems are

maintained and sensitive data is kept safe.

No matter how big or small the company

or the number of employees, acquisitions

are always a major upheaval. In order

to allow the organisation to continue to

operate efficiently both during and after

the deal, it is vital the entire integration is

properly planned and effectively executed.

This planning starts during due diligence

by carrying out a thorough assessment

of the technology and systems. And the

process continues with the execution of the

integration project, which requires a skilled

project manager supported by engaged

stakeholders and effective communication

at all levels in the new organisation.

Nick Pointon

Head of M&A




Issue 6 | 27


Understanding the

Next Generation of

Software Robotics

28 | Issue 6


Neil Kinson, chief of staff, Redwood

Software discusses why we must move

away from the idea that robots simply

replace humans if the industry is to thrive in

the new year.

The Robotised Enterprise, where an

organisation has realised the ideal of having

all back-office operations fully robotised

so human involvement is only required

for judgement and analysis, is seldom

understood from a business perspective.

The shared services sector in particular

is split on the capability of robotics when

performing critical business processes.

According to recent Redwood Software

research carried out with Shared Services

Link, 97% of people in shared services agree

that robotics have the ability to automate

manual data entry tasks, yet only 52%

are in agreement that they understand

basic financial processes. Only 51% of

respondents were confident in their ability

to replace human activity across the entire

spectrum, which is surprising considering

that 67% of shared service professionals

plan on using RPA within the next 12

months. 72% of these organisations plan

on leveraging existing investment in ERP

to drive further automation in the next year.

Process robotics can therefore play an

integral role in how processes are managed

and transformed in shared services.

So, what do these statistics mean and how

can shared services and finance professionals

better understand Robotic Process

Automation in order to fully reap the benefits?

Understanding robotics

Everyone is talking about robotics but no

one is agreeing on a uniform definition.

Everyone thinks that they know, but no one

is looking at it holistically.

We need to make some clear distinctions

between the different forms of process

robotics on the market.

According to the Institute for Robotic

Process Automation (IRPA), enterprise

process robotics is the application of

technology that enables employees to

configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to

capture and analyse existing applications for

manipulating data, processing a transaction

or triggering responses and communicating

with other digital systems.

But that is not the extent of robotics’

capability. The rise of process robotics

presents a real chance to reimagine

processes from the ground up. Companies

should look at how they can positively

transform core processes by looking at

opportunities with a ‘robotic lens’ and not

a ‘human one’. For example, to ensure

enterprise grade scalability, security and

resilience, organisations should deploy

robots to interact with business and core

ERP systems through APIs and other

standard integration methods.

In light of this, organisations should

thoroughly consider how robotics can

be used to achieve significant process

improvement, part of which requires a

strong commitment to not doing things in

the way they have always been done, but

rather the way they’ve always imagined

processes could be done.

What many finance and shared services

professionals are worried about however, is

that if you remove humans from the process

entirely, control will diminish. That is not the

case. Indeed, it is the opposite. Automating

processes end-to-end removes the siloed

approach and enhances overall control.

Robotics isn’t too good to be true

Now we have defined robotics, it is important

to understand the benefits it can bring to

a company. In a financial context, process

robotics brings tremendous potential to

improve core financial processes and

efficiencies, and more importantly, the

standardisation thereof. For example, reports

can be automatically generated allowing

for reliable and trusted data thanks to the

accompanying documentation and 100%

accurate audit trails that are present at every

part of the process. Moreover, built in business

rules eliminate the need to micro manage and

allows users to trigger actions and monitor

processes, whether at a desk or on the move.

Recent Redwood research into the rise of

‘RoboFinance®’ revealed that investment

into robotics doesn’t just meet, but can

in fact exceed a company’s expectations.

At Royal DSM – a global science, health

and nutrition company – it was reported

that by deploying over 60 software

“process robots” across nine business

groups allowed the organisation to

automate a staggering 89 percent of the

485,000 manual tasks associated with its

global financial close process, shrank its

financial close process from 15 to 3 days,

and freed up 45 Full Time Equivalents

(FTEs) for more valuable work. The limits

of what enterprise process robotics can

achieve for core business processes are

seemingly limitless.

2017 as the ‘new dawn’ for robotics

The days of throwing more timeconsuming

manual effort at critical

business processes to make them run

more efficiently are behind us. Process

robotics, without the need for unnecessary

manual intervention, offers the consistency,

speed and accuracy that businesses need

to stay afloat in today’s competitive global

marketplace. Those organisations that

embrace robotics will be the ones that

survive and thrive in 2017 and beyond.

Neil Kinson

Chief of Staff

Redwood Software

Issue 6 | 29




to KYC

A sound concept, a complex reality

When Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering

(AML) legislation came onto the scene in the early 1990s,

one might say it lacked finesse – it was highly prescriptive in

nature, leaving little room for interpretation and forced banks

and financial institutions (FIs) to tick the boxes of compliance

controls. Within a decade, it started to become clear that one

size actually didn’t fit all.

These regulations originally based on the risks and controls

related to retail banking simply didn’t fit other business models,

such as private, institutional or investment banking and wealth

management. But because compliance isn’t optional, all

businesses had to comply as best they could – even if that

meant shoehorning retail AML control concepts to fit their own

business models, while potentially missing the real risks to

which they were exposed. The end result was that compliance

efforts frequently failed to meet regulatory expectations.

And then came the Risk-Based Approach (RBA), a logical new

approach to managing risk.

An added layer of complexity

Imagine a compliance environment where the controls match

the actual risk. That was the goal of RBA – a more flexible

and rational approach, shifting the focus to banks and FIs

demonstrating they were addressing actual risks that AML

controls exposed, rather than simply ticking (sometimes

irrelevant) boxes hoping to satisfy the regulator. Prior to RBA,

controls were black and white regardless of circumstances. The

RBA allowed flexibility to reduce or increase controls based on the

customer and the risk they posed.

While the RBA made life easier in some ways, it made it harder in

others. Firms were expected to understand and assess the specific

risks they faced and have a deeper understanding of risk in general.

The new approach also required a degree of interpretation and

individualization by firms and their compliance departments.

Issue 6 | 31


Risk-based approach and the financial action task


In 2007, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) stepped

in with its first attempt at implementing an RBA, issuing a

paper which stated:

“By adopting a risk-based approach, competent authorities

and financial institutions are able to ensure that measures to

prevent or mitigate money laundering and financing threats are

commensurate to the risks identified. This will allow resources

to be allocated in the most efficient ways. The principle is that

resources should be directed in accordance with priorities

so that the greatest risks receive the highest attention. The

alternative approaches are that resources are either applied

evenly, so that all financial institutions, customers, products,

etc., receive equal attention, or that resources are targeted,

but on the basis of factors other than the risk assessed. This

can inadvertently lead to a ‘tick box’ approach with the focus

on meeting regulatory needs rather than combating money

laundering or financing threats.”

The intention of the RBA was clear: to create more pragmatic

processes. The result was somewhat different, with highly

complex processes emerging in many instances as a direct

result of individual interpretation of the new guidelines. This led

to widespread confusion throughout the industry.

The FATF then revised its guidelines in 2010. The Expert

Working Group advising the FATF on the risk-based approach

and FATF Recommendations in 2010 said:

“As a basic principle, financial institutions and DNFBPs

(Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions) should

be required to take steps to identify and assess their money

laundering/financing threat risks for customers, countries or

32 | Issue 6


In 2012, as part of their revision of the 40 Recommendations,

the FATF issued a further definition regarding the RBA

requiring countries to assess and understand their moneylaundering/financing-threat

risks and to designate an authority

to coordinate actions to assess and mitigate risks using a

risk-based approach. It also noted that countries should

require reporting entities to assess and take effective action to

mitigate their money-laundering/financing-threat risks.

The 2010 and 2012 definitions delivered largely positive

results: By focusing on understanding money- laundering/

financing-threat risk and then deploying effective controls

to manage and mitigate those risks, the current guidelines

are far more “workable” and therefore much more useful

to banks and FIs grappling with a constantly increasing

regulatory burden.

Two pillars of risk assessment

This evolution in the RBA has resulted in two distinct pillars of

risk assessment. First, on a country-by-country basis, each

individual government needs to understand their vulnerability

to money laundering through national risk assessments.

Social demographics are, of course, unique to each country,

so this exercise in understanding your environment forms an

important pillar in a successful AML strategy.

Second, against the context of national risk, each FI must

complete its own internal risk assessment, tailoring its

money-laundering/financing-threat risk management

program around this. However, these internal assessments

can be quite complex, particularly when individual

interpretation of guidelines is thrown into the mix.

What risks need to be addressed?

There are four main categories of risk to consider:

geographic areas, and products/services/transactions/delivery

channels. Additionally, they should have policies, controls and

procedures in place to effectively manage and mitigate their

risks, which should be approved by senior management and be

consistent with national requirements and guidance.”

This language was materially different from the 2007 FATF

paper and signaled a seismic shift in clarity over what RBA

means. 2010 was also the first time the FATF articulated the

concept of “effective” risk-based controls, and this definition

also makes national legislators responsible for defining what is

deemed to be effective.

Despite being issued in 2010, this concept is still filtering

through: Regulators around the world are increasingly

using the language of “effectiveness” in their dialogue with

industry. Effectiveness has further been pushed up the

agenda of national regulators as the FATF’s fourth round

of mutual evaluations specifically focuses on “effective in

practice” assessments.


The first category concerns the vulnerability of a specific

business operation. FATF 2012 sets out a lengthy list of

offenses, and firms must guard against each and every

one of these. Compliance professionals should be asking

questions such as, “Are we vulnerable to, for example, people

smuggling or drug trafficking?”

Create an environment that promotes money laundering?

The second category centers on the risk of a bank or FI

inadvertently creating an environment that promotes or allows

money laundering. Questions to ask include, “Do our controls create

an environment where the money launderer can thrive? Are there

any gaps in our controls that a money launderer could exploit?”

More specific risks

The risks above are general in nature, and the third category

comprises a selection of more specific risks, including:

Issue 6 | 33


• Customer risk – Banks and FIs must have adequate KYC

processes in place to ensure they understand whom

they’re doing business They must fully understand the risks

posed by a particular person or entity, including politically

exposed person (PEP) risk and sanction risk.

• Product vulnerability – Certain products are naturally

more attractive to money launderers than for example, a

checking account offers more scope for laundering than

a fixed-term deposit. Factors such as the availability and

flexibility of a product could make it inherently risky from a

money- laundering perspective.

• Geographic risk – Not all countries carry the same risks,

and banks and FIs need to be aware of the specific risk

environments where they Operating in high moneylaundering/financing-

threat risk countries means that a

more stringent control environment could be necessary.

Regulatory risk

The final category is regulatory risk. There is always the risk

that banks and FIs don’t adequately measure up to regulatory

expectations. The stakes are high, and the financial and

reputational fallout from compliance breaches is well-documented.

Regulatory risk is sometimes poorly understood and

inconsistently addressed. This risk often keeps compliance

professionals awake at night and, just possibly, takes their

collective eye off identifying the business-specific risks outlined

above. The fear of regulatory failure could well be driving

a disproportionate interpretation of what is required and,

perversely, contributing to increased regulatory risk.

What’s hampering risk-based approach?

Over the last decade, compliance professionals have joined the

C-suite as the “new” importance of this “hot topic” has resulted

in a drive to keep the institution safe. At the same time, there

is often a tendency to overly complicate processes. The risk

with that complexity is that the controls implemented are not

commensurate with actual risk, which was the original aim of RBA.

It is clear from the FATF 2012 guidelines and the evolution

of RBA that while this fresh approach has been widely

implemented, it is not well understood. Processes have not

been fully formed and, in some cases, are driving the wrong

outcomes. Despite all the efforts of FATF, local regulators and

entire compliance teams, there are still some cases where

there are inadequate controls in place to manage and mitigate

money-laundering/financing-threat risk.

The fact that current regulations were originally based on the

risks and controls relating to retail banking has unintentionally

created regulatory barriers to the effective deployment of an

RBA in many sectors. The more progressive regulatory regimes

recognize this and are striving to address the polarized nature

of legislation and regulation to create regulatory environments

where a truly risk-sensitive regime can be sustained.

Legislation around AML and RBA was also largely written in

the pre-digital age when access to the data that helps firms

understand and document risk was limited. There is now a

plethora of data available, but many organizations struggle to

take advantage of this. Solutions are becoming widely available

to help firms harness the power of information to drill down and

find the risks they need to be considering.

Thomson Reuters has devoted significant resources to

developing a suite of risk products and services that support

a firm’s development and the operation of an effective RBA.

Thomson Reuters Org ID, as one possible solution, provides a

KYC-managed service that supports systematic risk identification

based on identity data, and documents and carries out ongoing

monitoring, alerting a firm to any changes surrounding a

corporate customer and the potential risks they pose.

34 | Issue 6


Back to simplicity

RBA as a concept remains sound – and it is far superior to the

tick-box approach it has replaced. What’s needed is simplicity

of assessment and application, because the very real risk faced

by firms is that they may spend vast amounts of time and effort

creating a control environment that complies with regulations

but doesn’t actually manage the real risks they face – all while

inadvertently contributing to increased regulatory risk.

Here’s an alternative approach: Focus on simplicity – on identifying

and managing the actual money- laundering/financing-threat risks

a firm faces – and deploy controls that are proportionate to those

risks. The result will be that firms will automatically comply with

the aim and philosophy of the vast majority of AML regulations.

Neil Jeans

Head of Policy & Regulation

Thomson Reuters Org ID

Issue 6 | 35

36 Issue 6Middle



Health Insurance

in Saudi Arabia

Bupa Arabia is one of the largest health insurers

in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, meeting the

insurance needs of both individual clients as well

as some of the Kingdom’s largest companies.

Tal Hisham Nazer has been the Chief Executive

Officer of Bupa Arabia since 2008. Under his

leadership, Bupa Arabia has become one of the

fastest growing and successful health insurance

companies in Saudi Arabia. Bupa Arabia is part

of Bupa, the global healthcare company with 32

million members in 190 countries. Global Banking

& Finance Review interviewed Tal Hisham Nazer

to find out more about the health insurance

landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and

Bupa Arabia’s success.

Let’s discuss the health insurance landscape in

Saudi Arabia. What are current challenges you

see present?

There is no doubt that the insurance market

in Saudi Arabia faces many challenges, most

notably of which are, the high volume of claims,

lower prices, compared to the risks, budget cuts,

in companies compared to the business volume,

in the Saudi market, as well as the problem of

undercutting prices, which aims to expand sales

without regard to the potential risks.

Despite the widespread use of insurance

companies to cover most parts of the Kingdom.

The greatest concentration of business

establishment remains in major cities, due to the

lack of qualified hospitals and clinics that cover

most regions of the Kingdom.

The healthcare sector still needs a lot of

legislation that promotes the continuous spread

of insurance companies, while assuring highquality

services to the beneficiary as well.

Today, there are no set standards that control the

quality of the services and customer satisfaction.

Giving specialized international companies the

opportunity to invest in healthcare services will

enhance the market capacity. Therefore, leading

to a higher level of competition and limits the

continuous increase in healthcare costs.

Issue 6 | 37


What message do you have for those

looking for insurance? What types of

products and services are available for the

“family” segment?

Bupa Arabia for Family is designed to meet

the insurance needs of Saudi families. The

Bupa Family products attributes are:

• Overall medical insurance: One of our

important goals is to continue to offer

an overall medical insurance program

that includes the treatment of patients

both inside and outside the Kingdom;

medical consultations at specialist

doctors; congenital and genetic

diseases care as well as chronic

diseases care; pre-existing condition

allowances; medical evacuation, and so

on. We also cover patient companion

costs (up to 12 years-old); and also

include pregnancy and maternity

coverage, dental and optical coverage,

and we cover the cost of hearing aids.

These are all available under different

insurance packages.

• Coverage to suit you and your family:

We offer a wide range of products that

offer coverage with value and flexibility,

that is wide-ranging in its benefits;

all that is essential for your peaceof-mind,

which is exactly what Bupa

Arabia’s Family insurance products


• Best in-class service: With Bupa

Arabia, you don’t just get the best

healthcare coverage, but the best level

of service as well. We always go the

extra mile with fast pre-authorization

responses, easy claims, SMS message

updates; and a secure, comprehensive

and personalized online information

system; as well as specialized medical

advice and guidance, online and by

phone 24/7.

• The Tebtom program and the ‘Doctor

on Phone’ service: It’s natural to be

worried with healthcare concerns, and

be reluctant to tell anyone. The Bupa

‘Doctor on Phone’ service from Tebtom,

gives you peace-of-mind through

confidential advice, a second opinion

on any medical condition you would

prefer not to discuss with anyone

in person, as well as many other

healthcare services.

Customer service is a priority for Bupa

Arabia. Why is this a primary focus?

We are our customers’ healthcare partners;

people trust us with the health of their loved

ones. So, it’s natural that when they call

on us, we are there for them every step of

the way. Telephone calls are personal and

allow for that human-to-human element

that is missed through other means of

communication. That’s why the call center

is so important.

How do you continue to meet the everchanging

needs of customers?

• Annual Innovation and Strategy


Review of data collected through the

call center, addressing the top issues

and needs of our calling customers

• “Call center quality” reports and


• “Satisfaction reports and reviews”

• Remaining agile and proactive to adapt

with the ever-changing need of our


How is Bupa Arabia meeting the challenges

of IT development?

With the rise of digital trends and the

massive increase of mobile penetration

into the Kingdom, Bupa Arabia has realized

the potential of digital channels to offer

unmatched services to members, that

change the landscape of health insurance.

Bupa Arabia was the first in the industry

to offer online services to its members.

Our members can track their claims

and preauthorization requests, obtain

an insurance certificate, and access

their membership cards online through

our website or App.

to be with them step-by-step as they work

towards living healthier and happier lives.

We also thought about ways to make it

easier for our coverage members to find

the clinics and hospitals covered under

their network. Through the Bupa Arabia

mobile app and geo-location technology

our members can be given directions to the

hospital or clinic they need (if they allow the

option on their mobile device).

We have also invested in digital channels

(online services and the Bupa Arabia mobile

app) to allow our members to access

unprecedented sets of health services such

as those included in the Tebtom Program that

include medication delivery, maternity care,

home-based vaccinations, wellness services

and telemedicine where by phone, mobile app,

or through the Bupa Arabia website, our team

of doctors will make sure members receive an

exceptional level of service.

We also reach out to the entire community

through the health tips and articles that

we frequently post on our social media

platforms and Bupa Arabia blog (blog.bupa.

In addition, we have revolutionized the way

insurance is purchased, as we were the first

in the market to utilize e-commerce and sell

private medical insurance policies online.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

has been an initiative that is important

and close to the hearts for those at Bupa

Arabia. Can you tell us some of the ways

you support socioeconomic development

in Saudi Arabia?

After analyzing numerous possibilities for

our initial CSR program, we decided that

the strengths of Bupa Arabia could be best

utilized by focusing on our core competency.

This strategy ultimately gave birth to a

new program that provides free medical

coverage to the most vulnerable in our

society: Orphans.

At Bupa Arabia, we don’t make promises

we cannot keep. We pledged to guide our

members, and members of the community,

38 | Issue 6


There are an estimated 10,000 orphans

in Saudi Arabia, 3,000 of who live in

government-run, and private orphanages

and 7000 of who have been adopted by

families. Until now, orphanage residents

relied on government-run hospitals for

healthcare. These facilities, often located

far from the orphanages, are frequently

overcrowded, inefficient and lacking

quality and resources. Transportation

issues, long queues and appointments

set months in advance, all combined to

devastate orphan healthcare. With all of

this in mind, the decision to provide free

health insurance to the 3000 orphans

living in orphanages as the first phase of

our program, was an easy decision. We

wanted to implement this immediately.

Today whenever any of our orphans visit

a hospital or clinic, we are alerted and

ensure he or she is given VIP service.

Additionally, with the difficulties of raising an

orphan foremost in our minds, we decided

to implement a program that goes beyond

simply supplying health insurance cards.

Today, we provide them with a service that

makes them feel special, and cared for. Bupa

Arabia is the only private health insurance

company to offer free insurance to any

group in the Kingdom.

Since the program’s inception in May, 2011,

we have processed over 250,000 services

and treatments along with 290 exceptional

cases through this CSR initiative.

What is the strategic vision for Bupa


For Bupa Arabia….

To be the largest healthcare company

in the Arab world; when we touch you,

whether you are our employee, a customer,

or member of the community, you live a

healthier and happier life.

Tal Hisham Nazer


Bupa Arabia

Tal Nazer is a member of the board

of Arabian Medical Marketing Co.

Ltd. (Nawah), and was previously

the Chairman of the Saudi Arabia

Monetary Agency (SAMA) Insurance

General Committee, and is currently

the Chairman of the Health Insurance


In addition, since 2013, Nazer has

been a member of the board of the

Human Resources Development Fund

(HRDF); and a member of the Young

Presidents Organization (YPO) since

2005; as well as a member in WEF’s

Young Global Leaders (YGL) since

2013; as well as a board member of

Choate Rosemary Hall since 2015.

Nazer holds a Master’s Degree in

Finance and Buyouts from The

Wharton School, Pennsylvania, USA

(2001) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree

in Economics, from the University of

California at Los Angeles (Dec. 1996).

Issue 6 | 39


Five Factors

Behind Digital



Digital transformation is having a huge

impact on every aspect of the way we

work, live and learn. Big data, social, cloud

computing and developments in mobile

technology have already drastically altered

the landscape of business, education, entertainment

and government.

Whole businesses have been built on

cloud and big data, while existing companies

have used the technology to diversify

into new areas of business. And any company

that is not paying attention to social

media and mobile innovation is frankly

living in the dark ages.

The pace and scale of change that digital

technology is enabling means organisations

must adapt to remain relevant. And they

must use digital technology to do so. In

short, digital transformation is now a business


The form this takes will vary widely, but

the majority of enterprises will overhaul

their digital customer interfaces, along

with the customer engagement systems

behind them. Customer services will also

become increasingly personalised, with IDC

predicting that doing this at scale will be a

“complex enterprise-wide digital transformation


In addition, IDC predicts 1 that in the next two

years, two-thirds of Global 2000 2 CEOs will

put digital transformation at the centre of

their growth and profitability strategies while

40 | Issue 6

the scale-up of digital business strategies

will drive more than 50% of enterprise IT

spending within the next 24 months, rising

to 60% by 2020.

However, most organizations are still in the

early stages of digital maturity, working on

isolated projects that lack coordination.

Even where digital transformation has

taken place, it’s not always been a success:

IDC found that less than half of such

initiatives achieve their goals. This is often

down to IT departments failing to deliver

the speed or quality needed to chase new

markets, respond to competitive threats or

increase profits.

