HSBC data chief warns no bank has data management as 'business as usual'

HSBC's chief data officer has warned that no financial firm has implemented data management as 'business as usual', although he believes this should be the goal.

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HSBC's chief data officer has warned that no financial firm has implemented data management as 'business as usual', although he believes this should be the goal.

Speaking at FIMA financial management event in London this week, Peter Serenita did however indicate that the introduction of new regulations such as Basel III, MiFID and EMIR have helped the data management cause, as they have put pressure on firms to report on areas such as trading and risk.

“Our COO, in a very senior meeting, said 'yes we need to do this for regulatory [purposes], but our business case is not about regulatory, it is about business enablement'. That is great to hear,” said Serenita.

“Financial services is a data industry. We are not manufacturing something and sending it off the assembly line, and while currencies are physical, most of it is book entry. The firm is data.”

He added: ““It is a cultural shift, but don't think you are there yet. Nobody is there except maybe the Google's and so on, I don't believe any financial firm services firm is in this mode yet, but that should be your aspiration."

Financial firms should be building data management into their business strategy as a matter of course to meet the demands of the new regulations, according to Serenita. He said that although delivering a tangible return on investment to the board isn't always possible, data management is now a necessity for the industry.

“We have been talking about business case for a lot of years - how you make an ROI out of data management programmes - and it is very hard. It is not the hard dollar saves, because those are minimal, quite frankly [better data management] is not optional any more,” he said.

“The business case is hard, but more and more senior management get the joke.”

He added: “Budgets are tight, but I do believe that senior management is far more supportive of data management programmes to solve a number of the problems that they see, not least in the increased regulatory requirements that they need to comply with.”