Banks look to integrated security systems for Basel 2 compliance

HSBC's plans to create a single anti-fraud system for all of its different banking products across the globe is an example of the technology that banks will have to implement to comply with Basel 2.

HSBC's plans to create a single anti-fraud system for all of its different banking products across the globe is an example of the technology that banks will have to implement to comply with Basel 2.

The international regulation, which comes into force in January, requires that banks ensure they have enough cash reserves to cover the financial cost of problems in the business, including fraud and IT failures.

Banks must be able to measure risk across the business so they can ensure they have enough cash to cover any losses. To do this they will need IT systems that can monitor activity across the entire organisation.

HSBC said last week that it had started developing software to be used across multiple banking channels, with the ultimate aim of a single view of a customer's exposure to fraud.

Although HSBC said the project was not motivated by Basel 2, it will enable the bank to monitor fraud risk across the entire disparate organisation, a key element of the regulation.

Derek Wylde, head of fraud risk at HSBC Group, said the bank believes that the technology will, by reducing losses, have a positive effect on HSBC's drive to comply with Basel 2.

Fraud detection has happened in silos for too long, he said. "The holy grail is one piece of software monitoring all payment channels."

Ralph Silva, business analyst at research firm TowerGroup, said all banks are moving in this direction because they have to. Although the best way of monitoring bank fraud is through a single system, most banks are adding a layer of technology to their infrastructures to connect disparate systems.

"More often than not, banks are taking all their anti-fraud systems and putting another system on top to assess the overall risk profile," he said.

However, the drawback with this approach is that each individual ­system may calculate risk in a different way, which could lead to an "apples and oranges comparison", he said.

Creating a single view of fraud risk will be an expensive exercise for banks with ageing systems, said Silva. He estimated that at least half of European banks have a system that is more than four years old.

The task will be easier for banks that have invested in modern risk management systems in the past three to four years because the systems have been designed to meet risk management compliance.

Although Basel 2 has introduced more costs to banks, investing in technology to provide the holistic view of the business that is required will offer a return on investment, said James Burns, CTO of financial services at Microsoft.

By having an accurate picture of the total cost of risk to the entire business, banks will be able to free up cash for business activities, he said.

"If banks do not know the risk profile of the whole business they will have to keep more money than required in reserve," he said.

"This is why we are seeing phenomenal growth in high performance computing in the financial services sector. They need to analyse the risk profile of complex ­financial products."




Read more on IT risk management

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close