In contrast, the handful of organisations

that fully understand enterprise-wide digital

transformation are making increasingly-rapid

progress, disrupting industries and leaving

competitors behind in the process.

Digital transformation clearly means different

things to different people and that pursuing

a strategy won’t necessarily equate to

the changes that are need to ensure future

business success. But if businesses are

able to incorporate some key ingredients

into their digital transformation strategies,

success will more than likely follow.

What follows is a summary of the considerations

exchanged in a series of discussions

with more than 150 high-level IT

executives from different industries across

Europe about digital and IT transformation,

highlighting what’s really needed to help

CIOs thrive and overcome obstacles on their

journey, from roadmap definition to multiphased

implementation across applications,

infrastructure and operating models.

Adopt a risk-taking attitude

Transformational change is often difficult

to achieve as existing IT systems, organizational

setup and culture create an inertia

that is hard to break from. A culture of ‘if

it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ persists in many

organisations, to the detriment of change.

Businesses must be prepared to take risks

and move away from the way things were

done in the past if they are to achieve

IT-driven innovation. Essentially, they should

try new approaches that will help pave the

way for digital transformation across the

entire organization.

This could mean putting open innovation

and dev ops programmes in place or assigning

IT teams to specific business units.

Looking at the talent side of things, a hiring

programme focused on millennials would

bring in native digital skills to support the

new way of doing things.

Put data at the heart of things

Data is the fuel for innovation and should

be used for value creation, prediction and

process optimisation. Success in creating

new services and ways of working


depends on the data pipelines that flow in

and out of organisations.

Some organisations have taken this seriously

by appointing a Chief Data Officer who

will have an overview of company data and

how it should be classified. They will look

at the rules and regulations for various data

classes to ensure they are used in the most

appropriate way.

Big data and analytics are critical in this, as

they provide the capability to extract more

value from data than ever before, slicing

and dicing information in new ways that can

provide new and useful insight that could be

used to enhance digital customer experience

and targeted marketing.

Create a modern datacentre

This secular shift requires and is propelled

by a fundamental IT transformation, which

embraces cloud as a primary IT architecture

and consumption model, to manage millions

of devices and the data deluge associated

with them, to create large data lakes and enable

for example predictive services. This

all creates the need for a modern datacentre

architecture to overcome the information

siloes and rigid IT infrastructure that limits

transformation and the implementation of a

hybrid cloud IT infrastructure.

Hybrid cloud infrastructure is in fact a key

enabler of digital transformation as it supports

mobile and cloudnative workloads

as well as the existing business-critical

and legacy workloads. At the same time,

it supports innovative projects initiated by

the business.

It is important that CIOs evaluate which

workloads and data should move to the

cloud so that the benefits of scalability,

agility and service-based IT delivery are

maximised. A strong business case should

always be developed before data is moved

between environments to ensure that it is

being moved for the right reasons.

Foster closer ties between IT and business


Business innovation initiatives are often

limited in their success by being separated

from the infrastructure, systems and processes

required to support them. This siloed

approach means business departments and

IT aren’t aligned, making it harder for IT to

deliver exactly what is needed.

Effective digital transformation requires an

IT organization that acts as a strong partner

with the rest of the business that provides

the necessary tools and infrastructure to

support specific projects. Bringing together

the skills and talents from across business

and IT will ensure transformation projects

deliver the intended impact.

This is particularly important given that long

term stable digital transformation requires

continuous innovation and integration.

Choose the right tech provider

The final element needed for effective digital

transformation is a technology provider

that matches the ambition of the business

and will be relevant in the long term. To be

effective and successful partners to their

customers, technology providers must provide

support for a strategy and governance

framework that spans operating model,

infrastructure and applications, delivering

measurable results in each phase of implementation

to then also transform leadership

and customer experience. This will truly help

CIOs to thrive in the digital era.



Roberto Mircoli

Senior Director Enterprise Marketing –


Dell EMC

(n.d.). Retrieved December 08, 2016, from http://www.forbes.


Issue 6 | 41


Microfinance Movement:

Time for a Revolution?

42 | Issue 6


2016 has arguably been a transformative

year for financial technology – a new, digital

approach to delivering financial services

has offered a faster, more convenient and

more useful experience to customers

by combining platforms, channels and

technology. Today millions of people are

gaining access to financial services that

were otherwise unattainable in previous

years. It’s an incredibly exciting and time for

the “fintech” business and its overall impact

on society.

In developing countries, 2.5 billion

people are ‘unbanked’ and have to rely

on cash or informal financial services

which are typically unsafe, inconvenient

and expensive. There are many areas of

technology currently being used to try and

disrupt traditional banking models and

enable financial inclusion within certain

emerging markets.

These advancements have proven that

being unbanked does not equate to

unbankable, in fact they are very much still

credit worthy. A new shift in thinking has

opened wide the possibility to meet people

where they are with the service they most

need, and that shift was enabled by two

simple words: digital transformation.

Digital transformation means different

things to different industries, but at its core

it is the same - a new way of conducting

business, transactions, even life. It is an

always on, always personalized, always

direct means of engaging with customers

when they want it, where they want it and

how they want it. For mobile operators,

this transformation was made possible by

the convergence of three key areas: cloud

capabilities, big data and the ubiquitous rise

of smartphones.

Digital financial technology, or

“fintech,” has expanded access to

financial services for hard-to-reach

populations and small businesses

at low cost and risk. New products

are now possible, where they weren’t

before. The combustion of cloud

computing and data science, along with

the proliferation of smartphones has

opened up opportunities to establish

financial identities for the billions who

are underbanked. The use of cloud

computing and data science have made

complex functionalities accessible across

diverse locations and markets.

The widespread use of mobile phones

in emerging markets has created the

conditions for large-scale expansion

of mobile financial services, which will

enable organizations to dramatically

increase financial inclusion. However,

identity presents a major challenge.

The majority of these consumers are

anonymous, preventing access to

essential mobile financial services. Juvo’s

mission is to establish the financial

identities for the 5.7 billion prepaid mobile

users around the world who are credit

worthy, yet financially excluded.

We are partnering with mobile operators

to help provide a financial identity to

these subscribers using big data to create

‘Identity Scoring’ - a concept more robust

than a credit score because it takes into

account behaviors, preferences and lifestyle.

Using machine learning to analyze digital

footprints left by smartphone use, Juvo

builds a financial identity and provides

access to mobile financial services. Mobile

operators are seeing an immediate lift in

ARPU of 10-15 percent and a 50 percent

reduction in churn. Financial services

companies open the door to a previously

untapped market in the billions, and

individual subscribers are exposed to a host

of opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise

have as Juvo walks them up a pathway to

financial inclusion.

The world of finance is starting to recognize

the immense value in this wholly untapped

market, and a recent report from McKinsey 1

placed a dollar amount of $3.7 trillion by

2025 on the impact that digital finance will

have in emerging markets. Sophisticated

technology offers the ability to meet

segments that were previously unreachable

before and mobile banking is of course one

example of this new phenomenon. It was

reported 2 that in 2014 that 80 percent of

adults in emerging economies had mobile

phones, but only 55 percent have a financial

account. With three billion new smartphone

subscribers expected in emerging markets

by 2020 3 , it is clear that the potential to

deliver advanced financial services is vast

and is spurring a digital revolution.

2017 is set to be a big year for the fintech

sector. It will be the ticket for financial

inclusion for all in a global digital economy.

While the microfinance movement has its

place, it isn’t a game-changer for the vast

majority of the population. The revolution

will come when users can be identified and

assigned a financial identity that will bring

real value to their lives.

Steve Polsky

Founder and CEO





Issue 6 | 43


The Power

of Graph

Wobi Plugs Into The Power Of Graph For

Insurance Price Comparison

Neo Technology’s CEO Emil Eifrem discusses the issues

Wobi, Israel’s best-known price comparison website

for pensions and insurance, is using graph database

technology to address

Graph databases have a growing reputation in the financial

services sector. That’s because, unlike most other ways

of looking at data, graph databases are designed from the

ground up to model and uncover relationships, which means

they can uncover patterns traditional representations such

as SQL tables can either never spot or take too long to

process. Analysts forecast wide take up as a result,.

Let’s immediately state that graph databases are not

appropriate for every financial sector computing problem.

There are transactional and analytical processing needs

within financial institutions that relational technology is still

pitch-perfect for, such as systems of record in HR or finance.

However, let’s look at one specific finance issue – serving

the price comparison market adequately. Price comparison

websites have become increasingly popular because of

the convenience they offer customers, set up to allow

consumers to compare numerous finance products, from

car loans to home insurance, all in one place. Consumers

can then evaluate the results to make an informed buying

decision. To stay ahead in the cut-throat world of finance

price comparison websites, the firm knows it needs to

provide a continuous stream of compelling ‘value offers,’

which can only be realistically done by analysing large

swathes of customer data, fast.

Price comparison turns out to be a very interesting example

of how graph database technology can come into its own

when an organisation is looking to get the most from

connected data out of large-scale datasets – which is what

one of our finance clients, Israeli-based insurance and

pensions leader Wobi, recently discovered.

With five years of successful trading behind it, Wobi is

already the best-known price comparison website of its

type in its market. With 500,000 customers and millions

of monthly visitors to its website, on the back of its swift

success, it is already looking to launch a banking and

finance comparison service later this year.

44 | Issue 6


Wobi knew that to make its stamp on the industry it had to

be able to provide customers with ‘value offers’ every time.

To do that, it needed to create a detailed financial profile

of each customer, including their family status, insurance

policies, pensions, savings, and accounts. The Wobi team we

worked with also knew that drilling down into this knowledge

was not going to be easy without the right tools.

Big data challenge

Wobi ended up deciding its best approach was a single

database solution that would provide it with a granularlevel

understanding of its customers that would enable

it to outpace the competition. The team had to be able

to work with a data engine able to drill-down and provide

‘deep dives’ when needed on individual’s history in real.

However, the structure and type of files it had stored the

data in were a challenge to work with. Wobi holds its data

in a tree-like structure, which means that under each

customer hangs a wealth of information. Fine and good

design, but that results in often large files that need to be

extracted quickly and efficiently when requested.

Wobi started to try and solve these issues with an object

database approach, but that proved unsatisfactory. So

Wobi began looking at various database offerings – and

soon realised that the graph database approach was the

best option for working with these constraints while still

delivering the outcomes it wanted.

30 million relationships in constant view

“We are all about understanding the customer,” says the

fast-growing firm’s CTO, Shai Bentin. “To do that, we need an

easy way to describe our customers and build connections

between them and their information. With Neo4j, I had the

power to describe my data with relationships,” he told me.

“Describing a relationship is important,” Bentin added. “For

example, we get new information about pensions monthly.

To model this in an object-oriented way would be lengthy,

whereas with a graph database I have a relationship called

‘latest’, and a relationship called ‘previous’, and I can just do

a ‘select’ and get whatever I need.”

Issue 6 | 45


Once it had settled on the graph database

model, Wobi opted to run with Neo4j, a

graph database. Neo4j is right at the centre

of Wobi’s network of 20 servers. Wobi has

a team of five people dedicated to graph

database development and testing work to

ensure reliable data is available where and

when it is needed fast.

But where graph database technology

is really proving its worth is tracking the

relationships that make data return value to a

comparison website. The database currently

runs around a million relationships a second

and is handling half a million customers

with an average of eight pensions, insurance

policies and products, a total of 30 million



As a result says Bentin, “We can look at the

customer’s account in such depth that we

can tell them they must have a water leak

somewhere because they have been paying

way over the average for their water every

month! We can also now easily see how to

suggest a customer move from, say, one

phone company to another, as the other

supplier would better suits their actual

expenditure,” he says.

Understanding the customer

What I appreciate about the Wobi story

is how clearly it shows the power of

understanding relationships in today’s

online business world.

It’s graph-powered, fine-detailed,

awareness of individual customers and their

requirements is fundamental to providing

the right kind of offers users of services like

Wobi seek.

Experiences like Wobi’s and others

who are starting to exploit the power of

graph databases underline how large the

contribution of graph databases for any

high-performance database need in the

financial sector could be.

And as finance is a sector where information

needs to be available at any time at all

customer contact points and to help the

customer, I think that really matters.

Emil Eifrem


Neo Technology

Emil Eifrem co-founder and CEO

of Neo Technology, the company

behind Neo4j, the world’s leading

graph database (http://neo4j.


46 | Issue 6


Global Banking and Finance Review is privileged to honour those financial institutions who have achieved outstanding results and who stand out in

their particular area of expertise in the banking and finance industry.

Global Banking & Finance Review would like to congratulate the award winners and look forward to their continued success. The awards were

created to recognize companies of all sizes that are prominent in particular areas of expertise and excellence within the financial community. They

reflect the involvement of leading financial organizations and recognize the accomplishment, achievement, innovation, strategy, progressive and

motivating changes taking place within the financial sector.

Best STP Broker Africa 2016

Best Introducing Broker Program Africa 2016

Best Payments Processor Africa 2016

Best SME Bank Albania 2016

Fastest Growing Commercial Bank Albania 2016

Best Retail Bank Albania 2016

Best Insurance Company Albania 2016

Best Retail Bank Algeria 2016

Best Private Bank Andorra 2016

Best CSR Bank Andorra 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Angola 2016

Best Commercial Bank Angola 2016

Best Internet Bank Angola 2016

Best Insurance Company Angola 2016

Best New Investment Bank Angola 2016

Best Investment Company Angola 2016

Best Banking CEO Angola 2016 – Antonio Coutinho

Best Bank for Corporate Governance Angola 2016

Best Investment Bank Angola 2016

Best Cash Management Bank Argentina 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Argentina 2016

Best Capital Markets Company Argentina 2016

Best Investment Management Team Argentina 2016

Best SME Bank Argentina 2016

Best Customer Service Financial Company Argentina 2016

Best Research House Argentina 2016

Best Trading Platform Argentina 2016

Fastest Growing Retail Bank Armenia 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application Armenia 2016

Best Corporate Bank Armenia 2016

Best Internet Bank Armenia 2016

Best Investor Relations Bank Armenia

Best Retail Bank Armenia 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Armenia 2016

Best Customer Service Broker Asia 2016

Best Islamic Exchange Asia 2016

Best Introducing Broker Affiliate Program Asia 2016

Best Binary Options Broker Asia 2016

Best Trading Platform Asia 2016

Best New Investment Platform Asia 2016

Fastest Growing STP Broker Asia 2016

Best Aviation Leasing Company Asia 2016

Best Credit Insurer Asia Pacific 2016

Best Forex Execution Broker Asia-Pacific 2016

Fastest Growing STP Broker Asia Pacific 2016

Best Forex Education Provider Australasia 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Australia 2016

Most Innovative Stock Exchange Company Australia 2016

Best Private Bank Austria 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Azerbaijan 2016

Best Corporate Finance Advisory Azerbaijan 2016

Best Internet Bank Azerbaijan 2016

Best SME Bank Azerbaijan 2016

Best Retail Bank of Azerbaijan 2016

Fastest Growing Retail Bank Azerbaijan 2016

Best Microfinance Bank Azerbaijan 2016

Best Micro Finance Company Azerbaijan 2016

Best CSR Bank Bahrain 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Bahrain 2016

Best Retail Bank Bahrain 2016

Best Internet Bank Bahrain 2016

Best Islamic Banking Product (It’eman Account) Bahrain 2016

Best Islamic Retail Bank Bahrain 2016

Best Islamic Credit Card Program (Easy 36) Bahrain 2016

Best Islamic Leasing Advisory Provider Bahrain 2016

Best Electronic Payment Service Provider Bahrain 2016.

Best Asset Management Bank Bahrain 2016

Best Retail Bank Belarus 2016

Best Corporate Bank Belarus 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Belgium 2016

Best Payments Solution Belgium 2016

Fastest Growing Business Bank Bolivia 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application Bolivia 2016

Best General Insurance Company Bolivia 2016

Best Asset Management Company Bolivia 2016

Best Microfinance Bank Bolivia 2016

Best Business Bank Bolivia 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Bolivia 2016

Best Retail Bank Bolivia 2016

Best Internet Bank Bosnia & Herzegovina 2016

Blackwell Global

Blackwell Global

Payment Express Ltd

Tirana Bank

Banka NBG Albania Sh.A

Fibank (First Investment Bank)

Sigal Uniqa

Trust Bank Algeria

Credit Andorra

Credit Andorra

Finibanco Angola

Banco De Fomento Angola

Banco Económico

Global Seguros

Banco Prestígio S.A

Quantum Global

Standard Bank Angola

Standard Bank Angola

Standard Bank Angola

Banco Santander Río S.A.

Banco Santander Río S.A.



Banco Macro

Portfolio Personal

Portfolio Personal



“Areximbank-Gazprombank Group” CJSC

“Areximbank-Gazprombank Group” CJSC

“Areximbank-Gazprombank Group” CJSC

Inecobank CJSC

Anelik Bank CJSC

Ararat Bank

FBS Markets Inc.

Bursa Malaysia Berhad

Starfish FX

Starfish FX

Starfish FX


Firewood Global Ltd.

BOC Aviation

Atradius N.V.


Nico Financial NF Limited

Learn to Trade

Heritage Bank

The Sydney Stock Exchange

Erste Bank

Pasha Life





Amrahbank OJSC

AccessBank CJSC

VF AzerCredit

National Bank of Bahrain B.S.C

National Bank of Bahrain B.S.C


Bahrain Islamic Bank BSC

Khaleeji Commercial Bank

Bahrain Islamic Bank BSC

Khaleeji Commercial Bank

Ijara Management Company

Arab Financial Services Company

Gulf International Bank (GIB)



KBC Bank


Banco Bisa

Banco Ganadero S.A.

BISA Seguros y Reaseguros SA

BIM Asset Management

Banco Solidario S.A.

Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz

Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz

Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz

Nova Banka Ad Banja Luka

Best SME Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016

Best Internet Bank Botswana

Best Investment Banking Botswana 2016

Best Foreign Exchange Bank Botswana 2016

Best Custodian Bank Botswana 2016

Most Innovative Commercial Bank Botswana 2016

Fastest Growing Corporate Bank Brazil 2016

Best Commercial Bank Brazil 2016

Best Agriculture Financing Bank Brazil 2016

Best Retail Bank Brazil 2016

Best Asset Management Bank Brazil 2016

Best Bank for Investor Relations Brazil 2016

Best Fixed Income House Brazil 2016

Fastest Growing Foreign Bank Brunei 2016

Best Credit Insurance Provider in Bulgaria 2016

Fastest Growing Treasury Bank Burkina Faso 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Burkina Faso 2016

Best Treasury Bank Burkina Faso 2016

Best Internet Bank Cambodia 2016

Best CSR Bank Cambodia 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application Cambodia 2016

Fastest Growing Trade Finance Bank Cambodia 2016

Best Commercial Bank Cambodia 2016

Best Insurance Company Customer Service Cambodia 2016

Best Non-Life Insurance Company Cambodia 2016

Most Innovative Insurance Product Cambodia 2016

Best CSR Company Cambodia 2016

Best Telecommunications Company Cambodia 2016

Best Bank for Premier Banking Cambodia 2016

Best Retail Bank Canada 2016

Best Private Wealth Management Company Canada 2016

Best Insurance Company Cape Verde 2016

36one Asset Management (Pty) Ltd

Best Energy Broker Central and Eastern Europe 2016

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Canadia Bank

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Procredit Bank Congo S. A

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Rawbank Sa

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Fastest Growing Trade Finance Bank Egypt 2016

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Academy of Financial Trading

IQ Option

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Acacia Health Insurance Company

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National Bank Of Greece S.A.

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Best FX and Binary Customer Support Company Latin America 2016

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Best Banking CEO Macedonia 2016 – Mr. Vladimir Eftimoski

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Bank Hapoalim

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ING Bank


ScotiaFoundation (Scotiabank)

ScotiaFoundation (Scotiabank)

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Jamaica) Limited

National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (JNCB)

NCB Insurance Company

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Housing Bank for Trade & Finance

Housing Bank for Trade & Finance

Housing Bank for Trade & Finance

PIO-TECH Solutions


Qazaq Banki


JSC Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan

ForteBank JSC

JSC Alfa-Bank

Kazakhinstrakh JSC

Transnational Bank Ltd



Jamii Bora Bank Ltd

Gulf African Bank

Gulf African Bank

Kenya Reinsurance Company

Zep Re (PTA Reinsurance Company)

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya

Equity Bank Kenya Limited

National Bank of Kenya

National Bank of Kenya

National Bank of Kenya

Banka Ekonomike

BPB Bank

BPP Bank

Warba Bank

Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial

Gulf Bank

Gulf Bank

EFG Hermes

AIG MEA Limited – Kuwait

Jubilee Insurance Company

Demir Kyrgyz International Bank CJSC


OJSC Optima Bank

International Commercial Bank Lao Limited

Lao-Viet Insurance Company

BFL (Banque Franco-Lao Ltd)

Joint Development Bank

Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL)

Rustas de Lima


Groupo Financiro Interacciones

SEB Latvia


The Lebanese Credit Insurer Sal (LCI)

Fidelity Assurance & Reinsurance CoS Sal

Bank Audi Sal

Bank Audi Sal


Arab Finance House (Islamic Bank) S.A.L

Creed Capital

Standard Lesotho Bank

Standard Lesotho Bank


Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia Limited

Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia Limited

Kaiser Partner

DNB bankas

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Banque Internationale à Luxembourg SA


Banque Internationale à Luxembourg SA

Pure Capital S.A.

Carlisle Management Company


Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU)

Stopanska Banka A.D. Bitola

Stopanska Banka A.D. Bitola

Stopanska Banka A.D. Bitola

Banque SBM-Madagascar

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Mr. Muhammad Hanif, CEO, PT Mandiri Manajemen Investasi

Steve Hansen, Chief Operating Officer for Starfish FX and Dav Liew, Chief of

Strategic Marketing in Asia for Starfish FX

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Kiril Tsenkov, Deputy Development Director, GDMFX

Mr. Bolaji Ayodele, Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Limited and

Mr. Dodou Bojang, Head Corporate Affairs, Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Limited

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Mr. Thi Huy Thanh, Foreign Exchange Manager, Saigon Commercial Bank,

Mr. Nguyen Duc Hieu, Deputy General Director, Saigon Commercial Bank

and Mr. Phan Huy, Money Market Manager, Saigon Commercial Bank

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Ms. Kristine Umali, Commercial Attache and Director, Embassy of the Philippines

Ambassador Evan P. Garcia of the Republic of the Philippines in the United


Gilda E. Pico, President and CEO, Landbank of Philippines

Ms. Catherine Rowena B. Villanueva, First Vice President, Corporate Affairs Dept,

Landbank of Philippines

Jocelyn Cabreza, Executive Vice President, Landbank of Philippines

Phil Fothergill, Journalist and Video Producer

(left to right)

Fastest Growing SME Bank Malawi 2016

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Fasted Growing General Insurance Company Mauritius 2016

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Best Banking CEO Mexico 2016 – Dr. Gerardo Salazar

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Best Islamic Real Estate Financing Company Middle East 2016

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Best Islamic Banking Technology Provider Middle East and Africa 2016

Best Non-Life Insurance Company Moldova 2016

Best Commercial Bank of Moldova 2016

Fastest Growing Corporate Bank Moldova 2016

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Best Banking Product (Transfer P2p) Moldova 2016

Best Health Insurance in Mongolia 2016

Fastest Growing General Insurance Company Mongolia 2016

Best Internet Bank Mongolia 2016

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Best New SME Fund Raising Company Mongolia 2016

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Best Custodian Bank in Morocco 2016

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Best Corporate Bank Myanmar 2016

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Opportunity Bank

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Charter Insurance Co. Ltd.

