Swift Business Forum London - live blog

Swift Business Forum London - live blog

Welcome to Finextra's live coverage of the Swift Business Forum London 2018. This event will focus on important issues affecting the financial industry, exploring how far and how fast the transformation of financial services will take place in the UK and beyond.

17.09: The final act of the day is an audience poll asking what will have the biggest impact on financial services in the next 12 months? Brexit is just about the winner here on 27%. Knight notes that this links to the short-term thinking we saw in the earlier poll. And that concludes the Swift Business Forum London 2018! Thank you very much for following all the action here at Finextra.

17.06: What of the gender balance in fintech? Ceeney says that fintech is actually lagging behind financial services, citing that only 19% of senior management roles in fintech are held by women. King adds that proper flexible working is essential. Knight says the situation is getting better on boards. She adds there is an improvement on those coming in on graduate schemes. The area that isn't being addressed is in the middle. The change is on its way, but it is happening slowly.

17.03: We have to think about the future. The risk is that the UK gets there, but it gets there a bit late, notes Knight. One of the big threats is legacy, adds King, something that can slow down UK banks more than others abroad.

17.00: One of the big issues going forward is the future of work, Wark says. The flexibility of where people work has been addressed correctly, says Knight, but there is an issue around taxation. Ceeney notes how the flexibility of office space is markedly improved today compared to five years ago.

16.56: In our first audience poll, delegates are asked what will happen to the UK financial services industry between now and Brexit? A majority (53%) expect short-term challenges but then longer-term growth. 

16.54: What role does big tech have to play in future business models? King says they have an important role to play but that doesn't frighten her.

16.51: Addressing Brexit, Knight says that if she could she would replace all of the men negotiating Brexit for the UK and replace them with women - immediately 90% of the ego would leave the negotiations, she suggests. She says that institutions need to ask what the opportunities are that they as companies can pick up from this process. We are not geographically leaving Europe, it is important not to forget that.

16.47: Things aren't going to change in terms of transaction volumes when Brexit happens, says King. What will potentially change is the investment in fintech and talent in the sector too - currently more people work in fintech in the UK than on the west coast of the US. King also talks about how NatWest has partnered with fintechs to create new ways of working. Changing the model is essential to keep innovating and growing.

16.43: We have a promising future, but we need to continue to attract talent to the UK to do this. Brexit casts doubt over whether we can continue to do this, and is a key point to address, Ceeney says.

16.39: Ceeney says that she believes fintech is the best chance for financial services to survive and flourish post-Brexit. There is a culture of innovation in the UK, supported by the regulator. Talent is in global short supply, however. Can we innovate enough? We will stay ahead post-Brexit if we can keep our costs down.

16.34: Wark kicks us off by saying that the UK will always have a strong connection to Europe, regardless of Brexit and political ties to the EU. This session will look at how the UK financial services sector will be able to retain its status post-Brexit.

16.30: Time now for the closing plenary discussion, which is set to tackle 'the brave new world of financial services'. The conversation is being moderated by Kirsty Wark, broadcaster and journalist. Our panellists are Natalie Ceeney, CBE, chair at Innovate Finance, Marion King, group director of payments for NatWest, and Angela Knight, CBE, chair of Tilman Brewin Dolphin.

16.24: It isn't just about doing a nice moral thing, de Alwis says, it is also a business issue. There has been a big growth in the community courses that they put on, and they are run all over the UK. They aim to have train 20,000 women coders by 2020.

16.20: Code First: Girls has the mission to get more women into technology. In 2017, women programmers and software developers in the tech and telco industry, women make up just 3.9% of the workforce.

16.17: Ahead of the closing plenary, we have a CSR address from Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First: Girls.

16.04: The build up to the closing plenary session is now underway, as delegates make their way from the various breakout rooms to the main hall. That will be coming up in 15 minutes.

15.56: Will banks still dominate the cross-border payments space in five years? Darnley thinks they will, but there will be a lot more collaboration with fintechs. The idea of AI in real-time payments excites him, creating a more efficient automated routing of payments. Franck adds that banks are so much more than a cross-border payments provider.

