London bank slashes paper consumption by 95% through electronic document management

Bank of China in London is working with IBM to reduce its paper consumption by 95 percent while aiming to improve the efficiency of conducting financial transactions through new electronic document management systems.

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Bank of China in London is working with IBM to reduce its paper consumption by 95 percent while aiming to improve the efficiency of conducting financial transactions through new electronic document management systems.

Bank of China turned to IBM and IBM business partner Centric iSolutions to help its London branch automate the processing of interbank transaction messages it receives on a daily basis.

The Bank of China in London needed to manually print and distribute around 3,000 interbank messages daily to the appropriate internal departments. This posed avoidable operational risks, and was costly in terms of manpower and paper consumption - requiring around 50 pounds of paper per day.

With new electronic systems in place Bank of China employees in London now have access to messages through an online search capability, allowing them to monitor transactions as they are sent and received by the bank.  

The electronic routing and monitoring capability allows the bank to ensure transactions are processed in the proper settlement time period. Banks can face stiff penalties or high overnight interest rate charges if messages are not responded to in the same day.

The new systems are based on IBM Informix software and a Centric iSolutions CLiP iMessageHUB message management platform.

Stephen Hinds, chief operating officer of Bank of China's London branch and subsidiary, said, "The improved access to information has been key in helping us meet compliance regulations and reduce costs.

"The availability of information across all our departments has led to further benefits such as reducing our paper consumption by 95% and allowed us to make more timely and accurate decisions."

All Bank of China employees in London in the loan, trading services, banking, clearing and IT departments have role-based authenticated access to their appropriate daily interbank transactions through a browser-based application.  

This has allowed the bank to eliminate the need to print out hard copies, which previously cost £12,000 a year on paper alone.   

It is not just large organisations that are benefiting from EDM. At the turn of the year, Ipswich-based Orwell Housing Association said it would enhance its tenant service capabilities and drive efficiency through a five-year managed IT service agreement with Civica, which included the deployment of an electronic document management system.

Civica is delivering its Universal Housing system as a hosted platform that includes new contact centre software, a web interface and workflow and electronic document management.

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