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Top 10 financial services IT stories of 2022

Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 financial services IT articles of 2022, looking back at the moves and changes over the past year

The past 12 months has seen cloud computing projects in the finance sector increase at a pace, and the slow trickle of previous years is now a solid flow, with one bank having moved 80% of its systems to the cloud.

This rapid move to the cloud has raised the question of how much longer banks will support legacy payments.But it is not just banks modernising their infrastructures, with one of the oldest financial services organisations of them all – Lloyd’s of London – doing likewise. 

Open banking is maturing to more than just a fashionable phrase used by financial services businesses, and a couple of major acquisitions in the sector have taken open banking into its next phase of development.

Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 Financial services IT articles of 2022.

1. Is time running out for legacy payments technology used by banks?

Legacy technology used by banks to process customer payments is still widespread and offers a new front for financial technology (fintech) firms.

The retirement of legacy core banking systems within banks was discussed for years before cloud computing technology came along and finally started the process.

2. Robo investment platform adopts open banking-based payments

Denmark-based fintech Nord Investments has adopted open banking technology from Aiia to make it easier for people using its platform to make investments.

The robotic software investment platform, which currently only operates in Denmark, said it wanted to make it easier for its 7,000 active investors to make payments onto the platform when making investments.

3. Next phase of open banking already gathering pace

The financial services industry is already well into its journey to open finance, with organisations in the sector open to collaboration.

Open banking today is seeing customer banking data being shared by the industry through application programming interfaces (APIs), with customer permission, enabling businesses to offer tailored products.

4. Lloyd’s of London is digitally transforming through the front door

A Lloyd’s of London joint venture is modernising the organisation by digitising its largely paper-based analogue processes through cloud computing and the transformation of about 100 core business applications.

This is part of the overriding Future at Lloyd’s programme set up in 2019, and will digitise the market “to make it better, faster and cheaper”.

5. Santander has so far moved 80% of IT infrastructure to cloud

Santander has migrated 80% of its IT infrastructure to the cloud, using in-house-developed software, as it aims to become cloud-native.

The past 12 months have seen significant progress in the Spanish bank’s migration to the cloud. Just over a year ago, the bank had 60 of its IT infrastructure in the cloud and set 2023 as the target to have 100% of its infrastructure cloud-based. At the time, it said it had been moving 200 servers to the cloud every working day.

6. NatWest files under whistleblower’s bed contain live customer data

A data breach whistleblower said NatWest files stored under her bed contain current customer details, contrary to the bank’s claims that it is historic information.

The former worker at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), part of NatWest Group, has been in dispute with the bank for more than a decade over the confidential paper-based customer data files stored in her home.

7. Most big businesses are taking up banking as a service

Most large businesses are investing in banking capabilities to provide customers with complementary financial products.

The next 18 months will see large numbers of organisations invest in banking-as-a-service (BaaS) contracts to enable them to offer financial services to their customers.

8. CIO interview: David Charnley, head of transformation and strategy, NatWest Group

With almost two decades of experience working at NatWest Group, David Charnley, head of transformation and strategy at the financial services giant, knows better than most what it takes to tweak systems and services to create great new experiences for customers.

Charnley joined the bank in 2005 after starting his career with consulting giant Accenture. 

9. Financial Ombudsman Service mining for gold in cloud HR and finance

After successfully rolling out and bedding in its cloud-based human resource (HR) and finance system, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is now digging into its functionality.

In November 2021, alongside service partner IBM, the FOS completed the roll-out of the system from Workday and moved into a new phase of using the software, which set out to replace around 14 separate systems as a bedrock of its digital transformation.

10. BBVA to add 2,000 software engineers to workforce this year

BBVA expects its recruitment of software engineers to hit 2,000 as part of the expansion of its global software development division.

The Spanish bank has already recruited around 1,000 IT experts in 2022 as it rebalances its workforce in the digital age. This process has seen BBVA made large cuts to its more traditional workforce, including branch staff.

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