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Why did it take so long?

That’s the question that Joseph Yam, CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, asked the Sibos audience in this afternoon’s welcome address. Specifically, why did it take so long for Sibos to come back to Hong Kong, having last been here 18 years ago? (I agree we should have come back sooner! )

Mr. Yam reflected on the witnessed over that time. Reflection was a theme continued into the 1st Sibos debating session, chaired by the FT’s Martin Wolf. This time, it was a reflection on the last 12 months, and the changes we’ve all seen. It was clear that most agreed that the global financial climate was improving – a far cry from this time last year. But there is still some way to go, and a lot more change to come.

Bank business models need to change. The cost of credit will continue to increase. And risk management is now truly at the top of the agenda – not only driven by regulatory and compliance issues, but also by the need to improve the control and use of capital. In the wake of this crisis, banks need an improved, holistic view of their risk – bringing together market, credit and operational risk.

These are important reflections.  But it’s also important to look forward, and ask some key questions. For instance, what does the bank of the future now need to look like? What needs to change? And which changes will bring the most success? This last question spans both business processes and IT investment – where do you now put your spend?

Over the course of this year’s Sibos, these are the questions that I will try to address in this blog. I’ll give you a SunGard view, but I’ll also look to bring others into the debate along the way.

Watch this space, and do join the debate. Together we might find some interesting answers. 



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