15.53: Scola says that Swift gpi is a massive leap forward and answers many of the issues raised in this discussion. He thinks there will be greater uniformity in the correspondent banking space as a result. But there are still questions around cross-border payments, largely around how you link and bring uniformity to the various real-time payments initiatives around the world.

15.49: Franck says that 90% of his company's orders are made online, but only 20% of the payments are made online. He says that this highlights the potential that exists in the online payments space.

15.47: Regulation has impacted the speed that banks have moved, Dean notes, but that we are now in a position where regulators are driving innovation. She says that the industry needs to make sure that it is driving simplicity as it innovates.

15.44: Darnley says that one of his biggest frustrations at the moment is that he has seen a big leap forward in the retail banking space that don't translate into the corporate B2B area very quickly. He cites payment limits as one example of this. He would like to see faster developments in the B2B space than currently exists.

15.39: Challenges in his clearing systems primarily come down to KYC, says Darnley. This is particularly on the agencies side. Being able to manage that process is challenging, as is having efficient processes to manage that data. On the fintech side, he says they are fleet of foot compared to the banks. For his organisation, he would be cautious about engaging directly with a fintech for millions of dollars of transactions, but if the fintech came hand in hand with a bank it would be a different story.

15.34: Franck says that there are collaborations out there for banks and fintechs that can be mutually beneficial. Dean agrees, saying that there is a greater understanding that banks and fintechs can be stronger together.

15.31: What could the banking industry be doing more on in this sector? Scola says that the focus of banks has only recently turned to innovation in the payments space, as the global financial crisis took attention away from this in the previous decade. Creating greater transparency, and enhancing security, are two big areas for banks to target in this area.

15.25: Rossetti asks Darnley how he feels if a bank uses a fintech as part of its offering. He says he isn't, if by doing so he can see that it is making the process more efficient and reduce his costs. Darnley adds that fintechs are changing the payments landscape but there are other elements, such as regulation. He cites SEPA as an example, and then says that banks are now much more concerned to being customer focussed.

15.19: If you ask most large corporates, they live in a world of global shared services, says Franck. They need straight-through processing, FX done directly, for example. They don't want as many people and sources of error in the chain.

15.16: Scola says the fintech space has changed how banks interact with corporates and each other. There is the indirect impact of what is happening in the consumer technology space, and then there is the direct impact of the integration of fintechs into the payments space. Being able to add enriched data into the payments process is key for corporates, he comments.

15.13: Darnley explains how his company's demands from the banks are similar to his customers' requirements, they want payments to be fast, simple and safe. Dean agrees with these points, and says that there are great opportunities out there for the banks to develop, but also a lot of confusion in terms of what solutions are the most applicable and robust in the payments area. Value what you have got, and look for the applications that can take you to the next stage of capability - she cites Swift gpi as an example of this.

15.08: Franck talks about how his company largely operates outside of the G20 countries. Challenges on the payments side include the pressure to cut costs and have more straight-through processing. He would like the banks to help with this challenge, but acknowledges the challenges the banks themselves face in the markets that his company operates.

15.02: For the corporate payments panel discussion, our moderator is Sonia Rossetti, managing director, Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered. The other panellists are Stephen Darnley, corporate treasurer for IATA, Sue Dean, head of treasury EMEA at J.P. Morgan, Nicholas Franck, director of group treasury products with Oriflame, and David Scola, global head of financial institutions at Barclays.

14.30: That is a wrap for the cyber session. In half an hour we will getting a corporate's view on the future of cross-border payments. In the meantime, below are some highlights from some of the other breakout sessions this afternoon:

14.29: In the final statements, Uliott says it is key to include security in everything that is done, rather than bolting it on. From a preparedness standpoint, McGuire says it is important to plan for every type of breach and be ready for it. Finally, Giles adds that it is important to bring law enforcement early in the event of an attack.

