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John Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald - AIB - Dublin 22 August, 2008, 08:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think banks have been competing on security for centuries. Marketing around security of investment and guaranteed returns are the norm. These notions are shorthand for getting a message across to consumers without having to go into the small print of financial detail.

Even architecturally, the main message of banks has been one of solidity - massive stone columns designed to imply impregnability ..

Competing on security is nothing new.

Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London 22 August, 2008, 11:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is an interesting subject - I wrote a paper on it for the CSFI about 15 years ago! (see

John is right - although banks in public always claim security is not a competitive issue, in practice, as with many aspects of banking, they actually all do a delicate act of both collaborating and competing on security simultaneously.

They need to collaborate to establish the security and trust of the banking industry as a whole, in competition with other industries - this trusted status is one of banking's main strengths.  Then they compete with each other on top of the common trusted infrastructure.

The best example of this is the Identrust scheme (see where after many years the banks have now established a common infrastructure based on PKI and individual member banks are now beginning to launch applications on top of this infrastructure which they sell competitively to corporate customers.

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