Compliance projects take 40% of Barclays Bank's IT budget, says technology chief

Regulatory compliance programmes currently take up 40% of Barclays' IT investment spend.

Regulatory compliance programmes currently take up 40% of Barclays' IT investment spend, leaving little for product development, the bank's group chief technology officer Kevin Lloyd said last week.

Speaking at the annual conference of blue-chip user group The Corporate IT Forum in London, Lloyd said that despite these demands, Barclays' IT consolidation programme has cut operating costs by £500m over the past five years.

"Regulatory controls take up a sizeable proportion of spend," he said. "Basel 2 and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is chewing up 40% of investment spend."

An additional 20% of investment over the past three years has gone on physical infrastructure renewal, which means money for developing new products is at a premium, he added.

However, regulatory pressures have helped to encourage centralisation of IT at Barclays. "The regulations mean that the federated businesses struggle to become compliant at a competitive cost, which encourages them to come to the centre," said Lloyd.

Over the past five years, Lloyd has raised the proportion of company-wide IT processing done centrally from 45% to 80%, and the bank is currently running at 99.7% system availability.

Other factors in driving costs down at Barclays over the past five years, he said, include using fewer suppliers, closer relationships with suppliers and system integration partners, and the development of defined standards and processes, which have helped with decision making.

Efforts to get better value for money from existing resources have paid off. Mid-range computing utilisation is up from 20% five years ago to 45% today, with some way to go yet, Lloyd said.


Lessons from consolidation

Be clear about whether you are setting out to be a leader or a fast follower

Make judgements and execute them quickly

Admit mistakes and rebuild

If it is not challenging and stimulating ask why you are there

Adopt a balance of intuition and judgement as much as research.

Source: Kevin Lloyd, group CTO, Barclays Bank
This was last published in June 2004

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