The Financial Sector Embraces B2B Integration in 2010

Jean-Michel Issakidis, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Industry, Axway

Reflections on SIBOS 2009

by Patrick Gouffran
SVP, FSI Strategy

A year after SIBOS 2008 (in Vienna) coincided with the cataclysm of the Lehman Brothers collapse, SIBOS 2009 began amid a storm of its own. However this one, thankfully, was a literal storm.

In Hong Kong, the summit attracted 5,400 participants, a weaker showing than the one noted in Vienna last year (8,100), but a stronger showing than the one a few years ago in Sydney, the last SIBOS in APAC.

Similary to Koppu (the name of the aforementioned storm), the Global Financial Crisis that struck one year ago seems to be in decline. For the participants, the peak of the crisis is behind us, even if the effects of the crisis are still very real.

Two SIBOS examples of the persistence of the crisis:

  • For the first time since its inception (37 years ago), SWIFT announced a decline in traffic volume over the inter-bank network.
  • In the exhibition space, several booths disappeared (compared to Vienna), often due to the “death” of their banking owners.

But, on the bright side, participants had big hopes for the relatively near future.

  • Hong Kong (and Asia in general) will boost the global economy, several speakers seemed to believe. “If you do not have a footprint in Asia, you will become an irrelevant institution within 10 years,” said a McKinsey director.
  • Major interbanking projects (like SEPA or TARGET 2 Securities in Europe) are on track. Many positive indicators highlighted during SIBOS underscored this.
  • The SWIFT Community includes corporations more than ever before. (In fact, more than 500 corporations are using SWIFT.) The increasing collaboration between banks and corporations within the SWIFT eco-system will increase the usage of standards, new solutions (there were a lot of discussions around e-BAM), and finally the automatic and secure exchange business.

Koppu left us before the end of SIBOS 2009. The summit closed under encouraging weather, both literal and figurative, and “hopeful/less pessimistic” expectations for 2010.

(Photo by SWIFT)

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