United General Insurance Company Limited

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Eco bank

CDH Investment Bank

FDH Bank Limited

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HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad

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CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management

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Standard Financial Adviser Sdn Bhd

Malayan Banking Berhad

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Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad

Hong Leong Bank Berhad

Bank Rakyat

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United Overseas Bank

Allied Insurance Company of the Maldives

Amana Takaful Maldives Plc

Valletta Fund Services Limited

FCM Bank

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Afrasia Bank

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SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd

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Bank One Limited

ABC Banking Corporation

Kuwait International Bank

Investabank S.A

Monex Bank



Financiamiento Progresemos


Groupo Financiro Interacciones

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Sura Asset Management

Qatar First Bank

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

ICS Financial Systems


CB ‘Moldova-Agroindbank’ SA

JSCB “EXIMBANK-Gruppo Veneto Banca”

BC Moldindconbank SA

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Bodi Insurance LLC

Soyombo Daatgal

Golomt Bank

Capital Bank of Mongolia

Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia

National Investment Bank

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Horizon Partners LLC

Uniqa Montenegro

Attijari Intermediation

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Attijariwafa Bank

Ecobank Mozambique Sa

FNB Mocambique Sa

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Banco Terra Moçambique

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Millennium bim

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CB Bank

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Windhoek Bank

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Standard Bank Namibia

IJG Securities



ING Private Bank Netherlands

ING Private Bank Netherlands



Best Agriculture Financing Bank Netherlands 2016

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Best Corporate Bank in Nicaragua 2016

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Best Corporate Governance Bank Nigeria 2016

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Best Asset Management Company Nordics 2016

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Best Investment Bank Oman 2016

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Best Commercial Bank Panama 2016

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Best AFP Peru 2016

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Best Auto Loan Bank Philippines 2016

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Best Cash Management Bank Philippines 2016

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Best Bank for Debt Capital Markets Philippines 2016

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Best Corporate Bank Poland 2016

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Best Commercial Bank Portugal 2016

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Fastest Growing Bank for Capital Markets Portugal 2016

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Best Bank for Advisory Banking Portugal 2016

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Best General Takaful Provider Qatar 2016

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Best Foreign Exchange Bank Qatar 2016

Best Premium Banking Services Provider Qatar 2016

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Best Corporate Bank Qatar 2016

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Best Corporate Governance Bank in Russia

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EVI Global Markets

Banco Ficohsa Nicaragua, S.A

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Zenith Bank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited

First Bank of Nigeria Limited

First Bank of Nigeria Limited

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc

Diamond Bank Plc

Unity Bank Plc.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

Finca Microfinance Bank Limited

Standbic IBTC Asset Management

Standbic IBTC Asset Management

FBN Insurance

Custodian and Allied Plc

Jaiz Bank Plc


New Prudential Mortgage Bank

Fine and Country West Africa

SEB Asset Management

BFX Baron Forex Education & Consulting

BMO Capital Markets

National Bank of Oman

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National Life and General Insurance Co, SAOC

National Life and General Insurance Co, SAOC

Alizz Islamic Bank


AXA Insurance Gulf, Oman

Bank Dhofar

Bank Dhofar

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Macro Software Systems LLC

Allbank Corp

Banco General

MMG Bank Corporation




Banco Continental

Banco Continental


AFP Integra

Pacifico Seguros

Sura Asset Management Perú



Philippine Savings Bank

First Metro Investment Corporation

LANDBANK of the Philippines

Unionbank of The Philippines

China Banking Corp

LANDBANK of the Philippines


China Banking Corp

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Philippine National Bank

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Robinsons Land Corporation

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PKO Bank Polski

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Deutsche Bank Polska

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Banco Santander Totta

Banco Finantia

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Deutsche Bank Ag, Sucursal Portugal

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Qatar Islamic Insurance

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Al Khalij Commercial Bank (Al Khaliji) Q.S.C.

Qatar Islamic Insurance

Barwa Bank

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Mashreq Qatar

Garanti Bank S.A.

Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari

BNP Paribas

AO UniCredit Bank

Otkritie Bank

Vozrozhdenie Bank

Bank Saint-Petersburg


Mr. Bui Trung Kien, Deputy General Director, ABBANK

Mr. Rafael Moreno Valle, Chairman & CEO of Financiamiento Progresemos

Mr. Rodrigo Lebois, UNIFIN Founder and President

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Best Project Finance Bank Russia 2016

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Best Takaful Insurance Operator Saudi Arabia 2016

Best Loyalty Programs (Aseel & Woow) Saudi Arabia 2016

Best Real Estate Investment Company Saudi Arabia 2016

Best Corporate Finance Advisory Senegal 2016

Best Insurance Company Serbia 2016

Best XSR Bank Serbia 2016

Best Pension Fund Provider Serbia 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Seychelles 2016

Best Foreign Bank Seychelles 2016

Best Retail Bank Sierra Leone 2016

Best SME Bank Singapore 2016

Best CFD Trading Provider Singapore 2016

Best Insurance Product (AXA Optimus) Singapore 2016

Most Innovative Online Banking Application Singapore 2016

Best Boutique Private Bank Singapore 2016

Best Digital Customer Engagement Program Singapore 2016

Best Mobile Trading App Singapore 2016

Best Online Trading Platform Singapore 2016

Best Corporate Bank Slovakia 2016

Best Retail Bank Slovakia 2016

Best Commercial Bank Slovenia 2016

Fastest Growing Commercial Bank Slovenia 2016

Best Retail Bank South Africa 2016

Best Private Bank South Africa 2016

Best Asset Manager CEO South Africa 2016- Mr. Mothobi Seseli

Best Emerging Payments Company South Africa 2016

Best Alternative Payment Technology Provider South Africa 2016

Best Forex Education Provider South Africa 2016

Best New Forex Broker South Africa 2016

Best Equity House South Africa 2016

Best Private Equity Firm South Africa 2016

Best Fixed Income Fund Management Company South Africa 2016

Best Corporate Finance Advisory South Africa 2016

Best Securities Broker South America 2016

Best Company CEO South East Asia 2016 (Mr. Aloke Lohia)

Fastest Growing IB Program South East Asia 2016

Fastest Growing New ECN Broker South East Asia 2016

Most Innovative FX Social Trading Solutions South East Asia 2016

Best Project Finance Bank South Korea 2016

Best Commercial Bank South Korea 2016

Best Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Southeast Asia 2016

Best Bank for Social Responsibility Southeast Asia 2016

Best Alternative Credit Specialist Southeast Asia 2016

Best Home Finance Bank Spain 2016

Best Private Bank Spain 2016

Most Innovative Retail Bank Spain 2016

Best Broker Spain 2016

Best Investment & Securities Outsourcing Provider Spain 2016

Best CSR Bank Spain 2016

Best Investor Relations Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best Home Finance Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best SME Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best Insurance Company for CSR in Sri Lanka 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Sri Lanka 2016

Best CSR Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Most Innovative ATM Platform Sri Lanka 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best Internet Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best Investment Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Best Islamic SME Leasing & Finance Company Sri Lanka 2016

Most Innovative Islamic Investment Product (Wakala) Sri Lanka 2016

Fastest Growing Commercial Bank Sri Lanka 2016

Most Innovative Banking Product (Daskam) Sri Lanka 2016

Fastest Growing Finance Company Sri Lanka 2016

Best Micro Finance Service Provider Sri Lanka 2016

Best Telecommunication Company-Sri Lanka 2016

Most Innovative Holding Group Sri Lanka 2016

Best Insurance Broker Sri Lanka 2016

Best Corporate Bank Suriname 2016

Best Internet Bank Suriname 2016

ING Commercial Bank Russia

JSCB Avangard


Credit Bank of Moscow

Touch Bank (Part of OTP Group)

Access Bank Rwanda


Soras Group

Unguka Bank


Bank of Kigali

Bank of Kigali

I&M Bank (Rwanda) Limited

Banque Populaire du Rwanda Ltd

Al Rajhi Bank

Arab National Bank

Al Yusr Leasing & Financing

The National Commercial Bank

The Saudi Investment Bank

Banque Saudi Fransi

Al Rajhi Bank

Bank Aljazira


Bupa Arabia

Saudi Kuwaiti Finance House

Aljazira Takaful

The Saudi Investment Bank

Sedco Capital

Impaxis Capital

Generali Osiguranje Srbija

Komercijalna Banka

Dunav Voluntary Pension Fund Management Company

Sacos Life Assurance Company Ltd

Barclays Bank Seychelles Limited

Guaranty Trust Bank (SL) Ltd



AXA Singapore

ANZ Banking Group Limited

Bordier & CIE

ANZ Banking Group Limited

OCBC Securities Private Limited

OCBC Securities Private Limited

VUB Bank

VUB Bank

SKB banka d.d.

Sid Banka D.D.

Standard Bank


Argon Asset Management

Call Pay

Call Pay

Learn to Trade






Credicorp Capital

Indorama Venture Public Company Limited


Tradesto Corporation

MFX Broker

Korea Development Bank

KEB Hana Bank -Han Financial Group

Vietnam Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Agribank)

Vietnam Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Agribank)

EFA Group

Banco Popular Espanol Sa

Banca March

Caixa Bank

Activotrade Valores


Caixa Bank

NDB Bank


Seylan Bank

Habib Bank

AIA Insurance Lanka Plc

AIA Insurance Lanka Plc

Sampath Bank Plc

Sampath Bank Plc

Nations Trust Bank Plc

Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc

NDB Investment Bank

Al-Falaah, Islamic Business Unit of LOLC Finance PLC

Al-Falaah, Islamic Business Unit of LOLC Finance PLC

Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc

Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc

Kanrich Finance

Kanrich Finance

Sri Lanka Telecom Plc

Sunshine Holdings Plc

Senaratne Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Limited

Republic Bank (Suriname) N.V.

Hakrinbank N.V

Best Digital Bank Swaziland 2016

Best Investor Relation Bank Sweden 2016

Best General Insurance Company Switzerland 2016

Best Fund Manager in FoHF Switzerland 2016

Fastest Growing Commercial Bank Switzerland 2016

Best Commodity Trade Finance Advisor Switzerland 2016

Best Commercial Bank Taiwan 2016

The Best Internet Bank- Taiwan 2016

Best Retail Bank Taiwan 2016

Best Leasing Company Taiwan 2016

Best Non-Life Insurance Company Taiwan 2016

Fastest Growing Corporate Bank Taiwan 2016

Fastest Growing Retail Bank Taiwan 2016

Fastest Growing SME Bank Taiwan 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Taiwan 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Taiwan 2016

Best Wealth Management Bank Taiwan 2016

Best Commercial Bank Tanzania 2016

Best Foreign Exchange Bank in Tanzania 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application Tanzania 2016

Best Retail Bank Tanzania 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Tanzania 2016

Fastest Growing General Insurance Company Tanzania 2016

Best SME Bank Tanzania 2016

Best Equities Broker Tanzania 2016

Best Securities Broker Tanzania 2016

Best Bank for Auto Financing Thailand 2016

Best Bancassurance Distribution Network Thailand 2016

Best Investment Banking Thailand 2016

Best Retail Bank Thailand 2016

Best SME Bank Thailand 2016,

Best Trade Finance Bank Thailand 2016

Best Mobile Trading Platform Thailand 2016

Best General Insurance Company Thailand 2016

Best Social Media Bank Thailand 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Thailand 2016

Best Investor Relations Company Thailand 2016

Best Corporate Bank Trinidad and Tobago 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Trinidad and Tobago 2016

Best Internet Bank Trinidad and Tobago 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Tunisia 2016

Best Credit Insurance Company Tunisia 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Tunisia

Best Islamic Bank Tunisia 2016

Best Leasing Company Tunisia 2016

Best Forex Advisory Tunisia 2016

Best Corporate Bank Turkey 2016

Best Corporate Governance Bank Turkey 2016

Best Investment Bank Turkey 2016

Best Investor Relations Bank Turkey 2016

Best Private Banking Turkey 2016

Best Retail Bank Turkey 2016

Best SME Bank Turkey 2016

Best Bank for Social Media Turkey 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Turkey 2016

Best Health Insurance Turkey 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Turkey 2016

Best Institutional Brokerage Firm Turkey 2016

Fastest Growing Islamic Retail Bank Turkey 2016

Best New Takaful Provider Turkey 2016

Best Banking Contact Centre Experience Turkey 2016

Best Internet Bank Turkey 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application Turkey 2016

Best CSR Company Turkey 2016

Best Factoring Company Turkey 2016

Best Forex Broker Turkey 2016

Best Forex Customer Service Broker Turkey 2016

Best Pension Fund Manager Turkey 2016

Best Credit Insurance Company Turkey 2016

Best Asset Management Company Turkey 2016

Best New Asset Management Company Turkey 2016

Best Research Database Turkey 2016

Best Brokerage House for Islamic Bonds Turkey 2016

Best Automated Auto Financing Credit Management System Turkey 2016

Best Corporate Bank UAE 2016

Best Investor Relations Bank UAE 2016

Best Social Media Bank UAE 2016

Best Health Insurance Service Provider UAE 2016

Best Non-Life Insurance Company UAE 2016

Best New Credit Card Programs UAE 2016 (World MasterCard Credit Card

and Red MasterCard Credit Card)

Best Cash Management Bank UAE 2016

Best Corporate Governance Bank UAE 2016

Best Digital Bank UAE 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application UAE 2016

Best Wealth Management Bank UAE 2016

Best Retail Bank UAE 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank UAE 2016

Best Customer Experience UAE 2016

Best Fixed Income Fund Manager UAE 2016

Best Real Estate Investment Company UAE 2016

Fastest Growing Islamic Corporate Bank UAE 2016

Best Islamic Banking Marketing Campaign (Jwayez) UAE 2016

Best Islamic Finance CSR Company UAE 2016

Best Finance Comparison Website UAE 2016

Standard Bank Swaziland


Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

Thalia Sa

Habib Bank

Structured Commodity Corporate Finance (SCCF) Sarl


Taipei Fubon Bank


Chailease Holding

Fubon Insurance

DBS Bank Taiwan

DBS Bank Taiwan

DBS Bank Taiwan

Cathay United Bank

Nan Shan Life Insurance Co

King’s Town Bank

CRDB Bank Plc

I & M Bank (T) Ltd

Accessbank Tanzania

CRDB Bank Plc

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited

UAP Insurance

Diamond Trust Bank Tanzania Limited

Orbit Securities Co Ltd

Orbit Securities Co Ltd

Thanachart Bank

TMB Bank

The Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited (SCB)

Krungthai Bank Pcl

Kasikornbank Pcl

Kasikornbank Pcl

Maybank Kim Eng

Southeast Insurance Plc

Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited (Krungsri Bank)

Thai Life Insurance Plc.

Indorama Venture Public Company Limited

First Citizens Bank Limited

Republic Bank Limited

Republic Bank Limited

Societe Tunisienne De Banque


Assurances Comar Et Hayett

Zitouna Bank

Arab Tunisian Lease

BFX Baron Forex Education & Consulting


Garanti Bank

Aktif Bank

Garanti Bank

Yapı Kredi Bankası A.Ş

Yapı Kredi Bankası A.Ş


Kuveyt Türk

Yapı Kredi Bankası A.Ş

Acibadem Saglık Ve Hayat Sigorta A.S.


Burgan Securities

Albaraka Turk

Katilim Emeklilik Ve Hayat A.S.




Halk Yatirim (Halk Invest)

Garanti Factoring A.S.

Destek Menkul Degerler As (Domino Forex)

Destek Menkul Degerler As (Domino Forex)

AK Asset Management

Euler Hermes Turkey

AK Asset Management

Marmara Capital

Merkezi Kayit Kurulusu A.S. (MKK)

Halk Yatirim (Halk Invest)

ALJ Finans

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

Dubai Islamic Bank

Commercial Bank of Dubai


Oman Insurance Company


Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)

Mashreq Bank

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Mashreq Bank

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Mashreq Bank

Waha Capital

Emirates REIT

Ajman Bank

Ajman Bank

Amlak Finance PJSC


Amlak Finance PJSC

Best Sharia Compliant Property Finance Company UAE 2016

Best CSR Bank UAE 2016

Best Islamic Banking CEO – UAE 2016 – Mr. Mohammad Abdullah Tanqia FZC

Best Commercial Bank Uganda 2016

Best Internet Bank Uganda 2016

Best Investment Bank Uganda 2016

Best Microfinance Bank Uganda 2016

Best Mobile Banking Application Uganda 2016.

Best Banking Product (Karibu Account) Uganda 2016

Best Retail Uganda 2016

Best SME Bank Uganda 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Uganda 2016

Best General Insurance Company Uganda 2016

Best Housing Finance Bank Uganda 2016

Most Innovative New Exchange Platform Uganda 2016

Best Forex Education Provider UK 2016

Best Trading Platform UK 2016

Best Corporate Bank Ukraine 2016

Best Retail Bank Ukraine 2016

Best Customer Services Bank Ukraine 2016

Best SME Bank Ukraine 2016

Best Health Insurance Company Ukraine 2016

Best Commercial Bank Uruguay 2016

Best Trading Platform Uruguay 2016

Best Investment Management Team Uruguay 2016

Best Capital Markets Company Uruguay 2016

Best Retail Bank Uruguay 2016

Best Internet Bank Uruguay 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Uruguay 2016

Best Online Trading Academy USA 2016

Best Corporate Trust Bank USA 2016

Best Investment Company Uzbekistan 2016

Best Leasing Company Uzbekistan 2016

Best SME Bank Uzbekistan 2016

Best Fund Management Company Vietnam 2015

Best Life Insurance Product for Enterprises in Vietnam 2016

Best Bancassurance Partnership Vietnam 2016

Best Bank for ATM Network and Services Vietnam 2016

Best Bank for CSR Vietnam 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Vietnam 2016

Fastest Growing Retail Bank Vietnam 2016

Best Financial Advisory Bank Vietnam 2016

Best Banking Initiative for Self Employed Customers Vietnam 2016

Best Internet Bank Vietnam 2016

Best Banking Auto Loan Product Vietnam 2016 – SeACar

Best Mobile Banking Application Vietnam 2016

Best Priority Banking Services Vietnam 2016

Best Retail Bank Vietnam 2016

Most Innovative Retail Bank Vietnam 2016

Best Savings Bank Vietnam 2016

Best Credit Cards Vietnam 2016

Best Consumer Finance Company Vietnam 2016

Best Real Estate Developer Vietnam 2016

Best Life Insurance Product in Vietnam 2016

Most Innovative SME Bank Vietnam 2016

Best Brokerage House Vietnam 2016

Best Equity House Vietnam 2016

Best Delivery Finance Product Company Vietnam 2016

Fastest Growing Custodian Bank Western Africa 2016

Fastest Growing Financial Services Company Western Europe 2016

Fastest Growing Alternative Investment Company Western Europe 2016

Best FX & CFD Research Western Europe 2016

Fastest Growing Commercial Bank Zambia 2016

Best Commercial Bank Zambia 2016

Best New Corporate Bank in Zambia

Best CSR Bank Zambia 2016

Best Internet Bank Zambia 2016

Best Investment Bank Zambia 2016

Best Agri-Business Bank Zambia 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Zambia 2016

Best Retail Bank Zambia 2016

Best Non-Life Insurance Company Zambia 2016

Best Bank for International Banking Services Zambia 2016

Best Commercial Bank Zimbabwe 2016

Most Innovative Banking Product- Youth Account Zimbabwe 2016

Best Life Insurance Company Zimbabwe 2016

Best Bank for Investor Relations Zimbabwe 2016

Best Microfinance Bank Zimbabwe 2016

Best New Bank for Card Services Zimbabwe 2016

Best New Retail Bank Zimbabwe 2016

Best New Investment Platform Asia 2016

Best Commercial Bank Middle East 2016

Fastest Growing IB Program South East Asia 2016

Best Banking CEO Qatar 2016

Best Trade Finance Bank Qatar 2016 Doha Bank

Best Banking Applications (Website & Mobile) Application Qatar 2016

Best New Takaful Provider Oman 2016

Best Asset Management Company Sri Lanka 2016

Best Investment Banking Company Sri Lanka 2016

Best Islamic Finance Education Provider Sri Lanka 2016

Best Customer Service Bank Azerbaijan 2016

Best Corporate Bank Azerbaijan 2016

Best Banking Product (Currency Cards) Lebanon 2016

Best Retail Bank Lebanon 2016

Sharjah Islamic Bank

Sharjah Islamic Bank

The Best Performing Wastewater Utility

in The UAE Under Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) Structure 2016

Stanbic Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Stanbic Bank

Finance Trust Bank Ltd

Standard Chartered Bank

Stanbic Bank

Barclays Bank

Bank of Africa – Uganda Ltd

Jubilee Life Insurance Company of Uganda Ltd

UAP – Old Mutual Uganda Limited

Housing Finance Bank

ALTX Africa Group Ltd (AAG)

Learn to Trade


Universal Bank

Ukrsotsbank (Unicredit Bank)

First Ukrainian International Bank

Kredo Bank

Ingo Ukraine

Bank Santander







Academy of Financial Trading

MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Orient Capital Management

Uzbek Leasing International A.O.

