About a-team Marketing Services
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Data Management is Now Partnering with Risk and Compliance, Rather than Being a Poor Second Cousin, Says RBC’s Sutton

Subscribe to our newsletter

The increased attention being focused on data management by senior execs has resulted in the function being viewed as more of a partner to risk or compliance teams within financial institutions, according to Julia Sutton, global head of customer data and onboarding at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Speaking at the recent EDM Council and Headstrong event, Sutton explained that because data management usually sits within operations,  it could be said that generally it was seen as a somewhat poor relation when compared to functions such as risk and compliance, but now they are able to work together as partners to get the changes that need to be made pushed through their enterprises.

“Data management is growing in importance internally for the business. We are not being invited to the take part in conversations from which we used to be excluded,” she said. Data quality must be reliable enough to ensure consistent reporting to the regulator for areas such as liquidity risk, she continued: “Guessing is not good enough.”

Lorraine Waters, head of instrument and pricing data at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Global Banking and Markets (GBM), said that similar moves are happening within her firm: “The co-sponsor for our project is risk, rather than operations or IT.”

Tom Dalglish, director and chief information architect at Bank Of America Merrill Lynch, contended that the industry should be careful what it wishes for, however. “Ten years ago it was a struggle to get funding for data management but it was easier to hide from internal and external scrutiny, now regulators are putting data quality under the spotlight. There is even collaboration between regulators to this end, with some triangulating and comparing the data we provide to them,” he said. Data management may be garnering more investment, but it’s happening for a reason.

Nick Skinner, head of data management strategy at custodian bank Northern Trust, noted that this scrutiny has had the impact of raising firms’ horizons beyond 12 month projects to those that could take a couple of years to complete. They have been forced to think about incoming regulation that is being introduced in 2012 and beyond, and therefore compelled to sign off budgets for rolling programmes to accommodate these changes.

“It took a crisis for people to realise the importance of data quality to the business,” said Dalglish.

However, Waters added that regulatory compulsion is not the only reason for an increased focus on data quality: competitive advantage is also a key driver. Peter Serenita, global head of data management for client onboarding and account maintenance at HSBC, agreed: “The fact that enterprise data management projects have been going on regardless of regulatory developments indicates that internal drivers are stronger than external ones in many cases.”

Serenita indicated that HSBC’s own data management project, which is flying under the One HSBC banner, is not about cost savings, it is about getting data quality right. He said that the budgets for the project for next year have already been signed off and have doubled from the previous year, to highlight this fact.

Skinner contended that this price was the cost required to stay in business in the current market. The business is now asking a lot more of their data management teams, but there has not been a massive increase in staff to accommodate these increased demands, agreed panellists. “It is like trying to change the wheel of a car whilst it is moving,” joked Serenita.

The shortage of good quality staff was also highlighted by a number of panellists as a key challenge going forward.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related content

WEBINAR

Upcoming Webinar: Taking a holistic approach to buy-side data management

Date: 7 February 2023 Time: 10:00am ET / 3:00pm London / 4:00pm CET Duration: 50 minutes As data volumes and complexity continue to increase, buy-side data management is at an inflection point. Manual processes and data siloes are no longer fit for purpose, and firms need to take a more holistic approach to data management...

BLOG

ISDA Adds Flagship FX Definitions and Documents to MyLibrary Digital Documentation Platform

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has added its flagship foreign exchange definitions and related annexes, supplements and templates to the ISDA MyLibrary electronic documentation platform. The move streamlines access to these documents for regulated firms, creating significant operational efficiencies, and represents a key step toward automation. The new additions include ISDA’s 1998 FX and Currency...

EVENT

TradingTech Summit Virtual (Redirected)

TradingTech Summit (TTS) Virtual will look at how trading technology operations can capitalise on recent disruption and leverage technology to find efficiencies in the new normal environment. The crisis has highlighted that the future is digital and cloud based, and the ability to innovate faster and at scale has become critical. As we move into recovery and ‘business as usual’, what changes and technology innovations should the industry adopt to simplify operations and to support speed, agility and flexibility in trading operations.

GUIDE

ESG Data Handbook 2022

The ESG landscape is changing faster than anyone could have imagined even five years ago. With tens of trillions of dollars expected to have been committed to sustainable assets by the end of the decade, it’s never been more important for financial institutions of all sizes to stay abreast of changes in the ESG data...