14.28: The final audience poll asks how they see the longer-term outlook on cyber. The pessimistic view - attacks getting more sophisticated and better funded, we need to expect the worst - gains 58% of the poll. An optimistic view - if we continue to focus on the topic it will come under control and be managed like other risks - nets 26% of the vote. McGuire says she is an optimist, but you can't ever say that you have it under control because the threat is always evolving so always needs to be managed as such.

14.22: AI has a key role to play in security, Uliott says. It won't replace people, but it can help cut down the noise in the space.

14.21: McGuire says that asset management is a key area when it comes to cyber threat. How can you protect something if you don't know you have it? She says there is also a part on governance that needs to be addressed - you need the right risk framework and test that often.

14.18: Conversation moves to cyber threat versus insider threat, and which is the bigger threat. Uliott says that you shouldn't separate the two, they are connected and one is the enabler of the other.

14.14: In cyber, industry collaboration is vital, says Giles. There is the mechanism to ring up and speak to a law enforcement officer - he notes that underreporting is a big problem for law enforcement. Without the reporting, it is very hard to address what the scale of any particular type of fraud is.

14.10: Banks can learn from other sectors, notes Uliott. By looking further afield, such as the energy sector for example, banks can see how criminal actors operate in those industries and apply that to their own processes and systems to ensure that they are ready for these types of attacks.

14.09: Information sharing is a key tool across critical infrastructure in order to prevent new types of attacks, says McGuire. She relates an example related to credit card fraud where a number of institutions had noticed a pattern. It may look like a small amount of money to one bank, but collectively it added up to a serious amount, which allowed the banks collectively to go to the authorities. Banks need to look to law enforcement as a partner in this regard, she notes.

14.03: The WannaCry outbreak on the UK NHS mainly affected NHS England and NHS Scotland. The reason that NHS Wales largely escaped was because they had a specifically different patching approach, Giles notes.

14.01: Some of the threats that the National Cyber Crime Unit sees are linked closely to the supply chain issues mentioned, Giles says. There can be poor security hygiene when people are let go as well. This is an essential part to manage. Also there is a slight blurring between criminal actors and state actors, he says. This is a major challenge for government agencies.

13.57: A data risk rating model is one solution, McGuire says. This is all about the data, and it is graded depending on which area it is in. She can't give blanket approval for one vendor, as there are different levels of risk with different types of data. This can be quite complex.

13.55: How can you assess the security practices of a third party, Hofmann asks. Uliott notes that you can't stop with the supplier that you are dealing with, you have to follow the chain back to see where and how far the outsourcing goes in the third party system you are relying on.

13.53: DDoS attacks seem to be reducing in the financial sector, Uliott notes, but there do seem to be occasional spikes so vigilance is still warranted. Destructive malware is a major threat, McGuire says, and then there is the Internet of Things. Previously 'dumb' devices now need to be taken into account in a cyber threat management programme.

13.50: When cyber attacks hit the front pages of the mainstream press, it had an impact on the general public. In turn, this has helped to drive some of the changes that we are seeing today, says Uliott.

13.46: McGuire is happy with the poll result as it shows how the awareness of the issue has risen. She cautions that it can be overhyped in some regards, but what is important is to practically link this issue to other business risks. Uliott agrees that some in the security industry do overhype it, which in turn can lead to some fatigue. This is a real worry.

13.44: The next poll asks the audience whether the topic of cyber is a major concern and the community needs to do more, or whether it is overhyped and should be managed like any other risk. 85% state that it is a major concern. Giles agrees with this conclusion, and points out that a key challenge is making sure awareness of the variety of cyber threats is raised among the general community.

13.40: Cyber is at the top of the board for all financial institutions, says McGuire. Giles notes that data fraud or theft is rated almost as extreme as cyber on the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report. He thinks that cyber is roughly placed in the right area of the spectrum. A number of the other events on the spectrum could be made worse when cyber is linked with it, notes Uliott.

13.35: The first audience poll asks where the World Economic Forum places cyber attacks on its five levels of severity of events to the global economy. Nearly 50% say it is in the second level, which is revealed to be true. Uliott says you could put it anywhere on the spectrum depending on how you define cyber.