Ipak Yuli Bank

BAOVIET Fund Management Company


Saigon Commercial Bank

Vietnam Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Agribank)


Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank)

An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ABBANK)

National Citizen Commercial Joint Stock Bank (NCB)

CommCredit (Powered by VPBank)

Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB)


Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank)

Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam) Limited


Asia Commercial Bank

Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB)

Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)

Fe Credit

Vingroup Joint Stock Company


Vietnam International Bank (VIB)

BAOVIET Securities Joint Stock Company

BAOVIET Securities Joint Stock Company

Donga Money Transfer Company

Attijariwafa Bank

JFD Group

JFD Wealth

JFD Brokers

Barclays Bank

Barclays Bank

First Capital Bank Zambia

Barclays Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Citibank Zambia Limited

Stanbic Bank

Cavmont Bank

Cavmont Bank

Nico Insurance

Indo Zambia Bank Ltd

Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe

People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB)

First Mutual Holdings Ltd

CBZ Bank

FBC Holdings

Steward Bank Limited

Steward Bank Limited


Doha Bank


Doha Bank

Doha Bank

Doha Bank

Takaful Oman Insurance S.A.O.G.

Capital Alliance Partners

Capital Alliance Partners

First Global Academy

Yapi Kredi Bank

Yapi Kredi Bank

LGB Bank

LGB Bank

62 Issue 6Asia



96 years of strong


Founded in 1920 by entrepreneurs, China Banking Corporation is celebrating

96 years of strong partnerships. Global Banking & Finance Review spoke with

Ricardo R. Chua, President and CEO of China Banking Corporation about the

key to successful corporate governance, the current business and banking

environment in the Philippines and China Bank’s future strategy.

What are the risks and challenges you see facing

the business environment in the Philippines?

The Philippines will continue its economic growth

momentum amid several downside risks. The

country is expected to remain one of the fastest

growing markets in Asia / SE Asia given this

year’s GDP growth of around 7%.

The expected US Fed policy rate hike in

December and the presence of political

uncertainties (i.e. Donald Trump’s protectionist

stance and Philippine President Rodrigo

Duterte’s pivot towards China and Russia) may

somewhat erode capital values, BPO sector

expansion, and trade flows. Higher oil prices,

while normally negative for the country, can

be offset somewhat by the overseas Filipino

workers (OFW) remittances (currently around

$ 26 billion this year), maintaining its 3-4%

slight upward trajectory as the recent OPEC oil

agreement has pushed up oil prices -- can give

the Arabian countries (where around 30% of

the OFWs are based) a significant boost to its

budget / construction industry.

However, the contraction could be partly offset by

our country’s healthy domestic market boosted

by the current administration’s commitment to

job creation, human capital development, and

infrastructure projects. The upbeat domestic

market will allow banks to expand their balance

sheets and maintain healthy asset quality.

Additionally, the wind down of access to the BSP

deposit facilities may push liquidity back into the

banking system, which will increase the deposit

base of the bigger banks.

How does China Banking Corp help companies

and enterprises raise the necessary capital they


The Bank assists companies especially the

mid-cap clients to explore financing solutions

that would benefit them. The Bank is continually

looking at ways to enable these clients to

lower their borrowing costs and improve their

capital structure to be used for their business

expansions. The Bank has, in the past few years,

made key hires to acquire the expertise, skills,

and knowledge to help and advise clients achieve

the most optimal mix in their capital structure.

Issue 6 | 63


The bank has also developed one of the

most diverse and effective institutional

and retail distribution network that would

eventually help potential borrowers achieve

the lowest and most cost effective solutions

for their funding requirements.

In what ways does your corporate banking

division assist clients in managing their

risk and enhance their revenue?

The corporate banking division offers

various financial services and products to

aid customers’ businesses. Credit facilities

offered may be revolving or non-revolving,

in Peso or foreign currency (primarily

U.S. Dollar) denominated, and secured or

unsecured. The division assists clients

in their funding requirements through

close collaboration with our investment

banking. Aside from lending products, the

corporate banking division also offers cash

management services, deposit services

and investment advisory services to create

operational and cost efficiencies for its

customers. The Bank’s cash management

services address customers’ disbursements,

collections and liquidity needs. It also has

liquidity solutions which aim to promote

transparency of balances and transactional

movements to allow corporate clients to

take full control and optimize their working

capital. These services are executed primarily

through the Bank’s proprietary online banking

platform, China Bank Online which provides

ease of transaction and an additional layer of

security for the clients’ funds.

As a leader in corporate governance why is

it so important and what do you believe are

the key elements to successful corporate


Good corporate governance is one of the

most important cornerstones in ensuring

the sustainability of our business. Indeed,

by upholding the highest ethical standards

in conducting our business, we have

earned the trust and confidence of our

stakeholders and our business partners.

In banking, trust is everything. By building

on this trust and complementing it with

leading edge technology, efficient systems

and processes, and by running our business

with a highly trained professional team,

we are able to attract the best customers

and business partners, lower our cost of

funds, and ultimately, build a strong brand

franchise with loyal customers.

Profit with honor is indeed an admirable

business philosophy. It has been crucial

in China Bank’s success over the last 96

years. We endeavor to elevate our corporate

governance structures and processes to

global standards, constantly monitoring

developments and benchmarking against

best practices. One significant trigger

was when we first accessed the offshore

markets with our US$125 million floating

rate certificates of deposit (FRCD) issue

in 1996 and 1997. We have always been

transparent and forthright to facilitate

understanding of China Bank’s true financial

condition and the quality of our corporate

governance, but when we had our FRCD

issue, there was so much more disclosure

required, and this prompted us to step up

our corporate governance efforts to gain

the trust and confidence of international

creditors and investors. Shortly after our

FRCD issue, corporate governance became

an important issue in Asia in the aftermath

of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. And as

the business landscape changes with the

increased competition, tighter regulations,

and technological innovations, we remain

resolute in our commitment to proactively

strengthen our governance practices to make

China Bank more resilient and to deliver

greater customer and shareholder value.

China Bank is led by a vigilant and high

functioning board of directors and

management team with unquestionable

integrity, dedication, and competence. Our

leaders fully embrace the Bank’s mission,

vision, and values; they chart China Bank’s

path to success, guided not only by the

Bank’s principles, but also by the principles

of good corporate governance—fairness,

accountability, integrity, and transparency.

Our leaders set the tone of governance and

ensure that mechanisms for disclosure,

protection of the rights of shareholders, the

equitable treatment of shareholders, and

the accountability of the Board of Directors

and Management are in place and diligently

implemented in accordance with the highest

ethical standards and strictest regulatory

compliance. Together, the Board and

Management maintain a collaborative and

productive work environment that drives

high performance and quality orientation,

consistent with our commitment to deliver

strong customer and shareholder value.

What impact are foreign investors having

on the Philippine banking sector?

The impact of the foreign investors on

the Philippine banking industry would be

mixed as domestic firms will be challenged

to defend their niche through mergers &

acquisitions and product differentiation to

compete with the new entrants. On the other

hand, having foreign investors would mean

expansion on the customer base of local

firms that will result to more opportunities

for business expansion and employment.

This will also facilitate the transfer of

technology that will encourage innovation

and improvement in efficiency but may post

risks to exporters over changing comparative

advantage. The entry of foreign banks in the

Philippines would mean tighter competition –

that will encourage the local banks to beef up

capital, hire & retain good professionals and

to continuously launch innovative services.

Also, the liberalization will drive interest

rates down due to increased price-based

competition. To overcome challenges, the

government and the Central Bank of the

Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)

must work together to streamline procedures

and information databases for ease of

business and risk management and generate

more high-quality jobs locally to limit human

capital outflow.

What is the long-term business strategy for

China Banking Corp?

China Bank’s core strategies are: acquire

customers, deepen relationships, and to

be the best bank for its customers. The

Bank will strive to remain a major player

with a sizeable presence in the small to

medium enterprise (SME) and middle

markets, while maintaining its niche in

the Chinese business community. The

Bank also expects to take advantage of

bigger business opportunities following the

public launch of China Bank MasterCard,

integration of Planters Development Bank

(PDB) with the thrift banking arm, China

Bank Savings (CBS), and the setup of the

Bank’s investment house, China Bank

Capital Corp (CBCC).

64 | Issue 6


GILBERT U. DEE, Vice Chairman of the Board

HANS T. SY, Chairman of the Board

RICARDO R. CHUA , President and Chief Executive Officer

Issue 6 | 65


66 | Issue 6


The Bank will expand its presence in the urban, rural, and unbanked

areas and put up branches in prime locations within the National

Capital Region to utilize the branch licenses for restricted areas

awarded by the BSP as part of its incentives for the PDB acquisition.

It will continue to deepen relationships with its existing clients and

develop new corporate and commercial accounts coming from the

‘new economy’: utilities, telecommunication, infrastructure, business

processing and logistics, with the goal of raising market share for

both Peso and Dollar-denominated lending. On the commercial

side, the Bank will defend its niche in the SME and middle markets

by strengthening its account management complement and

building its credit underwriting and loans processing capacity. The

Bank will leverage on its experience in lending to Filipino-Chinese

entrepreneurs to grow its share of their new businesses, tap the

next generation of business owners, and meet the requirements of

its parent company SM Group’s network of suppliers, contractors

and tenants. Finally, on retail lending, it will strengthen both its

internal client sourcing scheme and branch referral program and

effectively bundle housing & auto loan products and credit cards

with mainstream banking services.

The Bank will build up its investment securities portfolio, diversify

holdings into better-yielding corporate & sovereign issues that

would generate more fees from bond trading and distribution, and

raise corporate funding to supplement the deposit build-up at the

branch level. The addition of CBCC will also broaden the range of

services available to the Bank’s institutional clients and generate

additional fee-based income and compensating business for the


The CBS-PDB tandem would be able to generate better returns by

leveraging on its combined presence in the commercial, middle,

and SME space through the setup of business centers and

provincial sales offices. It will tap business prospects from the SM

Group’s supply chain and convert Contract-to-Sell (CTS) financing

to end-user home financing facilities and continue to offer its

teachers’ loans.

The Bank will strive to achieve a holistic view of clients’ needs

regardless of market segment and create consistent results and

experiences, not only in the branch, but also across all channels—

ATM network, phone & mobile banking, and China Bank Online.

Newly opened branches would carry the new branch design with

existing branches to follow. In the area of business intelligence, a

dedicated research team will analyze customer demographics and

behavior to determine which products best meet clients’ profile

and preferred banking channels, eventually improving customer

satisfaction and retention. Additionally, key banking policies &

procedures will be reviewed and streamlined, together with the

upgrade of several business systems such as online banking

platform for both corporate and retail clients, Treasury, and

remittance, among others.

China Bank will strengthen its human resource complement

by growing the existing manpower base, hiring & deploying

management trainees, and rolling out training programs covering

customer service, sales management, leadership, and project

management & execution.



Issue 6 | 67


Ricardo R. Chua, president and CEO

since 2014 and previously executive vice

president and COO since 1995, has been

a driving force behind China Bank for

many years, although the history of his

beginnings here hardly fit the storyline of

an overnight success. He joined the Bank

in 1975 as a 23-year-old young deputy,

one of the many key hires of the institution

that was ripe for transformation. Armed

with a degree in accounting and a Masters

degree in business management from the

Asian Institute of Management (AIM), he

had no prior exposure to banking, but this

did not deter him from doing great things

in the Bank.

“I was assigned to run bank wide

operations which provided me in depth

understanding on how to run the Bank,”

Ric says.

There was no manual for training of young

officers back then, so he designed his

own program. He started at the bottom,

rotating through stints at all kinds of tasks,

including audit, tellering and clerical work.

Then he worked at the bank branches to

give himself a ground-level appreciation for

the operations, culture, and challenges of

the Bank. Two decades and many hats and

learnings later, he became COO.

Leadership philosophy: Employees

make the company

At the core of Ric Chua’s leadership

philosophy is his belief that the Bank is

built on the collective story of the men and

women who have served the institution—in

other words, the Bank’s workforce. He

believes in hiring and nurturing the best

and the brightest; and that this continuing

commitment to professionalism and

excellence has prepared the Bank for a

highly competitive banking industry.

This philosophy that underlies what he calls

the “China Bank DNA” believes that what

sets a great organization apart from others

is the strength of its people, who in turn are

passionate about making a difference in the

lives and businesses of their customers –

hence the corporate mantra “Your Success

is our Business.” This customer-centric

approach was reinforced during China

Bank’s 90th anniversary celebration with

the campaign – “More Than Your Banker.

The Right Partner.” -- conveying the bank’s

legacy of enduring partnerships lasting

many generations, anchored on the trust

bestowed by clients and depositors, but

earned the hard way thru consistent hard

work and integrity.

For Ric, the challenge going forward is to

continue to have a strong management

team – one that is a blend of book-smart

and street-smart people. He emphasizes

the importance of being grounded. His

own experience as a branch manager

during his first years in the Bank has

given him valuable lessons in banking.

“I love to talk about how to take care

of our customers—it’s not the textbook

approach. We don’t want to lose that

DNA and character of the Bank of

understanding the customer,” he says.

In his messages to the management

team and exhortations to the people in

the field particularly the branches, Ric

Chua strongly emphasizes that with the

origins of China Bank as a bank put up by

businessmen for businessmen, we should

all “think like entrepreneurs” and not act

like paper pushers, because it only in this

way that you could anticipate the needs of

your customers and respond to this needs

and requirements.

This exhortation brings to life the bank’s

Mission Statement that Ric Chua crafted

in 1994 together with the Management

team, which says “We shall be a primary

catalyst in the creation of wealth for our

customers, driven by a desire to help

them succeed, through a highly motivated

team of competent and empowered

professionals, guided by an in depth

knowledge of their needs and supported

by leading-edge technology.

China Bank’s visionary

Ric has long been regarded as a “visionary”

in China Bank – pushing for the Bank’s IT

modernization, including the acquisition

of a new core banking system rolled out in

August 2015. Under Ric’s guidance, China

Bank replaced its legacy system with the

robust and more powerful Finacle Core

Banking Solution from Infosys—part of the

overall upgrade and enhancement initiative

to support the Bank’s expanding operations

and drive customer growth.

In 2007, he initiated the strategic alliance

between Manulife Philippines and China

Bank, giving birth to the bancassurance

business MCBL or Manulife China Bank

Life Assurance Corporation. This exclusive

partnership has proven to be mutually

beneficial to both parties, providing China

Bank customers with a wider array of

insurance and investment products and

contributing a significant source of feebased

revenues. The partnership has also

contributed up to a quarter of Manulife

Philippines business.

He also led the Bank’s acquisition

of Manila Bank in 2007, which was

relaunched as a savings bank subsidiary

China Bank Savings as the consumer

banking arm of the China Bank group.

The acquisition of a provincial thrift bank

Unity Bank gave China Bank the platform

for a new consumer segment of salary

loans for teacher. A couple of years ago,

he successfully carried out the acquisition

of Planters Development Bank, which was

merged in 2015 into China Bank Savings,

bolstering its portfolio in the SME sector.

He continued to further grow the institution

by initiating the formation of China Bank

Capital Corporation, the investment

house subsidiary of China Bank, providing

clients with a wide range of services that

include debt and equity capital raising and

underwriting, project finance, mergers and

acquisitions, and more.

Currently, Ric is spearheading the “digital

banking project” coupled with a parallel

initiative to refresh the China Bank brand

and branch design —a progressive attempt

by China Bank to compete in this era of

digital banking and virtual convenience by

providing superior customer experience

across all channels.

“We have seen the role of technology evolve

from merely providing the hardware and

software to efficiently handle a greater volume

of transactions to providing the platforms

and managing the ecosystems that will

enable the delivery of superior customercentric

experience across all channels,”

Ric says. “This approach drives the digital

transformation initiatives we are currently

undergoing under my personal supervision.”

Success on his watch

68 | Issue 6


Under Ric’s leadership, China Bank’s credit

rating was upgraded by international ratings

agency Fitch Ratings to ‘BB+’ from ‘BB’, with

a Stable outlook. The upgrade was based on

the “expectation that the Bank will maintain

broadly-steady asset quality, adequate

capital buffers, and stable funding and

liquidity profiles as it grows and potentially

gains market share.”

With Ric at the helm, China Bank has

been a recipient of the Bell Award for

Corporate Governance by the Philippine

Stock Exchange—the only bank among the

awardees in the publicly-listed company

category and the only listed company to

have won for five consecutive years. In

2016, he received the award for Asia’s Best

CEO (Investor Relations) – Philippines at the

6th Asian Excellence Awards presented by

Corporate Governance Asia.

When asked for a motto he lives his life

by, he answers: “Be bold and passionate

in seizing opportunities; be disciplined in

pursuing your dreams to the end.” Proof

that he follows this mantra to the letter

is the level of success he has helped

China Bank rise to – a level that sees the

institution as one of the most trusted

banks in the Philippines.

Other accomplishments

Ric is a member of the China Bank

Board since 2008 as the chairman of the

Management Committee, vice chairman of

the Credit Committee, and a member of the

Executive Committee. He likewise serves

in the Boards of China Bank subsidiaries

China Bank Savings, CBC Properties and

Computer Center, Inc., and China Bank

Capital Corporation.

He is a founding director of BancNet,

Inc., the largest ATM consortium in the

Philippines, serving for several terms as

chairman and vice chairman, and was

again elected BancNet president for 2016 –

2017. In the recent past, he was likewise a

director of CBC Venture Capital Corporation,

the Philippine Clearing House Corporation

(PCHC), and other directorships outside of

China Bank.

Ricardo R. Chua

President and CEO

China Banking Corporation

Issue 6 | 69





The Three Phases of SSH Key Management

It has been said that there are several stages to grieving: denial,

anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. There is often a

similar reaction when it comes to realizing that the back door to our

enterprises has been open for a long time due to poorly managed

SSH user keys.

SSH user keys are a means of authentication, similar in some ways

to a password. Whether it is access to our Oracle databases, payment

processing systems, trading platforms, network devices, Linux

based IOT devices or Amazon cloud, SSH and SSH user key-based

access is pervasively used. It connects our processes together for

application-to-application data transfers, and the way our administrators

and developers can conveniently access their environments.

What is unique about SSH user keys, and why should we be concerned?

• Anyone with an SSH client in your organization and access to a

server can generate an SSH key pair.

• SSH user keys don’t expire, meaning they continue to provide

access unless they are removed from the locations where

they reside.

• SSH user keys don’t necessarily correlate themselves to an

identity, meaning we can’t easily assess which person or what

process the key pair is associated with.

This equals access to our most critical infrastructure, which is completely

out of control.

The Financial Sector Today: “The Wild, Wild West” of SSH User Keys

For the last two decades, the provisioning, de-provisioning and

recertification process of SSH user key-based access in most financial

institutions could be described as the “wild, wild West.” Whereas

SSH has primarily been seen as encryption protocol and, to a lesser

degree, as a means of access to our most critical infrastructure, it

has often been the unwanted stepchild of the prioritized security

70 | Issue 6


initiatives. Who really wants to share with the CISO and CIO that the

organization currently has hundreds of thousands or even millions

of unmanaged access credentials?

The workflow has gone like this: An application owner is tasked to

create a connection to another application to securely move data

between them. The application owner assigns an administrator to

set up the connection. The administrator sets up the connection,

generates and deploys themselves the SSH user keys to automate

the authentication of the connection, and then tests the connection

to confirm that everything is working. If everything connects properly

and the data moves between the applications, the job is considered

done and forgotten.

The problem here is everything that did not happen in this process.

The administrator was able to generate access without oversight

or approval. No inventory of the connections the key-based access

established was kept. No monitoring of the key was enabled. No

lockdown of where that private key could actually be used from, and

no lockdown of what commands that SSH session between the

application could run.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, Federal Reserve Bank, Indian

Reserve Bank, BaFin, the European Central Bank and PCI auditors

are beginning to flag this out-of-control access within financial


Furthermore, data points from the environments of these large

financials are uncovering millions of SSH user key-based connections

to their most critical infrastructure that cannot be tracked back

to owners within the financial institution. In many cases, this access

carries root-level implications, the highest degree of privileged

access. Astonishingly, up to 90 percent of this SSH user key-based

access is obsolete.

Issue 6 | 71


However, the implications and flagged audit

items are not stopping there. Auditors are

also finding scenarios of insiders using

SSH key-based access to bypass privileged

access controls, providing themselves

backdoors to applications and infrastructure.

Accounts and users sharing key-based

credential run rampant, and it is commonplace

for users to leverage keys to gain

greater access across the environment than

they should have.

It is an issue that financial institutions can

no longer ignore and must be addressed

within their identity access management


Phase 1: Denial

We are seeing breaches in which the misuse

of SSH has played a significant role in

exfiltration of critical data. In fact, in the

Snowden and Sony breaches, there is significant

evidence that SSH user keys were

extensively used to gain access to critical

servers and data. Poor to non-existent SSH

key management and encrypted access

control played a significant contributing

factor to both of these major headlines.

A critical question is: “How would an enterprise

know if SSH user keys had been used

to gain unauthorized access to servers and

exfiltrate data if we don’t have any inventory

of SSH user keys and are not monitoring

their usage and how they are provisioned,

revoked and recertified?” Well, we wouldn’t

and we don’t.

In addition, many organizations have little

to no visibility into their encrypted SSH and

SFTP traffic, thereby rendering our intrusion

detection systems, data loss prevention systems,

anti-virus and SIEM tools ineffective in

identifying threats in real time where SSH is

potentially being used maliciously.

Phase 2: Resistance

After denial comes resistance. This usually

entails the following:

1. Please don’t scan my environment

to show me the size of the problem,

because then I will have to fix it.

2. But I have so many other more important


3. There are too many stakeholders

involved to solve this.

4. We are moving to the cloud, so this

won’t be a problem.

Let’s go through these statements so we

can move to the phase of adapting our

organizations to acceptance of this massive


1. Please don’t scan my environment to

show me the size of the problem, because

then I will have to fix it.

A scan of the environment is an eye-opening

and humbling experience. It will provide

insight into risk around segregation of duty

access controls from non-production to

production environment. It will demonstrate

gaps in how we manage third-party access

to our environments, give us insight into

access that has not been recertified in two

or more years and demonstrate where we

have key-based access with weak encryption.

It will highlight how deeply a malicious

actor could penetrate into our environment

with a single stolen private key. The primary

issue is how we gain control of this access

regarding how we provision it, revoke it and

recertify it.

2. But I have so many other more important


What could be more important than securing

the primary back-down in terms of

access to our most critical infrastructure?

How can we continue to ignore hundreds of

thousands to millions of access credential

to our most critical infrastructure?

3. There are too many stakeholders involved

to solve this.

SSH unites our organizations when it comes

to access and data flows. It cuts across

our on-premises assets and is used by

third-party suppliers to gain access to our

systems remotely and transfer data to our

systems. It is used by our developers to

move code throughout the DevOps supply

chain as we create new applications.

It is used to gain access to our cloud and

to transfer data and connect applications

between our midrange servers and our


The SSH-related access challenge organizations

face actually have the chance to bring

many organizational functions closer together.

