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Closing Remarks

Interesting discussion with our Asian colleagues.  It is evident that the nature of these markets will require a different approach. Harmonisation is not practical, but some degree of integration and therefore standardisation would be welcomed.

Of perhaps even greater interest in the short term is a need for much more information sharing on the impacts of developments like SEPA.  Such developments have implications on all parts of the world as business customers trade with companies across the global.  I seem to have heard that message before!  Perhaps we can be more effective with our sharing of information this time.

And onto the Closing Plenary.  A much more informal and low key session this year. The use of a panel, with a mixture of seasoned SWIFT representatives and corporates worked well. But it was clear there is still much to do to ensure a good level of understanding across the banking world, let alone in being proactive in our resolution of problems - I was particularly disappointed to hear the comment that SEPA was not an issue for corporates, but an intra bank issue.

Banks have not been good at being proactive.  It is not in our nature.  Far too risky.  But going forward I believe we can only maintain and grow our franchise if we learn to be bolder.  We cannot let others, be they regulators, governments or whoever, drive our agenda.  We must stay in control of our destinies and face the challenges of SEPA, corporate access, BRIC, derivatives or whatever.  We must learn to actively collaborate and not just talk about doing it. And above all we must engage more with our customers, listening to their needs, helping them understand the implications of changes and so prosper together.

May you all enjoy the party tonight. 

May you all prosper throughout the next 12 months until we meet in Boston.  Good Luck everyone.


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