22 August 2017
Paul Penrose

Finblog

Paul Penrose - Finextra

307Posts 1,330,824Views 246Comments
Finextra@Sibos

Finextra@Sibos

The Finextra@Sibos community is open to all delegates and exhibitors at the annual financial markets conference organised by financial messaging network Swift.

Go-go years catch up on Swift

23 July 2009  |  4710 views  |  0

For a Swift geek like me, the publication of the co-operative’s annual report offers a rare opportunity to gauge the mood of the executive committee and the board ahead of the annual user conference. Often this requires some educated guesswork, reading between the lines and picking up on nuances in tone and emphasis in the opening messages from the chairman and CEO. Generally, the most interesting insights emerge from what is unsaid, rather than what is said.

So it was something of a surprise this year to pick up the 2008 report and find a rather sober - and remarkably frank - assessment of the state of the Swift universe in the opening statement from chairman Yawar Shah.

Referring to the global downturn and its likely impact on transaction volumes, Shah says: “Swift needs to prepare for the possibility of a period of significant volume contraction. The Board has therefore endorsed an initiative of the Leadership Council to explore possible areas of cost reduction within Swift’s operations and consider potential actions in response to various scenarios, including sustained reduced volumes.”

One of the areas under examination is Swift’s investments in multiple market infrastructure projects.

Says Shah: “In times of growth, it makes sense to have multiple ventures addressing different aspects of industry concern. In time of retrenchment, we must examine where capabilities can be combined. Are there functions that Swift undertakes that other joint ventures could do better?”

We've been here before of course. Anyone remember SwiftNetFIX? This effort to use the Swift network for point-to-point FIX messaging was quietly offloaded to Ullink after a five year investment programme that yielded precisely 11 clients.

So, will Swift look to shed itself of underperforming assets only? Or will it - as Shah implies - look dispassionately across its broad portfolio of services and cherry pick only those which can add immediate value to its core membership. By these criteria, Swift's recent forays into the insurance industry, funds distribution, prime broker and hedge fund servicing and even the much-vaunted Trade Services Utility (a long-term investment with no guarantee of a successful outcome) could all be in the firing line.

At Sibos we’ll be looking closely at how these themes are played out in the opening plenary addresses and on the conference and exhibition floor. If you’re unable to attend in person this year, never fear, Finextra will be reporting live and direct from the event via our purpose-built Sibos information resource Finextra@Sibos. Bookmark it now, and guarantee yourself a virtual ringside seat in Hong Kong.

TagsPaymentsWholesale banking

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Latest posts from Paul

ANZ and Visa lose the plot

30 June 2011  |  6575 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsMobile & onlineRetail banking

Don't give up the day job...ever

20 May 2010  |  5820 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsTrade executionWholesale bankingGroupWhatever...

Now we are ten

19 April 2010  |  6202 views  |  3 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsRetail bankingWholesale banking

Finextra's Best of the Web

05 March 2010  |  5718 views  |  1 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsRetail bankingWholesale banking

The ATM was the last great financial innovation

25 February 2010  |  9777 views  |  8 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsRetail bankingWholesale bankingGroupFinance 2.0

Paul's profile

job title Head of Research
location London
member since 2007
Summary profile See full profile »
I'm responsible for editorial content and quality control across the full range of Finextra media.

Paul's expertise

Member since 2006
307 posts246 comments

Who's commenting on Paul's posts