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Top 10 financial services IT stories in 2012

Karl Flinders

The industry that you expect to hit the IT headlines on a regular basis  has not let us down in the last 12 months, despite continued tough market conditions.

With customer demands changing, banks have to innovate around things like mobile banking. But at the same time they have to manage huge estates and interlinked systems. Getting the balance right between accessibility to services and security is just one challenge faced by financial services CIOs.

The ten stories below describe some of the problems faced by banks when things go wrong. It also features interviews with some of the people making critical decisions.

Barclays private cloud underpins Pingit mobile banking app

Barclays bank has launched an application that will enable mobile phone users to make free payments to other UK mobile users directly.

The move follows the bank’s work on a private cloud that will underpin the app as well as a raft of cloud-based mobile banking services that are set to follow.

CIO Interview: India Gary-Martin, COO Investment Banking Technology & Operations, JP Morgan

As the global chief operations officer (COO) of investment banking for technology and operations at JP Morgan, India Gary-Martin leads the technology strategy at the financial services giant and is running a comprehensive IT transformation, in one of the most challenging jobs in UK IT.

RBS enters fifth day of software failures

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Natwest customers are still having issues with their bank accounts, as the technical problems causing havoc at the banking group enter their fifth day.

In a statement last night, RBS admitted it had only just started working through the backlog of customer accounts that needed their balances updated after a software failure on Thursday put a halt to the process.

Ineffective computer system missed £1.4bn UBS fraud

The £1.4bn losses caused by a rogue trader at Swiss bank UBS could have been avoided had a computer used to detect unauthorised trading been more effective, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FSA has fined UBS £29.7m for failings related to losses of £1.4bn caused by the unauthorised trading of Kweku Adoboli.

CIO interview: Tony Prestedge, COO, Nationwide

Tony Prestedge is COO at Nationwide. He joined the building society halfway through a £1bn IT transformation which he then took charge of. He talks to Computer Weekly about the progress being made, the benefits already being seen and what the future holds for the firm’s IT.

Barclays Bank to give thousands of staff iPads

Barclays is rolling out 8,500 Apple iPads across branches to improve interaction with customers.

Shaygan Kheradpir, COO at Barclays' retail and business banking division, told Computer Weekly earlier this year that the company was planning numerous mobile developments for staff and customers.

How has banking IT changed after the industry's Armageddon?

The global financial services sector still faces upheaval, five years after the credit crunch decimated its ranks. But how have IT strategies changed in the years since the UK government was forced to nationalise Northern Rock?

CIO interview: Simon Moorhead, Bank of England

Simon Moorhead began his career as the Bank of England’s CIO with a baptism of fire, having started in November 2008 – just two months after Lehman Brothers collapsed and a year after Northern Rock was rescued by the government. 

“It has been an interesting time,” he says. “At that point we were still putting together the sum of the policy responses to the financial crisis.

CIO interview: Cathryn Riley, CIO, Aviva

There was a tumultuous period for Aviva’s top brass, when former CEO Andrew Moss was forced to step down amid a shareholder revolt. But for the insurance giant’s CIO Cathryn Riley, it is still very much business as usual.

Riley has worked at Aviva in various roles for 16 years and was appointed CIO in 2011. Needless to say, the role of IT has evolved a lot during that time, and Riley is eager to put Aviva at the centre of technological change. 

CIO interview: Antoine Shagoury, London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange CIO Antoine Shagoury – who recently added COO to his job title – tells Computer Weekly about the balancing act of managing corporate IT and ensuring the company’s core business of providing trading services has the right technology to make it competitive in a sector that doesn’t stand still for a microsecond.


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