13.30: The topic for the first post-lunch session is 'Securing the financial ecosystem'. The moderator on this topic is Marc Hofmann, CISO at SWIFT. The speakers joining Hofmann are Cheri McGuire, group CISO for Standard Chartered, Chris Uliott, CISO at NatWest, and Kevin Giles, head of Triage, Incident Handling and Coordination at the National Crime Agency's National Cyber Crime Unit.

13.16: That closes the lunch session. Join us in 15 minutes when the subject turns to cyber.

13.15: Campbell says that financial services are uniquely tied to an experience - such as a mortgage for a house. But it could be anyone who provides that service. It is less about going to your bank and asking, but more about going end-to-end through a Zoopla-style business, for example.

13.12: When will companies like Amazon get into consumer finance? Caywood says that banking is becoming invisible, particularly in the payments space through integration into things like Gmail or Wepay. Becoming a fully regulated bank may not be that attractive for them, says Caywood, but they can absolutely target certain valuable channels that banks have relied upon.

13.04: If you make a licensed product, you definitely need to document every step as you go, Campbell says, as you never know when you may need to demonstrate this 'paper' trail.

13.02: Speed versus security comes up in conversation, which links back to what was discussed in the previous payments panel. Banks have requirements to provide full data security in a highly regulated industry. The legislation with Open Banking and PSD2 is helpful in the speed v security question, says Caywood. When the due diligence is done once, it doesn't need to be repeated multiple times. However, banks still bear some of the responsibility if a third party fails. But the due diligence done should negate this in a fully regulated partner.

12.58: Zachariadis asks if there is any restrictive issues, citing the smartphone world when it first started where certain apps would only be permitted on iPhone, for example. Competition drives innovation, and so exclusivity restricts that, says Caywood. That doesn't fit with Starling's mindset.

12.54: Product providers that have API integrations have very sticky customer experience, Campbell notes. Starling is building out a technology platform that is very scalable with standardised API requirements at every level, says Caywood.

12.50: Curating platform content is another challenge that Ozcan brings up. "Collaborating for something that we don't do is a lot easier to explain to top management" was quoted in this regard. The challenge incumbents face is that their cost base is high and their technology may not be as sophisticated as the fintechs, says Campbell. This is where a fintech partnership can pay off handsomely.

12.46: Incumbent challenges included the desire not to be a 'Nascar', says Ozcan, referring to being branded with everyone you are working with. But if you keep your brand, can you get the best fintechs? Who owns the customer? Caywood notes that the banks don't own the customer, the customer owns their customer information. Tradionally banks used to be afraid of losing the customer, but now Caywood says that they are more at ease with the situation today.

12.42: Traditional banks have traditionally targeted the acquisition of customers, but now account aggregator services are becoming more mainstream, says Campbell. This is a whole new battle.

12.39: This year, Starling are working on companies that have integrated Starling's API but also Starling has integrated that company's API. This is quite different in terms of a business model perspective, Caywood says.

12.37: Joining the WBS experts on stage are Megan Caywood, chief platform officer at Starling Bank, and Jamie Campbell, head of experience and awareness for Bud. Caywood notes that Starling Bank are building out a new set of APIs.

12.34: Four types of platforms in banking. Incumbent bank platforms are not there yet, according to the study. There are also incumbent-centric platforms provided by white-labelled fintechs. Here the platforms are there and deals have been announced, but nothing is live yet. On the other side are independent, non-incumbent platforms. These are challenger bank platforms, from new born digital banks. Several of these already exist. Finally there are independent account aggregators, connecting to multiple banks to show all accounts in one place. These are already there.

12.30: Zachariadis notes how platforms and APIs are highly compatible. Advances in API technology applied to areas such as open banking led to the Swift and WBS study focussed on what the key platforms emerging in anticipation of open banking are. The study took place between September 2016 and January 2018.

12.25: Platforms leverage network externalities. More users create more value, which in turn creates more users, and so on.

12.24: Platforms can scale very efficiently and unlock new sources of value creation and supply, as seen through Airbnb, for example.