First and foremost, SSH user key and

encrypted access is an identity and access

management issue. However, cryptographic

services, security operations and infrastructure

all play a significant role in effectively

addressing the issue. It’s not really an issue

of too many stakeholders; it’s more about

identifying who has the ownership to solve

the problem.

4. We are moving to the cloud, so this won’t

be a problem.

Regardless of your plans for migrating services

and applications to the cloud, SSH will

continue to play a key role when it comes to

access and the movement of data.

Issue 6 | 73


Many large enterprises engage in what is

known as a “lift and shift” when it comes to

the first step of cloud migration. For SSH

user key-based access, this means that we

have simply migrated the access challenges

we faced on-premises into our cloud.

Additionally, in the automation stack of

the DevOps process, SSH user key-based

access is the developers’ tool of choice to

move code from source code repositories

like Github to test and build automation

tools like Jenkins, all the way through to

how we upload the code to a cloud application.

We must take into consideration that

developers have access through the supply

chain closer than ever to development

environments. This access also needs to be

controlled effectively.

Phase 3: Adaptation

Once we have overcome denial and resistance,

there are effective ways to gain

visibility, control and ongoing governance of

our SSH user key-based access.

First, because in most cases SSH user

key-based access has not been part of the

overall provisioning processes of organizations’

identity management frameworks, we

have to solve the visibility challenge. Visibility

consists of developing a mapping of

private and public keys to their corresponding

interactive or application-to-application

connection. This can be achieved through

scripted approaches, some of the privileged

access management solutions and those

dedicated to managing SSH user keys.

At the same time, there are other, easily

available tools that can help us understand

how frequently keys are authenticating

and from where. This is known as verbose

logging and can be activated in the SSH

daemon; it is essential because it provides

us the needed intelligence about what keybased

access in our environment is valid

and what access may no longer be needed.

It also can help us identify if private keys are

authenticating from IPs that are not recognized

by our network.

Controlling the bleed of unauthorized SSH

user key-based provisioning is probably the

primary challenge organizations need to address.

Through a process called “lockdown,”

where authorized keys are relocated from

users’ home directories to a central rootowned

location, only users with root-level

access are able to generate new SSH user

keys going forward. But be careful here; if

you lock down access without having a provisioning

process in place, you may frustrate

many of your administrators, developers

and application owners. Communication of

the process and oversight is essential to the

success of this process.

The end game is automation. On average,

if a skilled user sets up an SSH user keybased

trust and validates that the connection

is working, it may take five minutes.

An unskilled SSH user, on the other hand,

may take 30 minutes or more. If we do the

math, we are generating thousands, tens of

thousands or hundreds of thousands of SSH

user keys a year, and the costs really begin

to add up. Automation can be achieved

through scripting, solutions dedicated to

SSH user key management and even orchestration


Denial and resistance are common reactions

when we feel threatened or surprised

by something we think we should have

been aware of. We don’t want to believe that

what is being told to us is true. SSH user

key management is an issue that provokes

this reaction among security professionals.

The good news is that there is an adaptive

process to help us gain visibility, continuous

monitoring and governance of SSH user

key-based trusts. This is a path to a more

secure tomorrow.

Matthew McKenna

Chief Strategy Officer

SSH Communications Security

Matthew brings over 15 years of

high technology sales, marketing,

and management experience to

SSH Communications Security and

drives strategy, key account sales,

and evangelism. Prior to joining

the company, Matthew served as a

member of the executive management

team of ADP Dealer Services Nordic

and Automaster Oy, where he was

responsible for international channel

operations and manufacturer relations.

In addition, he was responsible for key

accounts including Mercedes-Benz,

General Motors, and Scania CV. Before

this, Matthew played professional

soccer in Germany and Finland.

Issue 6 | 75


Evgeny Latypov, Excutive Director of Business Bank Group explained that

the core to success in any business starts from internal policies, mainly from a

company’s corporate responsibility, service and design policies and technological


Evgeny Latypov

Executive Director

Business Bank Group

76 | Issue 6


Global Business

with Business Bank Group

In a globalizing world shaped be increased

interactions, worldwide markets for products

and services, and an ever-growing role for

information technology, many product-driven

companies require assistance from advisory

firms to reach their full potential. Despite this

great need, and hence opportunity, depressingly

most consulting advisory firms fail to survive in

today’s competitive environment. The reason is

simple: they look with a tunnel vision towards

only the financial growth of their clients. Such

companies fail to recognize the importance

of designing services that result in a mutually-beneficial,

dependent relationship for all participants.

Achieving such a result is not difficult

when key goals are kept in mind.

Service Design: ALL-WIN-APPROACH

First, implemented strategies must be inclusive,

providing benefits for the most participants

possible. Actions will have direct impact

on the client, investor, and service provider.

Impact will also carry over to the client’s

customers and even the communities in which

client operates. Business Bank Group (BBG)

provides an example of a successful approach

through BBG Credit. A unique cross-border

loan, BBG Credit enables the purchase of used

vehicles from Japan and the USA. Started as

a financial consulting service for Japanese

used cars exporters, it was aimed at increasing

sales and securing market position in Georgia

and Armenia. Through its design, it quickly

became apparent that sales were positively addressed

and clients were increased. Because

of the growing market demand for the service,

all parties involved have benefited from a rising

volume that eventually attracted more investors,

assuring growth for BBG and Japanese

exporters. The moral here is that benefits did

not flow to only one participant. Therefore, all

felt invested. Creating such a multi-faceted

benefit chain is clearly advantageous.

Technological Advancement

Technological advancements are universally

positive, helping businesses and organizations

save time and production costs. This requires,

however, proper attention and cannot be ignored.

Building on these provides a competitive advantage.

Speeding up and managing communication

delivery, staying in tact, and taking advantage

of fintech tools are key components in gaining

competitive advantage in Financial Consulting.

Consulting services cannot fall behind.

Team Management

A company is only as good as its staff, and a

staff dedicated to the company will succeed. For

consulting companies, an employee who believes

in the company can inspire more confidence in

clients. Employee satisfaction is key as it inspires

loyalty, resulting in a willingness to perform better

and go out of one’s way for the team. Satisfied

employees are extremely loyal to their organization

and stay engaged even in difficult times. Best

efforts are not a result of pressure or fear, they

come from a connection to the team. Employee

satisfaction, combined with professional training,

is central to the goal of providing clients of any

industry that with the assurance that their needs

will be met. Therefore, looking internally first and

taking steps specific to your organization is an

important aspect of consulting.

The results speak for themselves as today BBG is

a trusted consultant covering all continents and

our portfolio includes companies and organizations

of any scale (examples include Be Forward,

Japan,– 415 million USD in sales; Aros Marine,

Lithuania – 350 employees globally; World Fitness

and Bodybuilding Federation – 104 member

countries, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Japan,

Nine Six Films – a Japanese startup company

offering unique way of video filming).

Issue 6 | 77



Anil Mathews, Founder & CEO of Near discusses location intelligence

What is location intelligence and what

benefits does it offer the finance sector?

Anil Mathews: Essentially, location

intelligence is the missing ingredient of

context. It blends geographical perspective,

the ‘where’, with the other key contextual

data points — the ‘what, who, when, and

why’ — to create a single, complete picture of

individual or enterprise activity.

The result is real-time, actionable insight that

not only provides a better understanding of the

factors involved in a particular action, such as a

consumer deciding to buy a car, but also when

and where that consumer might make future

purchases — and how they can be influenced.

For the financial sector, such information is

invaluable in every area from retail to real

estate. Using location intelligence businesses

can identify the links between geographical

factors — like spatial attributes, the weather,

urbanization, and environmental constraints —

and activity at an individual, and organizational

level. With a bird’s eye view of economic

context, businesses can ensure their strategy

is one step ahead of emerging trends, market

shifts, and competitors.

What examples are you seeing of financial

services using location intelligence to make

more informed business decisions?

Anil Mathews: Location intelligence has so

many applications as a decision-making tool

that the industry is only just beginning to

discover. Right now, its finance-specific uses

fall into two categories: single and periodical.

In the single-use camp we are seeing location

intelligence informing new investments within

areas such as mining, agriculture, retail, and

commerce. When it comes to periodic use,

it tends to be called upon for larger scale

investments in areas like transportation

services, public utilities or health, inventory

management, and logistics.

Both areas, however, utilize the same core

insight, namely: general spatial viability,

consumer dynamics in relation to prosperity of

people in particular regions — and the products

or services they regularly buy — and other

geographic considerations encompassing

local culture, crime rates, or local attractions.

This information can form an accurate basis

for decisions great and small. Whether it’s

everyday tasks like establishing credit risk, small

business potential for loans and mortgage

suitability, or deciding whether to invest in public

companies, which new ventures to support

and how to manage private equity, location

intelligence is indispensible.

78 | Issue 6


How can location intelligence help combat

financial fraud and crime?

Anil Mathews: Fighting financial fraud and

crime in the real world is an age-old battle

and now the rise of digital has extended the

frontline to the virtual space. To stay on top

of these issues tools that tackle both are

essential and this makes location intelligence

a key line of defense.

It can be used to set transaction limits that keep

consumer and organizational spend safe. If a

purchase is made from a location that does

not match previous purchase and investment

patterns — or a pre-defined area that can range

from a country, state or even household —

the transaction will be marked as potentially

fraudulent and can be stopped.

Similarly, fraud in areas such as income,

property, and sales tax can be identified using

location insight gained from credit card usage.

Where consumers live, the places they visit,

and how often they travel can all help to build a

picture of standard behavior. Any unexplained

irregularities that indicate additional income can

be investigated to uncover possible fraud.

How can location intelligence help financial

services reach Millennials?

Anil Mathews: Millennials live a high proportion

of their lives via smart, web-enabled devices

that go with them everywhere and produce

endless streams of data about what they

do, where they do it, and how they prefer

to communicate. And for financial services

providers hoping to engage millennial attention,

extracting the right insights from this rising tide

of location-specific data is vital.

According to the results of a global study

conducted by Telstra in collaboration with Near,

58% 1 of millennials prefer personalized financial

advice and 49% feel it should be delivered via a

mobile app. With accurate location intelligence,

financial service providers can build individual

consumer profiles that enable them to quickly

and accurately adapt their offering, and

communications, and keep up the fast pace of

millennial expectation.

Issue 6 | 79


80 | Issue 6


What is the future of location intelligence in

the finance sector?

Anil Mathews: Location intelligence is

becoming an intrinsic element of increasing

efficiency and effectiveness within the finance

sector, and in the future it is set to be more so.

At a high level, it will soon have a greater

influence over multi-sector ventures, tracking

and optimizing ROI on investments, and

economic planning activities — such as

economic zones and free trade corridors

— as countries try to reinvent political and

administrative borders. On a smaller scale,

location intelligence is due to continue on its

current course in areas like risk assessment

and expand into new frontiers, like retail and

facilities analytics.

Within the next few years, I believe it will

be instrumental in making e-commerce

frictionless, as well as streamlining urban

planning, logistics, and overall optimization

of investments in private and public

infrastructure. It sounds bold, but the wheels

are already in motion.

What advice would you give financial

services looking to better utilize their

customer data?

Anil Mathews: Unify data and make it

actionable. At the moment, the sector is

struggling with the ‘water, water everywhere’

scenario in that there is plenty of information

available about consumers — financial

status data in one place, transactions and

consumption data in another — but it is stored

in silos and therefore of little use.

There is an urgent need for financial services

providers to embrace tools that amalgamate

their fragmented pools of information and

turn them into cohesive, actionable insight.

Only by understanding the full context of each

consumer or enterprise decision will they be

able to enhance service quality and outshine

the competition.

Anil Mathews

Founder & CEO




Issue 6 | 81


82 | Issue 6











6 | 83


The wildly popular Pokemon Go app has broken all

records, with more than 10 million downloads in its first

week and 45 million daily users in July. At its peak, the

app surpassed Twitter in terms of daily active users, and

had a higher average user time than Facebook, Snapchat,

Instagram and WhatsApp.

Given the near universal success of Pokemon Go and the

way in which mobile users embraced it, is there anything

banks can learn from its sudden success that help them

appeal to customers and enrich their experience? The

answer is yes, there is much to learn from Pokemon Go.

Here are three core takeaways.

1. Syncing Works Perfectly:

According to its users, who dub this the best available

feature of Pokemon Go, the syncing works perfectly. If

we catch a Pokemon on one of our devices, it immediately

shows up on other devices as well. Not only that,

any changes made to a Pokemon account are reflected

instantly in real time. In fact, this feature negated the impact

of the app’s greatest weakness – constant crashing,

freezing and failing to load maps.

This is exactly the kind of experience that customers are

looking for in their bank. Customers want the ability to

make transactions across channels and be able to view

them across devices; enabling them to make critical decisions

promptly. Similarly, a consistent brand experience

across all channels – be it mobile, online or in the branch

– is critical to customer experience. Seamless integration

must be a bank’s top priority across all of its channels,

with visually rich and interactive customer experiences.

2. Unique Experience:

What do the iPhone, Facebook and Pokemon Go all have

in common, apart from the fact that they are hugely successful

products/services? In essence, each of them has

one single differentiator that makes it a catalyst for success

– that customers each use the same product, but

have a different experience. Think about like this – when

it comes to Pokemon Go, the game is the same across

the globe; however, the experience is customised for each

user based on either their location or whether they choose

to walk or remain at home.

84 | Issue 6


Issue 6 | 85


For banks, the lesson is the importance of delivering a

bespoke customer journey which provides the personal

touch for each customer. Banks must understand that

each customer is unique, and today’s consumers have

much higher expectations of the companies that they

interact with. Whether profiling customers to cross-sell

products, rewarding them for loyalty, or transforming their

overall banking experiences – it must make the customer

experience memorably unique.

3. Customers as walking billboards:

Pokemon Go closely combines the virtual world with the

real world. In doing so, the app has uncovered the Holy

Grail of advertising – turning its users into walking billboards.

All of those people playing the game on the road,

at monuments, at sports events, in parks, or when out

with their friends, have turned themselves into excellent

brand ambassadors. This kind of behavior is even better

than much-vaunted “word of the mouth” publicity; seeing

peers, colleagues and friends playing the game, encourages

others to join in. The app has also opened up new

revenue opportunities, including ‘licensed locations’ where

‘chauffeurs’ take players around for a nominal fee.

Banks must find a way to incorporate this behavior into

their operations by offering innovative, useful solutions

to customers that turn them into brand fans. Imagine

how excited a customer will be to see their spending

pattern in 3D? Or, how excited a sales team be if their

brochure can be converted into an engaging digital experience

for conversation?

86 | Issue 6


Issue 6 | 87


88 | Issue 6


Augmented reality (AR) can enrich and personalise

user experience; further, through the

intertwining of virtual and real worlds, customers

can really ‘live’ an experience. AR also

complements banks’ Internet of Things (IoT)

strategies, which links virtual and real life even

more closely. If effectively used, this can make

for ’digital brick and mortar branches’.

While technology such as AR is currently at

nascent stage in banking, the rate of growth

and adoption of AR in other fields, and by

consumers, means the financial industry will

be forced to adapt to it in time. To learn the

lessons of Pokemon Go, banks must imagine

each transaction a customer performs as a

‘digital advert’, which simultaneously provides

alternative revenue streams – in doing do,

the potential for embracing immersive, digital

experiences cannot be ignored.

Balasubramanian Vijayakumar

Senior Manager – Corporate Banking


Issue 6 | 89

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Sydney Stock Exchange Deputy Chairman and Non-Executive Director, Mr. George Wang, Sydney

Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Tony Sacre and APX Settlement CEO Mr. David Lawrence with their

Most Innovative Stock Exchange Award Australia 2016

Sydney Stock Exchange wins

Most Innovative Exchange

The Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) has been awarded Global

Banking and Finance’s Most Innovative Stock Exchange

Company Australia Award for 2016. Sydney Stock Exchange

Deputy Chairman and Non-Executive Director, Mr. George Wang,

said “This award is the result of a lot of hard work. For a longtime

the exchange has been developing a real connectivity

between Australia and Asia, especially with China and India,

the two biggest markets within the region. Relationships take

time, and the rewards of our efforts are starting to pay off.”

Sydney Stock Exchange Chairman, Mr. Eric Barr, is extremely

pleased of the work the Sydney Stock Exchange is doing. Mr.

Barr then started discussing the globalization and technology

developments the market is confronting, saying “The rapid

growth in technological developments and constantly

increasing internet speeds has caused the world to become

a lot smaller place. Our Stock Exchange is both technology

focused and globally aware. In this world, you need to be.

From a technology perspective, we are being incredibly

innovative with our work on Blockchain, creating a solution

we believe can disrupt the existing processing and settlement

system. As we are seeing around the world, old business

models are being threatened. Companies seeking capital are

being more directly connected to investors. You have to think

about what this means for brokers, advisers, exchanges, etc.

As an exchange, we are being innovative and adaptive to

change. We are embracing the new environment as we believe

we will prosper within it”.

Sydney Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Tony Sacre, said “It’s

pleasing to be recognized by this prestigious global award,

vindicating all the work we have been doing and our unique

position and market offering in the Asian region. We

are expanding Australian capital markets by providing a

necessary link to Asian capital markets, in particularly China

and India, the two biggest emerging markets in the world”.

Issue 6 | 91


Sydney Stock Exchange Board members (from L to R): Front row - Non Executive Director Mr. Greg Bundy, Deputy

Chairman and Non-Excutive Director, Mr. George Wang, Chairman and Non Executive Director Mr. James Eric Barr,

Second row - APX Settlement CEO Mr. David Lawrence, Director of Market Development (Australia & India) Ms. Loretta

Joseph, General Manager – Market Supervision Mrs. Anita Zhao, Sydney Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Tony Sacre

Mr. Sacre said that one of the key drivers of business is to

connect Australia to Asia. Mr. Sacre said that ‘The underlying

philosophy of our exchange is growing that interconnectivity

between Australia and Asia. Part of that focus is working

closely with industry to ensure that we can offer a solution

that matches the requirements of those companies looking

to list. By working closely with key industry participants, we

expect to develop the right balance of accountability when it

comes to our key markets, principally technology, resources,

agribusiness, healthcare, and property”.

Mr. Sacre added that “We believe that we have won

this award due to the innovation we are showing on the

technology side of our business and for the innovation

shown in our customer value proposition”. He continued

stating “At the Sydney Stock Exchange, the team recognize

the need to be nimble and innovative. Our newly installed

start of the art trading system and our refreshed listing

rules really drive home that message, making our exchange

a strong and attractive market for growth companies

looking to list.”

Additionally, Mr. Sacre pointed out that earlier in the

year the Sydney Stock Exchange was the first Australian

Exchange to join the United Nations Sustainable Stock

Exchange Initiative. Mr. Sacre said “At SSX we are

committed to operating an ethical, transparent and

sustainable marketplace. In Australia and throughout

Asia sustainable investing strategies and practices are

becoming increasingly important. SSX is pleased to join the

SSE initiative and we look forward to working in cooperation

with the Sustainable Stock Exchange experts to improve

sustainability practices within our listed companies and

making an impact on the investment community”.

Mr. Wang and Mr. Sacre were both recently in China,

meeting with senior members within the Finance Industry,

Government and Corporate Sectors in Beijing, Shanghai and

Shenzhen. Mr. Sacre said “The interest in Australia from

China is substantial. Additionally, the interest in China from

Australia remains very strong. The job of the exchange is to

bring these international opportunities together”.

92 | Issue 6


Sydney Stock Exchange Deputy Chairman and Non-Excutive Director, Mr. George Wang and Sydney Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Tony Sacre

Issue 6 | 93


Sydney Stock Exchange Deputy Chairman and Non-Excutive Director, Mr. George Wang and Sydney Stock Exchange General Manager –

Listings, Mr. Joseph Law with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative

Mr. Sacre noted that “My meetings in China echoed that

we, as an exchange, are on the right path. Facilitating the

process of those with capital meeting up with those with

the right ideas and opportunities, which leads to growth are

what we are about. Helping growth businesses deliver on

their expectations. Our role, as I see it, is to bring companies

and markets together. Speaking specifically about China,

capital markets in China are comparatively young, probably

just over 30 years old. Many of the senior managers and

owners of Chinese companies are incredibly sophisticated

and brilliant business managers and leaders, but they are

unfamiliar with the rules and regulations which exist in the

West. Many want a Western Market listing due to the brand

value associated with an international listing. Australian

Capital Markets are a lot more mature, with a history

extended over 100 years. Compliance rules and international

listing requirements are, therefore, very different and a lot

more stringent in Australia when compared to Chinese

requirements. Australian listing rules and requirements,

issues like continuous disclosure, governance issues

pertaining to board discussions with local directors,

etc can seem quite foreign to many large, successful

Chinese companies. They need to know how to operate in

Australia. To list in a foreign market is attractive to them,

but simultaneously concerning from an administrative

perspective. Our team at the SSX is a multi-cultural team

with a significant degree of experience in both Australian

and Asian Capital markets. Our diverse, multi-cultural team

can use their unique blend of international and domestic

capital market skills to educate Chinese companies

on Australian listing requirements, thus allowing us to

successfully bridge Australian and Asian Capital Markets.”

Sydney Stock Exchange Board members (from L to R): Chairman and Non Executive Director Mr. James Eric Barr,

Non Executive Director Mr. Greg Bundy, Sydney Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Tony Sacre,

APX Settlement CEO Mr. David Lawrence, Deputy Chairman and Non-Excutive Director, Mr. George Wang,

General Manager – Market Supervision Mrs. Anita Zhao, Director of Market Development (Australia & India) Ms. Loretta Joseph,

94 | Issue 6


From a technological development perspective, Sydney Stock

Exchange has been working closely on what they anticipate

will be an industry leading Blockchain based settlement

solution. Mr. Sacre commented said “Sydney Stock Exchange

and our related entity, APX Settlements, are working on a

Blockchain Based Settlement Solution. The intention of this

work is to create an instantaneous settlement and transfer

upon trade platform to be used by both the Sydney Stock

Exchange and other exchanges. We have successfully prototyped

a blockchain based smart register for the real-time

issuance and allocation of securities. The value of this work

is that it will reduce the risks,time and costs associated

with settlement, savings which can be poured back into the

liquidity of the market”.

APX Settlements CEO, Mr. David Lawrence, said “SSX’s

commitment to innovative development in distributed ledger

technology for equity market settlement and registration and

the rethinking of old industry practices and meeting customer

needs in a more efficient manner is an excellent example of

the innovative and ‘different thinking’ being adopted”.

Mr. Wang commented that “The work that Sydney

Stock Exchange is doing is about creating opportunity

for companies to really work together within the Asian

markets, connecting Australia with Asia. Being able to help

companies commercialize their ideas is a real driver for

Tony and the team at the Sydney Stock Exchange. I believe

their work will start reaping real dividends for companies

within the region. Connecting great Australian ideas, and

promoting the value and brand of Australian companies to

Asia, where they are highly sort after, is a win for Australian

companies and Asian investors. It keeps jobs and profits

in the region, which is good for the growth and overall

economic development of the region.”

