Financial services is moving very quickly and according to Mike Lim, Global Head of Financial Institutions, TB, at ANZ Institutional, the Sibos financial services conference offers a unique opportunity for banks to keep up – with competitors, peers and customer expectations.
“If we don't keep up with the challenges, particularly in the technology space, we will very quickly lose the market share we are trying to protect and grow.” - Bryan Stagg
“Sibos is a great opportunity for us all to sit down and discuss, as mutual customers of each other, how we improve our propositions for our underlying customers, how we get faster in moving money around, and how we deliver services in a more efficient, transparent, cheaper way,” he says.
“It’s all about innovation, international payments and the transaction banking space. It’s meeting with our partner banks and discussing the future of our relationships, and what we're going to work on together over the next 12 months.”
Bryan Stagg has been to more than a few Sibos conferences. As Head of Banks Australia at ANZ Institutional, he says it’s also about maintaining the bank’s place at the top of the Australian and New Zealand dollar clearing market.
“If we don't keep up with the challenges, particularly in the technology space, we will very quickly lose the market share we are trying to protect and grow,” he says. “Our customers demand the best service and best innovation.”
ANZ’s clearing business has come in focus in 2021 as the bank ramps up its platform strategy. These system “rails” are how ANZ helps move money around between banks globally, according to Lim.
“Ultimately, it's a bit like, for lack of a better word, the plumbing of the financial system,” he says.
“It’s how Grandma in the UK gets her birthday-present money to the kids in Australia.
“Foreign banks rely on us to get their customer’s money into the account in Australia and New Zealand. And we rely on our foreign banking partners to do the same for us in their particular markets.”
Stagg likens it to running “accounts” for major international banks (that) don't have the processing ability or capabilities in Australia”.
“They use ANZ as a means to effect those transfers,” he says, which can amount to several billion dollars a day.
“It's really an essential service we provide. And similarly, it's a service that we buy from other banks offshore when clearing our own foreign currency.
“And when we get together at Sibos, that's the sort of thing we talk about. In order to keep our market share, we're going to maintain our relationships with the foreign-bank customers that use our services.”
Rate of change
Stagg has been to more than 20 Sibos’ in a row and says the recent changes in the sector around new entrants and approaches has been quite significant.
“The change we’ve seen across the last two or three Sibos’ has been bigger than all the other Sibos’ I’ve been to combined,” he says.
Such change is perhaps clearest in the regulatory space, Stagg says, particularly in the payment space. When combined with increased scrutiny with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) expectations, it means banks have to be extremely careful, he says.
“One of the things I try to do at Sibos is learn off other banks,” Stagg says. “What are they doing in this [regulatory] environment that we could be doing?”