12.22: The transformative potential of platforms is highlighted in a slide that includes the quote "Uber, the world's largest taxi company, owns no vehicles, Facebook creates no content and Airbnb, the world's largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate." New disruptors can capture huge market capital with relatively few staff when compared to incumbent businesses. Platforms create value by enabling connections between different parts of the industry landscape.

12.15: Dr. Markos Zachariadis and Dr. Pinar Ozcan from Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick kick off the lunchtime session, looking at the subject of 'platformification' of banking: strategies and challenges of incumbent banks and fintechs in the UK. A research grant from Swift Institute has enabled Zachariadis and Ozcan to research this area.

11.59: Newman recaps the points covered in the session, around the need to balance customer-centricity with security as the payments landscape evolves. And that is it for this session. The lunch break is upon us, but that doesn't mean that the live blogging stops - we will be covering a 'lunch and learn' session in around 15 minutes that is looking at the Swift Institute.

11.58: In a poll, the audience are asked what the key drivers for the UK infrastructure renewal are. While regulation polls 22% and technology 30%, customer demands take almost half of the votes (48%).

11.56: The international payments base is very vibrant, says Boden. Those in the banking sector need to respond. She says that banks are very good at implementing large projects, and the next challenge is linking up all the various real-time payments projects around the world.

11.54: Newman asks if the world is actually overtaking, rather than following the UK. Eacott doesn't think so, citing that the UK has a very forward-looking regulator. Stoddart notes that the interoperability of e-wallets is one thing that is happening in markets around the world but not in the UK. He says this has been a way of promoting financial inclusion, and gives the UK something to learn from.

11.50: Twenty countries live on a faster payments scheme today, and a further twenty implementing as we speak, Stoddart notes. He says that in a lot of respects the world is following what the UK has been doing, which keeps it relatively simple for the banks to implement globally. Ensuring the cross-border space is as efficient and secure as domestic schemes is an important step, and he notes the role that Swift is playing in this regard.

11.46: The standards that Starling Bank had to meet to enter the UK payments market were high, says Boden, which was critically important. It has to remain at this high level to ensure the security of the system.

11.43: When payments stop moving, the economy stops. Getting the basics right, understanding where the risks are in the system and who stands behind these risks is important, and Eacott says he doesn't think the UK is quite there yet.

11.40: A competitive dynamic is important as it drives innovation and encourages customer-centricity, says Stoddart. This competition generally encourages innovation. However, change simply for changes sake is not welcome.

11.38: People don't want complexity, which is the challenge in the payments landscape, says Stoddart. You do need to pay for a refresh at a certain point, even if it can be expensive it is essential to keep things simple. Eacott says that in the UK we are at the start of a new investment cycle. We want to make the payments experience seamless, but there is a duty of care for the industry to build the infrastructure in a safe and secure way, he adds. Getting this balance right is critical.

11.34: Ubiquity and ease of accessibility is what customers are looking for, says Martin. The world has changed to a SaaS API model, notes Boden. The 'Silicon Valley' approach to payments is the only way you can provide customers with the services they want at a low cost for the provider. Progressive regulator and infrastructure is what allows banks to start again, she adds.

11.29: Standardisation helps in the fight to keep up to speed with the pace of change, Stoddart says. He also comments that partnership with experts in the field you are working in is a good way to adapt quickly. Working in partnership to develop applications and product is a way forward.

11.26: All fintech apps can be replicated by the banks, says Boden, but can they adapt their cost base to keep up? She views this as the main area for competition. Martin says that the other area that is important here is the reputation piece. This has to be got right, and this is where some of the cost comes in.

11.23: Given the accelerating change, how do providers keep up? Keeping up is survival, says Boden. They release three or four updates a week in the App Store, to highlight this point. Everyone is eager to learn and innovate. Eacott adds that understanding your customers is critical to keeping up. He adds that having a great scouting network around the world helps in this regard.