Sydney Stock Exchange Deputy Chairman and Non-Excutive Director, Mr. George Wang, Sydney Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Tony Sacre, APX

Settlement CEO Mr. David Lawrence attending Sino-Australia Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Roundtable Conference in SSX Trading


Issue 6 | 95


96 Issue 6Africa

44 | Issue 5


Banking in

The Gambia

Mr. Bolaji Ayodele CEO and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia)

Ltd spoke with Global Banking & Finance Review about the banking industry in The

Gambia and the role of Guaranty Trust Bank (G) Ltd.

How do you view the banking landscape in The

Gambia? What impact are regulations having?

The Government of The Gambia has “Vision

2020” as a development blueprint. The longterm

strategy document which seeks to

transform the country into a middle-income

country shows government commitment to a

private sector led development agenda. This is

comforting to businesses.

The Gambia Banking Industry is over 100 years

and has 11 commercial banks, one Islamic

bank, and all regulated by the Central Bank of

The Gambia.

According to the latest monetary policy report

by the Central Bank of The Gambia, due to

sound policies put in place by the Central

Bank, the financial indicators of the banking

sector remain safe and sound. The industry

risk-weighted capital adequacy ratio averaged

36.5 percent in March 2016, higher than the

required minimum of 10.0 percent. Total

assets increased to D29.4 billion in the year

to end-March, or 4.8 percent from a year ago

attributable primarily to 13.0 percent increase

in investments, with the industry recording a

total net profit of D604MM in 2015.

Issue Issue 5 | 45 6 | 97


Mr. Bolaji Ayodele

CEO and Managing Director

Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Ltd

Mr. Bolaji Ayodele joined Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 1994, after a brief stint with

Chartered Bank Ltd Nigeria where he served in the Foreign Operations Department

in 1993. Prior to his deployment to The Gambia in 2005 as General Manager,

Mr.Ayodele was the Zonal Co-ordinator for Operations, Northern Nigeria, where all

the GTBank branches in the Northern part of Nigeria were under his purview.

Mr. Bolaji Ayodele was appointed Managing Director and CEO of Guaranty Trust

Bank (Gambia) Ltd in July 2014. Prior to his appointment, he has served as Deputy

under two erstwhile Managing Directors.

Mr. Ayodele holds a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Lagos, Nigeria

(1991), a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Business Administration from Enugu State

University of Science & Technology (1999) and an MBA in Business Administration

from Enugu State University of Science & Technology (2002). He has also attended

several management courses at some of the world’s leading business schools.

98 | Issue 6


What are some of the major opportunities

and challenges facing the banking sector

in The Gambia?

The banking sector in The Gambia like

other markets in Africa has its fair share

of both opportunities and challenges.

However, it is my opinion that the

opportunities outweigh the challenges.

The sustained growth of the sector

over the years and the fact that most

commercial banks have been recording

profit is a testimony to this. The Central

Bank of The Gambia has been efficient

in performing its regulatory role which is

really encouraging.

Another opportunity for banking in

The Gambia is the high number of the

unbanked population. Recently, the

Governor of The CBG announced that the

unbanked population is about 80%. This

means there is great potential for growth.

The country also enjoys relative peace and

stability which is good for business and

continues to attract investors.

Significant investments have been

made in the information technology

infrastructure in the country which has

enabled banks team up with GSM service

providers to provide services such as

mobile banking. The investment in

technology has encouraged competition

among banks for the provision of IT based

services. I believe the customers are the

clear winners in this. The Gambia has an

enthusiastic and trainable workforce. It

is also important to note that the country

has a youthful population which could

enhance growth and is also a potential for

continued innovation.

However, despite the opportunities, there

are significant challenges for banks in The

Gambia. The sector is underdeveloped and

relatively small. The income levels are low

which affects savings. The lack of trust

and confidence in conventional banking

by some communities in society continue

to pose a serious challenge to banks.

However, with mounting awareness created

by banks, we have noticed some positive

changes in that regard.

Treasury bill rates have registered a

significant increase over the years. This

has resulted in a corresponding rise in

interest rates which reduces customers’

borrowing appetite and also poses loan

recovery challenges. The volatility of

the foreign exchange market is quite

challenging too.

Last year you launched mobile banking

services, a first of its kind in The Gambia.

Can you tell us more about this?

The GTBank mobile banking is a free

banking platform that allows customers to

do transactions directly from their mobile

phone, e.g., buy credit, change pin, check

balance, BBan Enquiry, Funds Transfer

(Own Account and Third Party) and receive

mini statements. No credit, no internet

required. It offers them convenience and

real-time transactions and helps reduce

transaction costs.

The goal of mobile banking is to expand that

freedom to users even more, by making sure

the user is not even required to be near a

computer or to step into a branch.

It does not require any application/

software to be downloaded to the

handset. It thus enables complex

transactions as well which may not be

possible through SMS. It is secure and

much faster than traditional SMS-based

transactions. The other good thing

about it is that it is a session based

communication, so it does not store

any data on the phone and transactions

terminate as the session ends.

Issue 6 | 99


Can you tell us more about the electronic

solutions Guaranty Trust Bank has to offer?

Our focus since inception has always

been to provide top quality service for

our clientele. Our robust IT platform has

enabled us to introduce to the market a

bouquet of IT products and services aimed

at making banking much more easy for

our customers.

We have the only electronic branch in

The Gambia. The self-service branch

houses Visa/MasterCard enabled ATMs

and is open 24/7. It has computers which

grant our customer access to our internet

banking platform.

In The Gambia, one has to buy electricity

units before it is supplied. In order to

make the purchase of electricity easier

for our customers, we enabled our ATMs

for Cash Power Vending. What that mean

is, our customers can walk to any of our

ATMs and buy electricity units with their

ATM cards. We also have airtime vending

service. This allows our customers to

purchase Mobile Phone Credit for any

Gambian GSM Network with the GTBank

Verve Card.

Our Internet Banking Platform allows

customers to perform online banking

transactions with the use of a Token

device to ensure a faster, safer and more

convenient experience. The GTBank

portable Internet Banking Security device

allows customers to monitor their accounts,

conduct third party transfers, change their

password, stop cheques, confirm cheques,

and request for standing order.

We have Point of Sale (POS) Terminals

in major restaurants, supermarkets, and

hotels. Our POS Terminals allow anyone

who holds verve domestic cards, VISA and

MasterCard to do their shopping without

necessarily carrying physical cash.

The GTBank POS Terminals have other

benefits which include; checking account

balance, statement printing and funds

transfer between GTBank accounts. These

are some of our technology solutions.

Customer relations are very important in

banking, how do you ensure customers

are receiving the best customer

experience available?

GTBank is a customer service oriented

bank, and our focus has always been to

offer top quality service. In order for our

customers to have the best experience,

our corporate bank, commercial bank,

public sector and retail groups offer

personalized services to various facets

of the economy. With each of these

Groups, we operate on a participatory and

professional front. On the one hand, we

strive to actively acquire the knowledge

needed to service our customers and

on the other hand we impart informed

knowledge on how our customers can

improve their businesses. This way, we

provide total banking solutions that meet

every customer’s needs.

Each of our customers is assigned to one

of our highly professional relationship

managers and account officers. The RMs

and AOs maintain a close professional

relationship with customers they manage.

This increases customer loyalty to the bank.

Our open door policy also requires that

customers can walk into our offices at

anytime and that there is always someone

to attend to their needs and requests.

We also ensure a fast and reliable

turnaround time in our service delivery.

We are popular for our prompt response

to customers’ needs and requests. We

100 | Issue 6


ensure that our branches and banking

halls are well kept, and our staff is always

available and willing to smile at customers

which is truly comforting.

We are aware of the growing trend in

electronic relationship management,

with email being one of the fastest ways

to respond to customers. However, in

GTBank we believe that picking up the

phone and talking directly to the customer

increases customer trust and confidence

in the bank and brings the customer closer

to the bank.

We also conduct regular products and

services survey. The surveys allow our

customers to give us feedback regarding

our services. This helps us understand

what they need and what improvement is

expected on existing products/services.

How is Guaranty Trust Bank (G) Ltd

supporting the social economic

development in The Gambia?

We have influenced so many changes

in the banking industry with our

establishment in The Gambia in

2002. Customers now enjoy improved

customer services in the provision of

all conventional banking products and

service. We have given financial support

to all sectors of the economy in the form

of short, medium to long-term financing.

Our bank is also in partnership with

The Gambia Revenue Authority in the

collection of taxes for the Government.

Our involvement in all development

sectors of the economy has been

substantial. We pioneered a successful

Medium Term Loan Syndication Facility

for a local telecom company. In our role

as the Mandate Lead Arranger, we put

together a consortium of 4 banks.

In the tourism sector; being the only

VISA Principal member in The Gambia

and therefore the only merchant acquirer

that can issue Point of Sale Terminals to

Hotels, Restaurants, Supermarkets,

we have also deployed VISA/MasterCard

enabled ATMs for Tourist to have access

to their Funds 24/7.

In our continued support of tourism

development in The Gambia, GTBank, and

International Finance Corporation (IFC-

Commercial arm of the World Bank.), Co-

Financed the infrastructural Development

of a Leading 5 Star Hotel in the Country.

In Employment, we have a policy of

employing young graduates. We also

train and encourage our staff to study

and develop their careers in various

specialized areas of banking and finance.

What are your future plans for


In the years ahead, we hope to consolidate

the gains made over the years and to

continue to be the Bank of choice for both

Gambians and non-Gambians especially

investors. We recently validated our 5-year

strategic plan which will run from January

2017 to December 2021.

Among many other things, the plan places

much emphasis on the development of

tailor-made services to address the needs

of our teeming customers. We want to

maintain our lead role as the innovative

bank in our industry. IT-driven products/

services would continue to be at the

centre of all future plans.

Issue 6 | 101



the Value

of Cyber


102 | Issue 6


“Cyber insurance” continues is being adopted by an

increasing number of businesses across a range of

industries. The fact that specific insurance is available

shows that the business appreciation of the risks /

costs associated with a cyber-incident are now widely

recognised. According to PwC, the global cyber insurance

market is expected to grow to $5bn in annual

premiums by 2018.

Challenges for insurers

The basics of insurance are quite simple: aggregate the

statistical likelihood of incidents over a population, multiply

it by the cost per incident to determine the payout,

add in a profit margin and spread the “cost” over the

population. For the members of that population, that

means that if lightning strikes you in particular, you’ve

covered a significant portion of the financial cost; and if

it doesn’t, the cost is acceptable to alleviate the larger


As we all know, the costs around successful cyber-attacks

for businesses can be considerable, especially

where major web properties / applications, personal

customer / employee or key business information is

involved. And, unfortunately, these tend to be exactly

what attackers are after.

The challenge for insurance companies in the security

space is the lack of historical data to drive predictive

models for future incidents. Without enough data, they

cannot accurately predict the likelihood of an incident

and any associated costs. To cover this risk, insurance

companies have been forced to increase the profit ratio.

But as the number of cyber insurance providers and

policies increase, the historical data is growing. As

insurers build their historical and predictive data sets,

and publish the factors that drive their policies, a more

accurate understanding of the business costs and risks

of IT security will emerge.

A successful DDoS attack can be costly, and the cost

can’t be measured purely by looking at lost earnings.

There are also increased operational costs, opportunity

costs – and the big one – brand and reputational

damage. Many of the costs can minimised if the right

defensive services, solutions and processes are employed.

Anti-DDoS solutions exist to protect the availability of

the services offered and / or utilised by businesses,

but this is just one of their purposes. They are also

there to increase the cost for an attacker to carry out

a successful attack. In a world where some targets

are protected and others aren’t, attackers can identify

and avoid those with protection. This deterrence value

is hard to measure as it means that the number of

attacks a particular target sees decreases while other

targets will see a proportional rise in activity.

Getting the most value out of security

Cyber-insurance should take these factors into account,

but the current lack of widely available empirical

data means in most cases this is not currently the

case. This creates a huge opportunity for specialist insurance

providers, offering creative insurance policies.

For businesses, while the costs and risks around

successful cyber-attacks continue to be more widely

acknowledged, cyber insurance is becoming more

widely adopted. Insurance doesn’t obviate the need for

adequate defenses though, businesses need to be able

to defend themselves.

15 years ago the CIO’s biggest challenge was the same

as the CISO’s biggest challenge today “align the company’s

technology with the business.” Security should

not be perceived as another IT tax.

Cyber risk around DDoS

One of the most prevalent types of attack causing issues

for businesses is the Distributed Denial of Service

Attack (DDoS). DDoS attacks have recently been in

the news due to a number of very high volume attacks

generated from Internet of Things (IoT) botnets. These

volumetric attacks flood the internet connectivity of

the target with traffic, knocking it offline and ensuring

that no one can gain access. Very large volumetric and

more complex DDoS attacks have become frequent due

to the weaponisation of DDoS. Services which allow

anyone to launch a damaging attack are now readily

available and easy to operate.

Darren Anstee

Chief Security Technologist

Arbor Networks

Issue 6 | 103


Lessons from retail marketing for

the financial services industry

Customer data attitudes and postures: Breaking down siloes for a better view

Financial businesses are known to

be heavy data users because of their

fundamental service offering. Yet one

of the most data-intensive elements of

financial services is within the marketing

department, as customers are segmented,

weighted and targeted with offers and


Learnings from the retail sector

The rapid growth of omnichannel retail

has proven the value of treating customers

as individuals by providing tailored

approaches. Retailers recognised the

benefits of personalised communications

and promotions early, going far to boost

engagement and loyalty. The retail

industry has demonstrated just how

important personalisation is to building a

feeling of customer care and confidence.

The financial sector is not isolated from

this trend. Just as retail shoppers, financial

services customers have high expectations

from their service providers. They’re

looking for a tailored, consistent experience

from all of their providers which moves

with them between channels and products.

Financial services firms must recognise

changing habits and preferences and

adjust their product and service mix to

meet consumers’ needs too. It’s essential

they respond to the increasing demand

for convenience by adjusting distribution

channels and offering mobile services,

while remaining relevant to varying

demographics. This requires far more

than a change in attitude. It demands a

revolution in the way banks use their data

to inform decision making.

104 | Issue 6


When used effectively, customer data

can help institutions pinpoint market

trends, predict demand, and assess

risk for improved offerings. Financial

services institutions lead the way by

blending billions of rows of customer and

transaction data. That’s how they identify

and retain at-risk customers, improve

contact centre agent behaviour and

optimise distribution networks. The result

is reduced costs, improved convenience

and a better customer experience.

Given the information security and

privacy issues bound up with the data

that financial institutions hold, and the

personal and professional impact that

misuse or leaks could have, the marketing

function within financial services business

face a very high data quality bar.

The secret to success comes from

identifying specific attributes of

customers and segments to provide

tailored strategies which help the

organisation target and retain customers

in the most appropriate way – with total

accuracy. If a supermarket advertises

a too expensive brand at a consumer,

no harm is done. But if an inappropriate

credit offer is proposed to a banking

customer then expectations may be

raised before massive disillusionment.

It is predictive modelling that enables

the creation of a sophisticated algorithm

of the entire customer journey across

business segments, breaking down any

siloes of information within the business.

Issue 6 | 105


108 | Issue 6


Deriving data value

Financial businesses are of course

necessarily protective about their data,

and usage is generally tightly restricted

to the line of business for which it is

collected. Sharing across departments is

historically limited if not absent altogether.

Without finding a way to change this, it’s

impossible to gain a complete picture of

all customer interactions.

While breaking down siloes and

connecting data within may seem like a

big obstacle, there are analytical tools

that firms can use to empower business

analysts (that is, business people who can

analyse their own data). Tools which let

them access, blend and analyse data from

multiple systems and sources to uncover

hidden insights without relying on IT

specialists or programmers.

Enabling business users with data

analytics is the only way firms can

start providing more tailored, engaging

experiences based on a multidimensional

view of each customer.

And the benefits won’t just begin and

end with just the customer. Access to

sophisticated, user-friendly self-service

data analytics capabilities will also deliver

untold benefits for risk management and

compliance, enabling banks to assess

and optimise risk exposure across

business units.

Putting it into practice

One example where this new view of data

use has been put into practice comes

from ReMark International, provider

of insurance distribution services to

global organisations including HSBC,

Barclaycard, AXA and AIA. ReMark uses

Alteryx to prepare and blend its data to

produce faster insights.

For this initiative, ReMark focuses on

customer lifetime analytics, using ‘joined

up’ predictive models on customer

response, conversion and lapse in

order to understand the most powerful

predictors that drive customer activities

across the pre- and post-sales cycle.

For Mandy Luo, ReMark’s Chief Actuary

and Head of Data Analytics, taking a

predictive modelling approach rather than

a broad strategy has helped achieve a 15-

25 per cent uplift in customer responses.

With a focus on customer-centricity and

looking at customer lifetime analytics,

her team creates customer segments not

just based on tendency to ‘buy’, but also

tendency to ‘pay and stay’.

The activity has resulted in customers

being three times more accepting of upsell

or cross-sell offers.

Mandy believes that the industry understands

that it is insufficient to only focus on any

single customer activity, but that it is still

exploring how this can be improved through

modelling and analytics. This is where data

analysis teams can add massive value –

but not just statistical experts. Self-service

analytical tools allow general business users

within departments to put their business

awareness and skills to use, harnessing data

in new ways to take more informed actions.

Once an organisation has learnt to open the

business to legitimate and safe data use

and expanded its marketing consciousness,

then it is really able to flex its marketing

muscle and use a data-led approach to

customer targeting and management. The

results depend on the goal, but can offer

bigger, better and more efficient marketing

campaigns, leading to higher sales, satisfied

customers and empowered employees.

Chiara Pensato

Director - EMEA

Alteryx Inc

Issue 6 | 107


Innovation is opening the

door to a Real Future of

Financial Inclusion

The pace of change and disruptive innovation

happening around us is exhilarating.

We are not only rethinking and reimagining

how people shop, bank, dine, and travel,

we have an incredible potential to address

a very real societal problem: the growing

number of unbanked and underbanked

individuals. At last count, McKinsey &

Company 1 estimated that 2.5 billion of the

world’s adults are currently unbanked, with

just short of 2.2 billion of these in Africa,

Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Financial inclusion is about much more than

just having a bank account. At its root level,

it is a key element of social and economic

inclusion. It is about helping people

participate in today’s connected economy.

Reaching the unbanked and underbanked

population is a win for both sides – it can

provide new customers for banks, while

connecting people to financial services

that can help them manage their money,

save and obtain access to a wider range of

welfare benefits.

Many large technology and banking providers

are already looking at how we can address

this problem, alongside governments who

are introducing new policies to support

this. The challenge is to create meaningful

opportunities to bring banking services to

underserved communities.

The problem of financial inclusion is global,

and it is not just a third world problem. It is

true that in developing economies, only 59%

of adults 2 have a traditional bank account.

In India, more than 233 million people

have never been to a bank. But highly

developed economies have challenges

too. A World Bank study showed that

11% of adults in high-income economies

do not have traditional bank accounts.

One 3 U.S. government study showed that

28% of US households are underbanked,

and another recent study 4 estimated that

93 million people in Western Europe are

financially underserved. While solutions

like online payments, mobile banking, and

prepaid cards have made important strides

in promoting financial inclusion, these

sobering numbers make it clear that there is

still a great deal of work to do.

108 | Issue 6


There are many ways that technology

can help open the vaults of banking to the

unbanked and the underbanked. Among

these are:

• Video tellers: Imagine an ATM where

you can talk live with a bank teller

24 hours a day on a video screen.

This technology allows banks to

bring a wide range of always-on

services at a fraction of the cost of a

fully-staffed branch. Banks can now

operate branches in low-income and

rural neighbourhoods where it wasn’t

economical or sustainable in the past.

Furthermore, customers have much

more freedom in when they bank -

someone who is holding down two or

three jobs can now talk to a live teller

at 2:00 am just as easily as 2:00 pm.

In some parts of the world, people

have to walk miles to reach a bank, so

imagine the possibilities that can be

created by bringing services to them

in an affordable way.

• Accessibility solutions: New

technology innovations such as

accessible ATMs now make it

easier for people with vision and

hearing impairments, and all types

of disabilities, to access convenient

financial services. NCR has a long

history of creating accessible

ATMs - something we’re particularly

proud of is our current work building

accessibility features for ATMs

that match the highly regarded

accessibility features on smartphones

and tablets so people with disabilities

can bank at an ATM just like they

bank online.

• The cloud for microbusinesses:

Financial inclusion isn’t just about

individuals. It also means giving small

businesses the tools they need to

compete, and this is something that

doesn’t get enough attention. The

cloud is opening new doors for SMBs,

who can now take orders, manage

inventory, accept payments and

forecast demand on a mobile device

at a price they can afford. This is a

powerful competitive advantage and

a great equalizer – you can have the

same reach and access to big data

and analytics as a small business that

a billion-dollar corporation has.

Issue 6 | 109


These kinds of innovations are already in

existence, and ready to roll out. However,

if countries are to better support financial

inclusion through technology, there are

several steps they must take. First, they

must have a clear national strategy,

such as the goal set by India to ensure

every household in the country has a

bank account by 2018. This is where the

government needs to play a pivotal role in

encouraging financial inclusion.

Second, public-private partnerships are

essential to ensure that new technologies

reach underserved populations that need

them. Governments and technology

providers need to work together to ensure

that the latest technology is embraced and

capable of reaching a wider audience.

Third, more support is needed to extend

the rollout of fast, reliable broadband

technology, as this will underpin almost

all of the technologies that are essential

to financial inclusion. Without it, other

technology solutions will not succeed.

Perhaps most importantly, countries must

take an omni-channel approach to financial

inclusion. While tools such as digital banking

are immensely powerful, not everyone will

have access to every solution, or will want

digital channels. Likewise, physical channels

themselves are not always the answer.

To open more doors to financial inclusion,

we must not get locked into existing

technologies – the pace of innovation is

too fast for that. Government rules must

be flexible and technology-neutral to allow

the best technologies that drive financial

inclusion to flourish, and technology

providers need to ensure they are embracing

the latest technology innovations in their

products to be able to reach an ever-larger

banking population.

Marija Zivanovic-Smith

Vice President of Corporate Marketing,

Communications and Public Affairs

NCR Corporation







Issue 6 | 111


112 | Issue 6



Banking in


Banco Economico was founded in 2002 under the name

Banco Espírito Santo Angola by a Portuguese banking

group. In 2014, given its main shareholder resolution

(Banco Espirito Santo, Portugal) the shareholder structure

changed profoundly, and the bank was rebranded to

Banco Economico.

