Reflecting on SIBOS 2011 is a mixed bag of feelings.
On the one hand, I spent most of the time in the innovation stream, and that was full of life, debate, fun and energy.
On the other, I spent the other half of my time on the exhibit floor and in the plenaries, which were full of deep thought, consideration, discussion and seriousness.
The contrast could not be greater, as was evidenced by the mix of the drums of innotribe against the suits of the stage.
The industry is clearly still in the grips of regulations, uncertainty about the future, concerns over risks in the system and challenges in incorporating change.
As SIBOS rumbled on this week, we also saw global ripples of risk, as the stock markets lost billions and the Eurozone continues to strain under the burden of Greece and the other southern states.
All in all, it made for a SIBOS with a certain smell … the mild smell of fear.
Whether those fears are well placed or misplaced remains to be seen as the next year unfolds until we all meet again in Osaka, but there is clearly still ghosts in the banking machine.
Therefore, I don’t quite agree with Gottfried Leibbrandt’s summary that we have reached the time of action and moving forward.
I still think that Toronto has the financial industry caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, and until the clear vision of change is delivered that Larry Sweet of the Federal Reserve referred to in Tuesday’s plenary, this challenge of an unclear future will remain.
On that note, it’s time to move on and get back to the reality of work, so here’s a few final pictures that, for me, capture the essence of SIBOS 2011 …