11.17:Eacott says that we are in a revolution, rather than an evolution of the payments system. He thinks that the speed of change in 2018 will be viewed as quite slow in the future. Customer-centricity is driving everything that the banks are doing. Maintaining the safety and security side of the payments structure as it evolves is also critical.

11.15: Boden says that the pace of innovation could be going even faster. She says the UK is forging the way and changing payments on a global scale. She says that PSD2 is incredibly important, and the UK has to get this right. Also, the world of banking needs to combine with the fintechs or risk being left behind.

11.12: A lot of need for the evolving payments infrastructure is the increasing need on the customer side, particularly on the corporate side, says Martin. Innovation is also coming through the banks, and it is important to recognise this, he adds.

11.08: Stoddart says that the pace of change in payments is too fast for infrastructure providers to provide stability and simplicity. He notes we need to think about the complexity and speed of change. Coupled with that, standardisation is key. This is increasing, which is a good thing.

11.04: The UK has already had a huge change in its payments market, Newman notes. Mervyn King's Mansion House speech back in 2004 kicked things off, where he acknowledged that it was not good enough that payments take three days. There has been increasing pace and openness in payments since then, and it is an ongoing process rather than a one off.

11.00: Now it is time for the morning's banking and payments panel discussion, moderated by Harry Newman, who is head of banking at Swift. Panellists for this session are Richard Martin, global head product management with Barclays, Starling Bank's CEO Anne Boden, Simon Eacott, head of innovation and business development at NatWest, and Paul Stoddart, CEO of Vocalink.

10.26: That concludes the opening plenary session. There will now be a networking break for around 30 minutes, and we will be back covering the breakout session that is looking at the evolution of the payments landscape in the UK and beyond.

10.25: Collaboration is key to provide the right services to customers and value to institutions, says Wigley. Leibbrandt adds that the power of APIs has been revolutionary for correspondent banking. This would not have been possible without API technology.

10.22: Brexit crops up in conversation for the first time. Wigley says that UK Finance promoted the idea of a services-orientated free trade agreement, something which has been taken on board to some extent by the current UK government. But if the parties involved don't get the agreements right, there will be a reduction in the banking capacity for all EU citizens, he cautions.

10.17: Crypto currencies are currently not effective means of payment right now because of the volatility, costs and security risks involved, compared to fiat currencies, says Hauser. When they do start to touch upon the traditional financial system, central banks will have to act. It could change quickly, but is not an issue today.

10.15: Hauser thinks that central banks can't afford to be in the market protecting specific market structures. Equivalent services and equivalent risk should be regulated equivalently. The Bank of England has the ability to move the perimeter of regulation as markets evolve.

10.12: It is harder for big firms to fail than smaller ones, says Hauser. He says that the Bank of England has run innovation labs with small fintechs that has been interesting, but then scaling that up to a large scale solution is a completely different conundrum. Pearce adds that you need to create an environment that supports innovation.

10.10: The insights and trends that large banks can give their corporate customers are powerful, says Pearce. He notes that banks shouldn't be complacent, but don't just cede their core business to the large tech companies.

10.08: Pearce says banks spend a lot of their time thinking about what they can do to better serve their customers. He says there are an enormous amount of things they can do in this area and create value there, particularly in the data space. Banks need to embrace open banking wholeheartedly, looking at how they can link the data that customers trust you with to create value solution. You may not be able to charge more, necessarily, but it is a strong way to retain your customer base.

10.02: Hauser notes that business models and how you make money are interesting. The nightmare scenario for big banks are how the small fintechs come in, take the profitable parts of the business and leave the banks as utilities, or worse. He says he's seeing fintechs taking some of the less profitable parts and unbundling. Then there are the large technology companies that specialise in understanding what customers really want. Attracting customers and making money from customers are two different things, says Wigley.

9.57: How do you combine legacy systems with new technologies, Leibbrandt asks. Pearce says that you have to be flexible enough to enable new technologies for corporate customers while still taking the safeguards to protect the bank. He says you build across your network, and have a continuous release mindset. You need to be able to plug in and unplug easily, while still being able to answer multi-faceted customer demands. Collaboration comes in here, deploying some fintech capabilities to enable this. Also, not everything is going to work commercially. It is ok to try things, but you need to try them in a safe environment and not be afraid of developments failing.