Banco Economico is a commercial bank, covering both

individual and corporate clients, commercially organized

around seven client segments: private, affluent and retail

banking for individuals, top corporate, SME, oil, gas and

institutional banking for corporate clients. Each segment

is served by a devoted commercial team. The bank has

75 branches, including 12 corporate centers, one private

banking center and one affluent center and the best digital

channels in Angola.

Eduardo Pinto, COO of Banco Económico has been working

in financial services for 23 years. He spent almost 7

years in Accenture and the last 16 years in management

positions in banks in Portugal, Spain, Libya and Angola and

joined Banco Económico three years ago as COO, to lead its

digital transformation.

Why is incorporating technology into banking key?

What challenges has it brought?

Technology is a key factor for banking service anywhere in

the world in today’s banking paradigm.

Technology is critical to respond to the growing demand

of clients for convenient services, available 24 hours a day,

anywhere. Mobility on banking services is a must, and it is

totally supported by technology.

Technology is also fundamental to produce quality services,

to control operations and lower risks of banking activities,

and to generated efficiency, which is required to have a

competitive pricing.

The main challenges to Banco Económico were to find the

right partners to help us design and develop our multichannels

solution as we already have a complete and

robust infrastructure.

What role does the internet and mobile banking

play in the banking sector of Angola?

In Angola mobile and internet are growing fast. With it,

the development of internet and mobile banking is also

growing. The vast majority of the banks already provide

internet banking for individual and corporate clients with

different grades of service, from just inquiries and internal

transfers to a full-fledged service like our EconomicoNet.

Mobile banking Apps are less common, and only 6 or

7 banks out of the 30 operating on the market have

this service. The usage of digital channels in upper and

corporate segments is growing very fast.

Issue 6 | 113

EconomicoNet App



EconomicoNet App

Available for Smartphones

Android IOS

Acessing your account, checking balances. making transfers, reinforcing time deposits, charging your phone and more, is even

easier with EconomicoNet App. Connect to this innovative and secure way of accessing your bank, to conduct banking operations

and have a more comfortable and rested day-to-day.

For more information contact your manager, call: EconomicoDirecto 222 693 610/ 923 166 266 or acess:

Somos futuro.


• Security is a major concern for

internet customers. What does Banco

Economico SA do to help ensure a

secure environment?

Security has been a major concern from day one,

and the bank has focused on two dimensions:

technology and clients concerns and behavior.

The bank aims to provide absolute confidentiality,

integrity, and service availability.

On the technology side, the bank has been

using up to date industry solutions and tools to

protect personal and transactional data, such as

cryptography, endpoint detection, and response,

non-signature approaches for endpoint prevention,

user and entity behavior analytics, web filtering or

even remote browsing, among others. The bank also

performs period security checks done by independent

security experts.

On the client behavior and concerns approach, the

bank’s committed to the following activities:

• Information on bank’s policies, procedures and

practices and alerts to risks;

• Advice clients to keep their systems updated and

use endpoint protection solutions;

• Keep clients informed about the latest cyber

security risks;

• Protect transactions with two / three-factor


• Force the use of strong passwords and force

them to be updated;

• Provide customers with 24/7 call center support.

• As a leader in Internet banking, what

initiatives do you feel have contributed

to your success?

On the last quarter of 2013, we have designed the

bank’s strategy to become the leader in digital

banking based on four pillars following a digital

transformation plan which included: digital channels,

digital processes, MIS and CRM and infrastructure

and security.

Having a vision of the bank we wanted to be, being able

to define the adequate strategy, execute it in a phased

and effective way, with full support from our Board of

Directors, where the key factors for success. Additionally,

the engagement and enthusiasm of our digital channels

and applications management teams and our technology

partner was also very important. Finally, the fact, that we

are totally committed to offering the best internet service

to our clients in Angola.

• Can you tell us more about the electronic

solutions Banco Economico SA has to


In 2014 Banco Economico deployed a multi-channel

platform that allowed the bank to launch different

channels, with similar usage experiences and

leveraging on common services, for faster deployment

and reduced cost.

In April 2014 EconomicoNet CORPORATE was the

first service launched based on this architecture. It is

a corporate internet banking solution, with enriched

transactional services, that currently covers almost all

corporate services (all kinds if inquiries and transactions

and the ability to subscribe some products, namely term

deposits) with the exception of credit products.

In mid-2015 we have launched the new EconomicoNet,

for individual customers which is also a full-fledged

service, with the richest service coverage in Angola.

In 2016 we launched two new services. EconomicoNet

App, our mobile banking service for iOS and Android

devices and Consut@Cartão an innovative service for

corporate credit cards users.

• What other innovative products or services

have you created to meet customers’


For Banco Economico’s executive team, to respond

to the needs of the different client segments with

innovative products is a must. Given that, the bank has

been developing innovative services on the Angolan

banking market.

In October we have launched two new digital services:

EconomicoNet App, two apps (iOS and Android) Apps;

Consult@Cartão, a web-based solution for corporate

cards users.

Issue 6 | 115


Additionally, the bank has launched in 2016

and is preparing to launch in the coming

week’s new services, namely:

• Domestic collection services;

• Directs debits;

• ATMs payments;

• Cash collection services;

• Innovative tax payment services.

• What are your future plans for


We have just launched EconomicoNet App

for iOS and Android mobile and Consult@



On 2107 we will focus on:


• A new service for banking and nonbanking

clients. We are evaluating the

implementation of a Mobile Payments /

Mobile Wallet service;





• Additional functionalities on current

digital channels;



• Usability changes, to further improve

user experience.

Eduardo Pinto


Banco Económico

Issue 6 | 109

116 | Issue 6

118 Issue 6Europe




in Retail Banking

Jason Hemingway, CMO of Thunderhead discusses how retail banks can take

advantage of new technology to gain detailed insight into their customers.

Service is king for retail banks. How can they

use technology to get the edge in a hugely

competitive industry?

“Technology is sometimes perceived as a threat

to traditional retail banks, but as they struggle to

meet the ever increasing expectations of digitally

savvy consumers and respond to growing

competition from fintech firms, technology could

also be their saviour.

“The key to delivering good service and

developing long lasting relationships with

customers is a deep understanding of the inthe-moment

wants and needs of each individual

customer, whenever and wherever they interact,

and a commitment to meet these requirements

consistently across the business.

“Like any relationship, understanding starts with

listening. Banks needs to listen to each individual

customer journey in real time and use this insight

to meet customer expectations every time,

irrespective of department, device or touchpoint.

This is where new technology can play a huge part.

“Using the latest technology, it’s now possible for

retail banks to see, in real time, their customer

journeys across channels – such as website,

mobile app, call centre, and in-branch – and

join up these interactions to provide a seamless

and consistent experience. They can use

this technology to connect departmental and

technology siloes, and ensure that at every

touchpoint they have the most relevant and

appropriate conversation with the customer

based on their individual needs.

Issue 6 | 119


120 | Issue 6


With the right technology, doing this at

scale is a reality today, and if retail banks

are serious about customer centricity and

maintaining a competitive advantage,

they should be exploring the ways new

technology can help them. Customers aren’t

going to wait around.”

Customer journeys are more complicated

than ever – taking place in-branch, on

mobile, online and via telephone. How can

banks keep on top of this?

“The first step is to recognise that the

journey is the customer’s journey, not yours.

At Thunderhead we developed the concept

of the ‘customer-managed journey.’

“The next step is to get an understanding

of the journeys your customers are taking.

Some organisations use journey mapping,

but while this approach demonstrates a

commitment to trying to understand the

journey, it’s limited in what it can deliver.

It’s a slow and labour intensive process

that can, at best, only deliver a static

view and one that’s based on an insideout

view of the customer, planning how

the brand ‘thinks’ customers will behave

across touchpoints.

“To stay on top of customer journeys,

brands need the ability to visualise them

in real time and understand what their

customers are doing so they can take the

appropriate action.

“This may sound like a daunting task,

especially for a large organisation with

legacy technology and many different

departments, but by using the right

technology it’s relatively simple to begin

listening to the customer journey. It’s an

iterative process that can start with looking

at specific touchpoints to uncover where

the quick wins are and what will provide

the fastest value to the business and the

customer. Over time, this can be extended to

touchpoints throughout the entire customer

journey and be used to drive the necessary

collaboration and customer centricity

throughout the organisation.”

Trust continues to be an issue for

banks. Do they need to adapt their

communications to strengthen

relationships with customers?

“Trust is the foundation of customer

relationships and is key to building

engagement. Creating trust is based on

delivering value to the customer consistently

over time. Every customer must be treated

as if they’re the most important.

“There is nothing more frustrating than

being the recipient of bad marketing –

unsolicited marketing messages, offers for

irrelevant products, or even products you

already have – this does not engender trust.

We are now in an age where badly targeted,

aimless, marketing spiel is unacceptable,

and is increasingly confused with fraudulent

activities like phishing scams.

“To build stronger and more engaged

relationships with their customers,

banks already have the core customer

information they need to get started, but

they must augment this with customer

preferences and journey insights to ensure

that communications, interactions, and

experiences are personal and relevant at

every step in the journey.”

How do you think marketing will change for

retail banks in 2017?

“Customer engagement will grow in

importance and in 2017, customer

experience will truly become the

battleground for competitive advantage

in banking. The marketing team will play

a key role in this as they become wholly

responsible for the end-to-end customer

journey and the driving force behind making

the changes needed for banks to become

truly customer centric.

“This will mean focusing resources on the

customer journey, using journey analytics

to understand and improve experiences,

and focusing efforts across the business

to break down silos, creating a seamless

conversation that truly meet the needs of

each unique and individual customer.”

Jason Hemingway



Issue 6 | 121


How professional firms will use

mobile technology to engage

with their clients in 2017

2016 is the year that the mobile became

supreme. The tipping point came early with the

publication of the 2016 Ofcom report into ‘Adults’

Media Use and Attitudes’, which revealed that

Smartphones had replaced computers for Internet

use and two thirds (65%) of all adults now use their

Smartphone to go online.

In today’s mobile world, the Smartphone is

the ‘glue’ that binds people and information,

businesses and their clients together. A new

world is opening up.

But where is this new mobile world set

to take professional firms such as

accountants, financial advisers and

lawyers in 2017?

There can be no doubt

that the business world is

changing because of the

rate of mobile adoption

of devices such

as Smartphones

and Tablets and

their use will


increase over

the next 12


These devices are now used for all kinds of

business activity: for talking to customers,

for raising quotes, creating invoices,

capturing receipts and for searching for

information, guidance and help that is

relevant to their business. A Smartphone

or Tablet holds all that’s important to that

person, whether its choice of Music App,

Sports App or Financial App.

Capturing data digitally

The transformation of the tax system by

HMRC to fit the digital age will result in

major changes to the way accountants

interact with their clients. The new

system is still in the planning stage with

a consultation period ending in November

2016. Following that, the time scales for

the introduction of the new Making Tax

Digital regime will be announced and

Business UK will need to adapt to

making quarterly returns online.

This change represents a real

opportunity for accountants to

harness the power of mobile

technology and change the

way they communicate

with their clients.

122 | Issue 6


Because businesses will need to

electronically record their income and

expenses and submit a summary of

that information electronically to HMRC,

accountants can help make the process

simpler by providing a collection point

for this data. And the most obvious place

to collect and share this data in the new

mobile world is via an App.

A custom App quickly becomes the first

point of contact for the client and it can

also provide on-the-go access to online

accounts and to the client’s accounting

software of choice including Xero, Kashflow,

Sage or Quickbooks etc.

The client submits all the core information

required using the App in a way that will help

them get used to the process in advance

of the introduction of the new regime and

smooth the transition.

With an App, it is possible to provide a

unique and high value way to provide clients

with advice and help at their fingertips in

a way that until now has not been

possible. Every time the owner opens

his or her Smartphone, the firm’s

icon is immediately visible and it

provides an easy and effective way

to reinforce the position as a key

business adviser by bringing all

the information, calculations

and systems into one

easily accessible place.

An App also proactively

promotes the firm and

its’ services to staff,

business partners

and prospects.

Effective messaging within an App

Every week it seems there are reports of law

firms having their emails hacked and clients

ending up transferring funds to fraudsters’

accounts. And this problem extends to

all professional service firms that hold

confidential client financial information and

will not go away until an alternative to email

is found.

The Ofcom report found that Apps are seen

as a trusted method for interaction and

people use the same few all the time so this

would appear to be the natural next step

for firms looking for optimal security. All

messages can take place within the App,

which ensures that the client knows that

any message has come from his or her

accountant and not someone claiming to be

so. These ‘Push Notifications’ are created

easily and sent to the client’s Smartphone

instantly and research shows that they are

always read, with a 93% open rate. The other

bonus is that these push notifications are

shown to be six times more effective than

email marketing.

Mobile is the way forward and professional

firms will need to be visible on their

clients’ Smartphones? Apps help cement

relationships by becoming the go-to anchor

point in the always-on, mobile world.

Whenever the client needs information, the

accountant is literally just a tap away – even

when the office is closed. Only today, it goes

much further than that. The App is not just

a symbol of modern thinking; it’s a tool that

has a key role to play in reducing the cost of

advice and developing new ways to engage

consumers. It’s this ease of accessibility

that is helping accountants to ‘lock-in’ their

clients’ loyalty.

Mobile technology is a tool for business

to leverage in a similar way to websites

10 years ago. Apps have now gone

mainstream and will continue to grow in

popularity in 2017 with Smartphone users

spending 90% of their time within an App.

With all the evidence pointing to a clear

preference for business communication

within an App, professional firms will need

to rethink how they engage with their

clients. As it is clients that are driving this

change, we predict that 2017 will be the

year there is a landslide change in their

use. Apps are the way forward.

Joel Oliver



Joel Oliver is CEO of MyFirmsApp,

the world leader in App and mobile

technology in the Professional Service

Sector. Download a copy of a new

guide ‘A Lighthouse in the Digital Fog’


Issue 6 | 123


How to

Keep Pace

with the





Whilst manufacturing earnings and exports

continue to stimulate economic prosperity,

the nations that are at the top of the global

manufacturing landscape are changing. To

stave off the competition, those countries

– such as Germany, the UK and the US –

with a historical manufacturing legacy, are

needing to invest in high-tech infrastructure

and education to keep ahead of the pack;

something that is triggering a technological

renaissance, according to PWC 1 . As the

digital and physical worlds of manufacturing

converge, advanced technologies have

become even more essential for manufacturers

and their wider competitiveness.

Keeping smart

A recent Deloitte Global Manufacturing

Competitiveness Index 2 showed that the

traditional manufacturing hubs are continuing

to dominate the manufacturing

landscape. Whilst these countries, on the

whole, are expected to hold their own in the

top ten over the next five years, it expects

Asia Pacific nations such as India, Vietnam,

Malaysia and Indonesia to all make great

strides by 2020. Deloitte puts this increased

market competitiveness down to their low

124 | Issue 6

labour costs, agile manufacturing methods,

demographic trends and market growth.

Deloitte highlights that “Smart Factories”

in the US, Japan and Europe, as well as

Industry 4.0 initiatives, will need to play a

decisive role to ensure they keep ahead of

the emerging global competition from the

East in the future.

The need for a digital transformation

According to another report from PwC 3 , Industry

4.0 initiatives – undergoing a digital

transformation to remain competitive – will

add, on average, 2.9per cent to revenues

and contribute a 3.6 per cent cost reduction

per annum over the next five years. First

movers who combine high investment

levels with advanced digitisation are set

to achieve even more dramatic gains. To

succeed, manufacturers – especially older

manufacturing businesses – will need

robust data analytics capabilities and need

to focus on developing the internal culture

to drive the transformation.

It is interesting to compare the industry

attitudes of business leaders throughout

the globe in regard to the risks and opportunities

of business growth. A recent Epicor

study found whilst 56 per cent of executives

in China cite technology as an important

factor in helping business growth in the past

twelve months; whilst 29 per cent in the UK

and only 12 per cent in Sweden thought the

same. When asked what factors promote

the growth of medium-sized companies in

particular, technology leadership was higher,

with 68 per cent among respondents from

China, 38 per cent in the UK and 25 per cent

in Sweden agreeing.

A potential skills gap

In tandem with technology, a skilled workforce

is, according to the same Deloitte

study as above, the most significant factor

in aiding competitiveness in the manufacturing

industry. In fact, the recruitment,

development and retention of staff is just

as important as adopting new collaboration

models across an organisation.

There was more agreement from respondents

to the Epicor survey when it came

to the importance of a skilled workforce

to drive business growth. 52 per cent of

decision-makers from Germany, 52 per cent

in India and 48 in Australia all agreed in its


importance. The UK was the only real anomaly,

with only a third of respondents (32 per

cent) citing a skilled workforce as being

imperative, perhaps due to the UK having

such a shortage of skills engineers 4 .

However, 63 per cent of respondents from

the UK conceded that technology was the

best way to compensate for the shortage.

Compared to 51 per cent of respondents

from Germany, and only 22 per cent of

respondents from Sweden.

When it comes to using technology in order

to free employees from mundane tasks,

there was agreement, with 76 per cent of

China, 78 per cent of India and two thirds (66

per cent) of UK business leaders agreeing it

was important.

Keeping ahead of the pack

There is no doubt that continuing to embrace

technology will play a significant role

in the manufacturing sector. Digitally transforming

the production processes can lower

costs, accelerate enablement and ensure

that a manufacturer is able to fend off the

competition. Global competitors, especially

new market entrants, are gaining ground due

to their own investment of technology; and

by their very nature they are often more agile

and able to respond to changing market

demands quickly.

Yet, it is important that manufacturers not

only focus on the digital transformation of

the production process but also understand

the importance of access to real-time data.

With ERP (enterprise resource planning),

manufacturers can think about their businesses

from a fresh perspective, focus on

core growth activities and drive efficiencies.

Nick Castellina, Vice President, Principal

Analyst Aberdeen Group:

“Top performers must select a solution that

can combat manufacturing pressures and

emulates a modern technology environment.

This means selecting functional, collaborative

solutions that support real-time



decision making, agility, and collaboration

through capabilities such as mobility and

analytics. Indeed, top-performing manufacturers

select user-friendly, but powerful,


solutions that enable users to easily access

the information they need, and convert that 4

information to actions and smart decisions


that enable growth.” 5

Stuart Hall

Sales Director

Epicor Software - UK and Ireland




[2] Deloitte im 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness



[3] PwC: Industry 4.0: Building the digital enterprise,





Issue 6 | 125


Cyber Insurance:

Protecting the

Financial Industry

126 108 | Issue 65



It’s no surprise that the financial services

industry is a major target of cybercrime.

According to a recent Lloyd’s research into

the knowledge and awareness of cyber

risk among European enterprises, nearly 9

out of 10 banking and finance businesses

have suffered a cyber breach in the last

five years. It costs cyber criminals time

and money to pull off complicated attacks

and the target has to be valuable enough

to justify that expense. For criminals,

having access to customer bank balances

is an obvious source of intrinsic value,

but competitors may also target financial

institutions in order to steal valuable trading

algorithms, gain insight into trading positions

and strategy or numerous other forms

of financial business IP or trade secrets.

However, threats exist internally as well as

externally – and they can be both deliberate

and entirely unintentional. Malicious insiders

and accidental breaches can cause just

as much damage.

Over the past few years, cyber-attacks

targeting banks have resulted in countless

interruptions to business. In November

2016, an attack breached 20,000 accounts

at Tesco Bank. The company had to refund

customers £2.5m and is currently facing

potential fines. Earlier this year, in January,

millions of clients were affected as HSBC

saw a DDoS attack take down its internet

banking for a number of hours The systems

were successfully defended, but users

were still locked out for hours on the first

pay day of the year. Another breach, which

was discovered just a couple of weeks ago,

affected India’s third largest private sector

lender – Axis Bank. An offshore hacker had

entered the system. In 2015, Dridex, a form

of malware used by cyber-gangs to steal

payment card data, enabled criminals to

steal around £20m in the UK alone. Today,

data is the lifeline of the financial services

industry. As a result, legislative bodies are

forcing companies to better protect their

customers from the fallout of cyber events

or face the consequences of their inaction.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation

(GDPR will introduce strict data handling

laws from 2018. Any organisation dealing

with EU citizens’ data will need to report

breaches within 72 hours of their discovery.

Additionally, fines of up to €20 million or

4% of global annual turnover – whichever

is highest - will be imposed in cases when

data was insufficiently secured. Incidents

such as the Tesco Bank breach could result

in fines up to £1.9bn under the new GDPR

regulation. The costs of breaches are felt

far beyond the timescale of an attack due

to regulatory investigations and severe

financial penalties, as well drops in share

prices and long-term impacts on business

reputation and customer attrition. These

can all cause immediate loss of customers

and an ongoing decline in customer acquisition


As a reputational risk, it’s encouraging that

cyber security is now increasingly considered

to be an executive responsibility in the

banking and finance sector. 47% of CEOs

now take personal responsibility for managing

cyber breaches. However, awareness

of the GDPR shows that the media push

around the new rules has raised only superficial

awareness amongst business leaders,

given that 53% of those leaders claim they

know “little” or “nothing” about how the

GDPR can affect their business.

To be fully prepared, businesses must face

cybercrime and wider cyber breaches with a

proactive attitude. Although 9 in 10 financial

institutions reported a cyber breach in the

last five years, only 46% are concerned that

this may happen again. Considering the stir

that fintech is causing this industry it’s only

to fair to assume that as businesses continue

to embrace technology we’ll inevitably

experience an increase in cyber breaches.

Wherever digitalisation and profits lead,

cybercrime is quick to follow.

Cyber breaches come about as a result of

countless, highly complex forms. Phishing

emails for example are often indiscernible

from legitimate email – especially

for the average employee. Whaling targets

specific individuals through cleverly

individually crafted emails, impersonating

a senior executive, colleague or business

partner. Ransomware, one of the most

popular forms of attacks, allows perpetrators

to encrypt the entire data footprint

of an organisation, demanding ransom in

exchange for the decryption key. This can

effectively halt company operations and

threaten critical data. However, it is not just

cyber criminals that organisations need to

be aware of. Insider threats and accidental

breaches are also pressing risks that must

be proactively addressed – businesses need

to focus on “securing the human” as well as

the technology.

Given this unavoidable relationship between

tech, business and cybercrime, it’s crucial

that companies stay educated and informed

on their exposure to cyber risk, and the best

ways to mitigate and transfer the risk. As

the threat evolves it’s not enough to build a

wall – businesses need to have support in

the aftermath of a breach. Cyber insurance

has developed into much more than just a

financial pay out - it provides companies

with the knowledge and best practice to

protect themselves from cyber-threats, and

can protect a financial company’s balance

sheet by providing the support and consultancy

needed to recover when the worst

does happen.

