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To mandate or not to mandate? One week in June

I spent the week, not sitting on my 'arse' in the office, but out and about wafting through the world of financial data and technology, Twittering when I could, like the delicate flower that I am.

I was going to pick out one or two topics to blog about, but instead will serve up snippets of my week.

First up - Monday and the always enjoyable FISD Women's Luncheon. This is a chance for the women who work in financial market data to have a drink, a bit of food and a chat. (It's, understandably an off-the-record affair, so I will sustain from gossip :-( ).

During lunch we were entertained with a chat-show talk with Venetia Thompson, author of Gross Misconduct: My year of excess in the City, where she tells the true story of a 'posh bird' (her words not mine) who was shocked to find herself fired after calling her boss "the most thick-skinned and hated man in the City" in the pages of a national magazine.

On to IBM's ImpactUK 2010 client conference in London. Kenny Merritt, global head of middleware at Barclays gave a detailed talk about how they set up a 'shared services utility' (using IBM) to consolidate IT and infrastructure and bring down costs.

The shared services utility is being phased into the bank. However, Merritt says the service has reduced unit costs from £2 per unit to .35p per unit. Departments are not required to use the Utility, but are offered the option of "doing it yourself for £2 or doing it through us for .35p", says Merritt. (I'm working on setting up a Finextra video on that one)

During the 'Financial Services' afternoon sessions, Darren Capehorn of Icon (formerly of Lloyd's TBS) gave a talk on just how 'complex, huge and expensive' the Faster Payments messaging infrastructure was/is. It's no wonder banks were slow to implement Faster Payments, I wanted to start crying when he pulled out the flow charts.

Wednesday saw me at the Mifid JWG Reunion, which was really just a series of presentations looking at how the CESR review is going and what we might expect from Mifid 2.

Mandatory Consolidated Tape anyone? That is unless we don't have a MCT, or then again we might - but someone has to take charge, then again maybe banks won't cooperate, but could FIX step up, but, but, but ......BUT... It's not hard to reason away from Gary Wright comment to me at the coffee break that 'banks are too impotent to implement the MCT'.

Thursday, it was back to payments at the Experian Payments event, where the highlight was Harcus Copper of Barclays talking about the Sepa Council. It looks like Sepa DD may have an early 2013 end date and Sepa CT may have a 2015 end date, then again they may not (I'm sensing a trend here...)

Nick Ogden of Voice Commerce also patiently explained, at length, to an audience member that 'voice recognition software' was very different from 'voice biometrics' as a means of security checks on mobile phones. I feel I will forever be haunted by the woman at the back who kept saying "...but my friend John's son James sounds just like John, so James could easily impersonate John..."

I did manage to grab Paul Smee of the Payments Council after chasing him around the coffee break, and get a brief comment on the relevance of Faster Payments in a PayPal world. "Faster Payments is part of our payments infrastructure, PayPal is not". Finextra video is live

If any of you Finextra Community members are at any events or conferences in the next few weeks or months, Tweet me at @LizLum. If I'm there I'm usually the woman with the Blackberry and the giant camera.


Comments: (1)

Gary Wright
Gary Wright 14 June, 2010, 11:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Busy lady Liz

I too have been out and about over the last week and i must say there is plenty of talk not much action and lots of confusion arround. I keep hearing at these events that the Regulators are setting the agenda with everyone waiting sitting on their hands hoping to be told what to do. Where has responsibility gone, where is the innovation and the drive to run the industry?

I really do think that people in the finance industry are failing in their duties and simply coping out. Pity MiFID two cant chuck out the current mob and replace with a few chosen ones of the past who would have at least stood up been counted and made decisions   

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