European Central Bank in drive for collaboration

The European Central Bank's (ECB) IT department is driving collaboration between the 27 members of the European Community (EC) as it attempts to improve the performance of the Euro.

The European Central Bank's (ECB) IT department is driving collaboration between the 27 members of the European Community (EC) as it attempts to improve the performance of the Euro.

The ECB, which will be ten years old next year, is responsible for stability in pricing and control of the money supply in the Eurozone, which covers 13 countries.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, IT director Magi Clave said compared with the US Federal Reserve and the bank of Japan, there is room for improvement with efficiency in Europe.

But the bank's relatively short history gives it certain advantages when it comes to IT, he said.

"Because we started from scratch we did not have any legacy systems, and we could go for standardised open systems from the beginning," said Clave. "This allows us to chose more suppliers and the fact that we are not in a proprietary environment allows us to be more competitive."

Enabling collaboration and the sharing of market information between the EC's central banks is essential if the central bank is to retain an efficient currency, he said. Current collaboration includes a common IP network as well as some shared applications.

Technology is critical to the efficiency of the Euro and the ECB finds itself in a constant state of technological development, said Clave. IT decisions are made by a technology committee with representation from all 27 EC members, he said.

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