Put simply, businesses are not fully prepared

unless they have cyber insurance in

place. The nature of threats is constantly

developing, and differs from business to

business – it is vital to ensure that the issue

is in the hands of experts. Managers and

decision makers owe it to their customers

and employees to make sure their business

is appropriately protected and insured. That

process starts now.

Dan Trueman

Unit Head of Cyber with Novae


Issue 56 | 109 127


128 | Issue 6






Over the years, one of the big questions

asked by compliance officers is whether

the transcription of voice recordings to text

should oblige regulated trade firms to retain

recordings for longer.

In some jurisdictions there is a difference

in the required retention period between

textual electronic communications, such as

email and Bloomberg messages, and that of

voice recordings. In Europe the difference in

the retention period is removed by the rules

proposed by the European Securities and

Markets Authority (ESMA) under the MiFID

II regulation. Under MiFID, all records, text

and voice, will be required to be retained

for a period of five years. By contrast, in the

United States for example, the Commodities

Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) rules

require voice calls to be retained for one year

while text communications are retained for

five years.

MiFID II and voice recordings

MiFID II also requires firms to conduct

surveillance of their employees’

communications to ensure the firm is

compliant with market rules. Effective

surveillance on voice calls will require

the deployment of clever technologies

that can extract the ‘substance’ of these

highly specialised conversations and

deliver risk and scenario based insights to

a knowledgeable reviewer who can then

determine if any wrongdoing has occurred.

We are subsequently seeing the rise of

speech-to-text, a technology that transcribes

what is said on a voice recording into a

textual representation of the call. But does

this text, produced from a call recording,

make a call an electronic communication?

The answer is no. The derived transcribed

text record is not a communication per se

and therefore cannot be included in the

communications retention rules.

Issue 6 | 129


Indeed, it’s important that businesses are

aware that under MiFID II:

• Converting speech to text does not

allow a firm to discard the original

recording – as that would be a

clear breach of the requirements.

The original record must always be


• Once analysed, and a text version is

created, there is no requirement to

retain the transcription

• The associated metadata of a call, such

as the time, date and numbers dialed,

along with the servers and systems

that a call is tagged with, are not

derivative data. All call metadata must

be retained for as long as the call audio

itself is retained

• If the transcribed data is re-sent by

electronic means (email, for example)

then that new communication needs

to be retained for the appropriate

amount of time as a communication in

its own right

• If a call transcript is available, and has

been used as part of the surveillance

process to flag a call for further review,

then in the event of a regulator request

for call logs, it should be recorded

in the same way that you would if

delivering an email that had already

been reviewed in your submission to

the regulator

New Technologies for Compliant Call

Capture, Transcription

facsimile copy of the original recording. It

may contain errors and it is much harder

to convey inflection, pauses and – critically

– intent in transcribed speech than when

listening to a call recording.

Most financial markets records

retention regulations require electronic

communications and voice recordings to be

preserved, as far as possible, in their original

form. This has always been problematic

for voice recordings, as any voice engineer

will attest. The quality of audio recordings

is always a balance between the space

required for storage and the audio’s

fidelity and usability. Fortunately, newer

communication devices are offering pristine

audio for compliant call capture, retrieval

and analytics to meet regulator requests.

Financial organisations are increasingly

investigating transcription and speech

analytics capabilities that will be used

to increase productivity and detect

bad behaviour. Ultimately, however,

transcriptions should not increase the

retention period for voice recordings. There

are too many elements of a call that are

subjective, and turning it into text will not

provide a true representation of the call

itself. Instead, organisations should be

focusing on finding means of capturing

calls more efficiently and effectively so that

they can remain compliant without the risk

of any misunderstandings.

There are more reasons that suggest that

transcripts should not change the retention

period. While transcription technologies

have improved substantially in accuracy

and language coverage in recent years, no

technology will be 100 percent accurate.

While incredibly useful in surveillance and

productivity, the transcription will not be a

Robert Powell

Director of Compliance

IPC Systems

Issue 6 | 131


132 | Issue 6


Current Banking

Trends in Macedonia

Global Banking & Finance Review spoke with Mr. Vladimir Eftimoski, CEO of

Stopanska banka a.d. Bitola to find out the current banking trends in Macedonia.

What are the current trends you see taking place in the banking

sector in Macedonia? What are the challenges and opportunities?

Macedonian economy is in a specific and complex condition.

Early parliamentary elections have been delayed twice so far

and for a moment the political crisis overflew the banking

system resulting in withdrawal of part of the retail deposits.

What is positive and perspective is that retail clients relatively

fast recognized that the banking system in the country is safe

and stable, thus the deposit return process commenced, even

increasing the scope before the crisis. Unfortunately, in the

beginning the will and responsibility of those who should have

surpassed the political crisis was missing, but is now finally

resolved by dialogue and arrangement. Other trends in the

banking sector mainly depended on amendments to a range of

regulations which directly and indirectly caused changes in the

banking market. Starting from amendments to the Public Notary

Law, Enforcement Law, up to the decisions of the Central bank

related to the treatment of writing-off non-performing loans and

foreign transactions. As a result, in the last period, the banking

sector as well as the entire economy was rather inert. Crediting

trend is not increasing but is anyhow stable and positive, while

deposit portfolio, except for the short crisis period from April-

May, can be evaluated as positive and exceptionally stable. These

challenges for the group of medium-sized banks, as Stopanska

banka a.d. Bitola, are extremely advantageous. They represent

a possibility for greater increase of the market share and

opportunity to clear our loan portfolio. We have quite successfully

utilized the banking market inertness; thus by 30.06.2016 the

Bank increased total assets by 14%, dominated by retail loans

by 39% compared to the same period last year. The Bank has

additionally cleared up nonperforming loan portfolio.

The participation of nonperforming loans in the total loan

portfolio is 2.97% and the nonperforming loan coverage ratio

is 123.2%, being an extraordinary sound indicator for the

Bank operation.

How are customer behaviours and the increased movement

towards cashless transactions changing banking in Macedonia?

Related to this issue Macedonia is advantageous compared

to the countries in the region. We have good communication

infrastructure, strong mobile network coverage and Internet

access throughout most of the country. Most of the population

gravitates in the Skopje region, reducing even further the need

of better infrastructure connections. In this setup majority

of corporate clients are focused to electronic services and

payments, while retail still prefers cash payments, especially

aged groups of clients and retired persons. The trend of

cashless payments and electronic services, is intensified with

the renewal of the client base and replacement of pensioners

with a new client base. The banking system, but especially

medium-sized banks such as Stopanska Banka a.d. Bitola, are

focused on introducing new and optimizing existing electronic

services. In the past period, the Bank has upgraded the bank

electronic system, introduced M-payment System, the website

upgrade process is ongoing, and issue and processing of two

new brands of MasterCard has started. To induce the trend of

use of these services, in addition to introducing relevant bonus

schemes and beneficial provisions for their use, technical

support is provided to aged clients indicating their advantages,

possibility of 24-hour access and facilitation related to fast

services without queuing and personal presence.

Issue 6 | 133


Let’s talk for a minute about product

development. What drives product creation at

Stopanska banka a.d. Bitola? What role does

technology play?

Our bank pays special attention to its

permanent development in the banking

industry, as well as to the needs of younger

generation clients. It is of particular importance

that this occurs in conditions where the clients

have still not changed their habits entirely,

and to serve them properly, a widespread

branch network is required throughout the

country. In addition to investing in new services

and technologies we are oriented to their

promotion and marketing. Product and service

development is not a guarantee that they will

be accepted in the market. The constant need

for their promotion and clarification to the

clients, is what differentiates us from the other

banks in the market. Our promotion and sales

are not oriented only in direction of meeting

targets. Our basic mission with the promotion

is presenting the benefits offered by the new

services and technology.

Has the demand for credit from corporates


Macedonia is a country with a small open

economy, where as a principle, external

economic movements do not have major

impact on the domestic product demand and

spending. In other words, we are a small-scale

production country in absolute numbers,

and irrelevant of how much we produce, the

quantity can be absorbed by foreign markets, if

competitive products are offered. Consequently,

our corporate sector was not considerably

affected by the world economic crisis, thus the

need for borrowing did not reduce. However,

in conditions of internal political crisis, the

investors’ concern increased as numerous

investment projects were postponed. Therefore,

as I mentioned in the beginning, the resolution

of this political deadlock is a key factor

for further development of our economy.

Corporative loan cycle increased, but with

different investment purposes.

134 | Issue 6


In the past long-term investment loans

were required, but now the emphasis is put

on liquidity, working capital and investment

refinancing. These changes encompass

further increase of corporate loans, which now

estimates to 10% on annual level. Stopanska

banka a.d. Bitola relatively fast adapted to

the new situation. Now our credit conditions

and products and focused on SME segment

where there is greatest need for borrowing. In

2015 it raised by 15% which is over the market

increase. This increase mainly occurred in

the SME segment, which is more profitable

compared to segment of large corporates.

In what ways does your corporate banking

division assist clients in managing their risk

and enhance their revenue?

Risk management is one of the key factors

accounted in our Bank, in terms of balance

growth and development of the Bank. We have

a special sector and a special service in charge

of risk management.

Such operational organization is in compliance

with the world’s banking standards dividing

sales and risks. Sales Sector is responsible

for monitoring business and clients’ plans

by analysing their balance, while Risk Sector

executes monitoring, but in terms of risks. This

sector perceives soft-spots in their balances,

makes analyses of the cash flow during

the loan period and the financial repayment

capacity of the relevant client. In this analysis,

sales are mainly focused on advisory and

analytical aspects of income increase, while

the organizational part of risk management

makes analyses whether the relevant client

has dimensioned its business in optimum

profitable range and whether its liquidity and

solvency is sufficient to realize the undertaking.

This symbiosis of both analyses are key for the

client to undertake sufficiently acceptable risk

to increase its profitability, and at the same time

avoiding the exposure of the Bank to a loan risk.

Issue 6 | 135

Global Oriented Merchant

Banking Group Offering Institutional

Capital Market Services

EVI Global Group Limited

Level 31, Vero Centre,

48 Shortland Street

Auckland, New Zealand

EVI Global Group Limited

is registered under FSP310986


Do you have any ongoing projects you’d like to share with us?

Stopanska Banka a.d. Bitola is continuously developing numerous

projects. In addition to constant internal projects to optimize our

operations and operational technology, we permanently develop

projects in terms of introduction of new services and products. We

are currently completing three key projects aimed at development

of new, user-friendly website, introducing two new MasterCard

products with contactless payment, M-payment service and a

multichannel distribution system. And we will not stop here. We

have a number of projects upgrading our information system. This

will additionally simplify and accelerate the processes, helping us to

become more competitive and efficient in the market.

support further development and growth of the Bank. The assets

from sales of the corporate bond will be used for credit activities

in corporate sector which will support the Bank growth in the

next five years. In this period, we will intensify our performance,

increasing our market share, profitability and efficiency. Our

intention is to impose ourselves as a factor in the Macedonian

banking market, with dominant domestic capital that will be

interesting for acquisition or recapitalization by a foreign strategic

partner. This approach, in the technology segment as well as the

other financial operational segments, will distinguish Stopanska

banka a.d. Bitola as a most innovative, modern and efficient bank

in the Macedonian banking market.

What are your current development plans?

At the moment we are focused on an activity that has not been

executed by any bank or company in Macedonia. We are in process

of issuing corporate bond as a hybrid financial instrument. This

idea is part of the strategy to attract strategic investors that will

Mr. Vladimir Eftimoski


Stopanska banka a.d. Bitola

Issue 6 | 137


The Subscription

Economy –

a new way to travel

Brits have traditionally been focused

on owning things – from cars to record

collections. However, the ‘ownership’

obsession is on its way out and is paving

the way to the subscription economy.

The rise in this non-ownership culture is

changing the way people interact with

businesses and their surroundings. At

the heart of this shift are people who are

happy to subscribe to the outcomes they

want, when they want them, without an

outright purchase.

Our expectations have changed drastically:

on-demand services increasingly

sit at the top of consumer lifestyle

essentials, with the likes of Spotify and

Amazon Prime creating new business

models which are leaving competitors

behind. They marry on-demand instant

services with personalised recommendations

all informed by other users’

recommendations and the easiest, manageable

subscription models.

Importantly, these services are built upon

an aggregation of third party sellers into

an easily accessible marketplace, be they

Amazon retailers’ products, music company

recordings or films. This could be

seen as a threat to third party providers

as they are then challenged to give consumers

what they want, at the right price

and with the service levels they demand.

However, it is also a real opportunity

to reinvigorate these third parties

and grow the total marketplace for

all. Music streaming provides a good

example. Following the music industry’s

catastrophic collapse in the late 90s,

Spotify resurrected sales through its

subscription-streaming model, turning

the industry profitable once again.

Reports indicate the retail value of music

subscription-streaming services has

hit $1bn in the first half of 2016 up by

more than $500m in just one year.

The mind-set of modern day consumers

has changed, and it’s not just in

the consumption of entertainment, but

almost every aspect of life. The movement

away from ownership will see the

subscription culture transform an array

of industries, with transport next on the

consumer agenda.

The shift in transport

This shift towards the transport service

model - or Mobility as a Service

(MaaS) - is being driven by two mutually

reinforcing trends. Firstly, there is the

generational shift to the sharing economy.

Millennials are technology natives

who have lives built on networking and

sharing. This has seen companies such

as Airbnb and Deliveroo flourish and has

now extended its reach to transport with

BlaBlaCar, Zipcar, Enterprise Car and

JustPark emerging and growing. The

modern-day traveller now expects transport

to be easily accessible, convenient

and seamless.

Secondly, the growth of mobile and

wireless connected devices in home and

pocket, coupled with fast connectivity

speeds, has catalysed this generation.

This light infrastructure enables on-demand

internet based choice and booking

wherever or whenever needed. Add real

time traffic updates, delay notifications,

platform alterations and intelligent

journey planners, and the full the mobility

service economy is now available at the

tap of a smartphone screen.

The next stage - the truly fundamental

shift in the transport service model -

will be the bringing together of all the

siloed transport, buses, taxis, trains

and car clubs, into a full subscription

MaaS service.

138 | Issue 6


Issue 6 | 139


140 | Issue 6


This type of service is beginning to take

shape: in Birmingham, a trial called Car

Freedom is providing a one stop service

to older people. The service matches

them with the right mobility and provides

all the support they need (including customer

service and peer to peer support),

when they receive a concessionary pass;

transitioning to reducing their car use or

giving up the car completely. A similar

service, PicknMix, is being designed by

young people, to offer the same support

for their own mobility transitions. Whim,

a Finnish app aims to provide packages

of mobility to suit all needs without the

need to own a car.

A shift in the UK?

The UK transport industry is on the

edge of a fundamental shift to an integrated

service economy. There is still

a need for infrastructure spending and

upgrades but the focus must now be to

obtain the most from that infrastructure,

managing demand and pulling

the whole transport system together to

attract and retain new users.

This requires a fundamental shift to

service and support – only made possible

by placing the user at the heart of

design. New ways of packaging transport,

delivering support, creating transport

marketplaces and having integrated ways

to pay, including subscription models can

match changing and evolving needs. The

requirement to own a car will reduce and

ultimately become a thing of the past.

Spotify has excelled by identifying a culture

shift and addressing the change with

a solution which worked for the user, ultimately

growing the market for music and

rejuvenating an entire industry. Transport

must now follow.

Where are we going?

A major step toward this required level

of change is happening right now as The

Bus Bill continues its way through the

House of Lords. It will see local authorities

in England and Wales given the power to

franchise its bus services. This will enable

them to set routes, frequencies, pricing

and quality standards that can support

local residents.

This Bill will allow the often confusing

price structures and route layouts to be

simplified and enable Oyster-like smart

ticketing. This will allow MaaS to flourish

by making it easier to embed such

stable public transport services into a

package of mobility.

The transport industry is going places;

however, it must move to the subscription

economy to take that large leap forward.

With the right package of transport,

combined with personalised support, the

mobility service subscription based economy

can grow the market for non-owned

transport and consign the term “public

transport” to the history books.

Dr Steve Cassidy

Managing Director, Viaqqio

ESP Group

Issue 6 | 141


What’s Next for Blockchain:

Disruptive Technology and

New Regulations

Blockchain technology has received a

lot of attention for its potential to revolutionise

different sectors, and financial

services is widely believed to be the area

with the greatest potential for distributed

ledger technology (DLT) to transform and

disrupt existing processes.

Should its use be regulated and, if so, what

shape would that take? How to respond to

these questions is a challenge for product

developers, financial markets participants

and regulators alike. And, when should

the regulator step in? Patrick Armstrong,

a Senior Risk Analysis Officer at the European

Securities and Markets Authority

has recently described 1 the answer to this

question as the “regulatory “tipping point”

– the point between “too small to care”

and “too large to ignore””. I suspect that

most observers would agree that the scale

is somewhat tipping towards the latter.

The regulators’ stance, at least in the

UK and the EU, seems to be to support

development, keep an open mind, monitor

and “wait and see”. It would be wrong

to perceive this as regulators taking a

passive approach. Rather, it might be

interpreted as a stance taken to learn,

without hindering the development of

a socially and economically beneficial

process or product.

The UK regulator’s “regulatory sandbox”, a

part of Project Innovate, provides a good

example of the pro-active approach. The

regulatory sandbox was established to

create a space in which start-up developers

and incumbents can test innovative

products, services, business models and

delivery mechanisms in a live environment

while ensuring that consumers are

appropriately protected.

Of the firms currently using the sandbox to

test their models, nine involve the use of

DLT. These projects serve a broad range of

financial services: from cross border money

transfers to a payments platform allowing

the Department of Work and Pensions to

credit value to a mobile device; to streamlining

the Initial Public Offering distribution

process; and providing a system for automated

customer authentication.

This latter use of DLT is one which is being

observed with some cautious enthusiasm

by regulators and industry bodies and the

FCA sees it having the potential to offer innovative

solutions to financial crime issues

and as presenting real opportunities for the

regulated sector to meet Know Your Customer

and Anti-Money Laundering requirements

more effectively. In turn, the technology

does give rise to its own connected

issues. One of the questions identified by

Issue 6 | 143


regulators, for example, is how do individuals

gain access to a distributed network and

who controls this process.

A different use was recently tested by the

Bank of England who undertook a Proof of

Concept (POC) to explore DLT’s application

to the transfer of ownership of a fictional

asset among several participants, including

a central authority which could establish

the supply of the asset and permission to

access and use the ledger.

Several areas emerged as meriting further

exploration by the Bank. These included:

• Scalability. The need for assurance

that a system could operate with total

data integrity and reliability at high

speeds and high volumes.

• Security. The search for certainty that

the privacy of the data in the distributed

ledgers would not be vulnerable to

cyberattack both now and in the future.

• Privacy. For DLT to be used in any

central bank application, a high standard

of privacy and resilience would

be required.

• Interoperability. Develop an understanding

of how existing data

processes and infrastructure might

interact with distributed ledgers.

• Sustainability. The Bank asserts that

DLT systems typically use more energy

and require more data storage than traditional

ledgers. Consideration of how

these can be minimised as systems

increase in scale, will be important.

Any design of the technology and processes

of regulation will have to take into account

these factors.

The likely impact of regulation will be focused

on systems, processes and controls

rather than adding new regulated activities

to the existing broad range of products and

services which fall within the regulated ambit

(leaving aside the question of cryptocurrencies).

The focus will be on how regulated

firms, using the technology, address the

sorts of issues highlighted by the Bank

of England above and how the regulators

supervise those firms.

Of course financial institutions are already

governed and supervised by legal and regulatory

codes and prudential requirements.

Strict rules 2 require regulated firms to establish,

implement and maintain robust policies

and procedures sufficient to counter the risk

Issue 6 | 145


that the firm might be used to further financial

crime. Where it is proportionate, taking

account of the complexity of its business

model, a firm must set out and maintain

an audit plan to examine and evaluate the

adequacy and effectiveness of its systems,

internal control mechanisms and arrangements.

For firms using DLT, extra focus

will be directed at how these systems and

controls are applied to the technology.

Prudential rules ensure that a firm’s capital

resources are assessed in relation to all the

activities of the firm and, amongst other

things, the risk of loss resulting from inadequate

or failed internal processes, people

and systems.

We think the regulator’s expectations will

be high.

Further interesting discussion arises from

the distinction between, on the one hand,

legal and regulatory codes which consist of

legal obligations and, on the other, technical

code governing software and protocols

upon which distributed ledgers rely. This

146 | Issue 6

distinction was highlighted recently in a

report by the UK Government Chief Scientific

Adviser 3 .

The fundamental difference between

regulatory code and technical code is that

regulatory code comes from outside the

DLT physical environment and is “extrinsic”

and, by contrast, technical code is “intrinsic”.

Regulatory rules can be broken but regulatory

consequences and penalties may follow.

If the rules of a technical code are broken, an

error is returned and no activity occurs. The

technical code means that the software is

self-regulating, through the operation of the

code itself, through rigid compliance with

the rules even where that compliance might

lead to undesirable outcomes.

Overcoming this form of technical rigidity,

which from some perspectives is perhaps at

the heart of the benefits of DLT, may give rise

to the biggest of the regulators’ challenges:

recognising the strength and weaknesses

of both technical code and regulatory code

and how the two interact. DLT providers will

need to design accordingly.

Penny Sanders

Head of Financial Services Regulation

Gowling WLG





Speech for ESMA 22 November 2016. Esma/2016/1613

FCA Handbook at SYSC.

Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain.





At China Banking Corporation in

the Philippines, we are constantly

evolving and improving. We celebrate

our 96th anniversary with a renewed

commitment to excellent customer

service driven by our mission to help

our clients succeed, and informed by

a deep understanding of their needs,

dreams and goals -- as individuals,

families, entrepreneurs, businesses,

and institutions.

Even as we grow, innovate and

expand, we continue to be guided by

the timeless values of our founding

fathers -- that banking is a relationship

anchored on trust, integrity, fairness

and transparency. These core

values underpin the strength of our

partnerships that span across four

generations, and propel our continued

efforts to excel in corporate governance

and embed global best practices in our

corporate culture.

This is who we are, what we are

about, defining what we do. Making

a difference for our stakeholders is its

own reward; accolades a welcome treat.

At the 2016 Bell Awards, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE)

recognized China Banking Corporation as a top 5 publicly listed

company for excellence in corporate governance — the only listed

company to be so recognized for five consecutive years, and the

only bank awardee in each of the five years.

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