9.53: There is a big modernisation agenda underway in the UK at the moment. This includes replacing RTGS. On the retail payments front, the patchwork is being replaced to create a more forward-looking infrastructure. There is also an update on 'soft' infrastructure as well. The key driver for this is to ensure that the Bank of England enables and doesn't stand in the way of innovation, Wigley says.

9.49: The UK has a lot of experience of strong and reliable real-time payments infrastructure, says Hauser. But there have been challenges, one of which is access. Also, it is quite a patchwork - Hauser likens this to the UK rail networks where you can find three stations near each other that all go to the same place. Stability is critical also, it tends to come last on the list in these types of discussions, but Hauser advocates that it should be more front and centre in the conversation.

9.43: While smaller players may be more agile, traditional institutions retain customer trust. Wigley says this demonstrates what each can bring to the table in collaboration. Again, economic crime requires collaboration to achieve the best outcomes. Wigley outlines some of the collaborative efforts that UK Finance has undertaken in this regard, and the success such projects have achieved.

9.41: There has been no more exciting time in our industry due to the degree of change, says Wigley. Asia has developed groundbreaking technologies in the payments sphere. Collaboration between participants in the payments network is key to retain customer trust and tackle external threats.

9.39: Pearce opens by noting that you can only tackle the complexity of the market today through collaboration, and leveraging the ecosystem. He says people are doing deals with multiple entities for a single goal. This can add a layer of complexity, but if you don't deal with it you "miss the bus."

9.35: Now it is time for our opening plenary panel discussion, the theme of which is transformation through collaboration. Moderator for this session is Gottfried Leibbrandt, Swift's CEO. He is joined by Andrew Hauser, executive director for Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience at the Bank of England; Andrew Pearce, global head of Payments at HSBC; and Bob Wigley, chairman of UK Finance.

9.32: Bank robberies have existed for centuries, cyber is the latest version of this, says Pérez-Tasso. It is something that keeps the industry's feet on the ground. Swift's Customer Security Programme has been tackling this issue for the past couple of years, enabling fraud protection and prevention, as well as creating data that can be used for issues such as credit risk analysis.

9.28: Domestic payments are also changing. Pérez-Tasso cites the Bank of England's RTGS project and the New Payments Operator's payments infrastructure roadmap as examples of positive dimensions. The UK has been an early adopter of faster payments, and is now part of a wider global shift. TIPS and RT1 as used as examples of where Swift is supporting faster payments, as well as the New Payments Platform in Australia.

9.27: Infrastructure is just as critical as front-end innovation. Pérez-Tasso says that an underlying robust reliable infrastructure is critical. He cites Swift's gpi solution as an example of this in the cross-border payments world, as it provides much richer information for both banks and their clients. Now it is up and running, he says that around half of all gpi transactions take 30 minutes, some in just seconds.

9.23: Innovation is a key theme for today, says Pérez-Tasso. The fourth industrial revolution has given customers the best experience ever, and this is something that they are demanding from their financial services. Using an example of Taylor Swift, who has 107 million followers on Instagram, Pérez-Tasso makes the point that Instagram has to stay relevant for her or she will move to another platform and take her followers with her. In the same way, banks have to stay relevant to retain customers.

9.17: Following some event admin, Krotoski hands over to Javier Pérez-Tasso, chief executive, Americas & UK Region at Swift. Pérez-Tasso says that there are a record 1,300 delegates at this year's event.

9.13: Collaboration is at the heart of the conversation we are having at this Business Forum, says Krotoski.

9.12: After an introductory video, which you can see below, delegates are welcomed to the plenary hall by our host for the day, Aleks Krotoski. She is a technology presenter and social psychologist.

8.40: Good morning from Tobacco Dock in London and welcome to Finextra's live coverage from Swift's Business Forum London. We have a packed agenda to cover today, and things will be getting underway in just over 20 minutes.

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