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Lloyds Bank joins industry IT standards group

UK banking giant Lloyds Banking Group has joined an industry group which promotes global IT standards

Lloyds Banking Group has joined the Banking Industry Architecture Network (Bian), which will see the UK giant contribute its expertise to the group and promote tech standards in banking.

Another 23 organisations, including banks and IT suppliers, have joined the global group at the same time as Lloyds, taking total membership to 84.

Established in 2008, Bian is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes common banking architecture, and has a membership split between global banks and IT suppliers. Other new members include Standard Bank, KPMG and Bank of Canada.

Existing members include Deutsche Bank, UBS, ABN Amro and Société Générale in Europe, as well as banks in regions including North America and Australia. IT suppliers Microsoft, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and SAP are also members.

Hans Tesselaar, executive director at Bian, said: “[We are] a member-led association that relies on successful industry collaboration to thrive; therefore, I am extremely proud and excited that we’re being joined by these organisations.

“The expertise of our new members will help to further our cause and reduce the common obstacles that the industry faces around interoperability,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what we achieve over the next year.”

Members of the organisation focus on creating a standard semantic banking services landscape, with consistent service definitions. “This will help banks to achieve a reduction of integration costs and take advantage of a microservices architecture,” Bian said.

Read more about Bian

For example, the not-for-profit recently introduced an open source tool to support the standardisation of messaging.

It also has a Coreless Banking Initiative, which promotes a more composable approach to modernising banking software. Coreless banking aims to make the various components of traditional banking applications more independent. This means developers working on banking applications can execute isolated updates or deployments without affecting other application services, components or operations.

It also means that if one part of the application goes down, it’s less likely to take the rest of the applications with it. Ultimately, the goal is to free financial services companies from their longstanding dependency on legacy infrastructure and application development models, ultimately unlocking new levels of scalable, efficient and cost-effective software.

The organisation was also early to investigate the use of the cloud in banking. Back in 2014, Bian was calling on the finance industry to move beyond technical discussions and consider which of their core systems they can move to cloud platforms and share.

It wrote a white paper identifying 280 core bank processes that could be conducted in the cloud. These included payment execution, party identification and cheque processing. At the time, banks were reluctant to move to cloud platforms, but since then there has been a substantial migration of bank workloads to the public cloud.

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