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#SIBOS 2011: Touchdown Toronto

Another year, another SIBOS.

Same sh*t, different day.

SSDD for short.

No, it’s not an insult, but this is my nth SIBOS and we’re here talking about the same old stuff: regulations, transactions, payments infrastructures, the role of SWIFT, the future of the industry, innovation and, oh yes, risk.


For years, we have talked about risk.

Risk, risk, risk, risk, risk.


I remember at the 2008 Vienna debacle, as the financial crisis hit, that we talked a lot about risk.

Dan Tapscott in his keynote referred to a global risk repository of financial resources being created as a Wikirisk network, in light of the global financial meltdown that was taking place around us.

Still no action there.

I remember in 1998 talking about risk after the collapse of LTCM, and we still haven’t sorted that one.

And I remember in 1995 talking about risk after the collapse of Barings Bank and we still haven’t sorted that one, as evidenced by Jérôme Kerviel in 2008 and Kweku Adoboli just last week.

The only risk we seem to have addressed is the risk of data loss as I remember, in 2002, talking about risk after the 2001 SIBOS had been cancelled.

The 2001 SIBOS was meant to take place in Singapore, but had been canned due to 9/11.

Risk was all about business continuity in light of the collapse of the World Trade Centre, the Twin Towers and the cracks in security in US defence.

SWIFT opened additional business continuity centres as a result, as did many banks, and the risk of data loss was sorted.

In other words, we appear to be more than capable of handling data risk using technology solutions – as evidenced by post-9/11 business continuity solutions – but are appallingly bad at dealing with human risks using human solutions – as evidenced by the subprime crisis, Barings, SocGen, UBS and more.

In fact, risk discussions through the SIBOS years have moved from counterparty risk to market and credit risk to environmental and reputational risk to today’s liquidity risk focus and yet, for all of these risks, we are still to address the most basic and fundamental of them all – operational risk.

Operational risk is still the one where we see the most frequent failure, so I hope to see something other than SSDD at this year’s SIBOS.

Sure, we’ll see lots of chat about the usual humdrum, but a few solutions really battening down operational risk management would be truly welcome.

In other words, applying some real human ingenuity to creating some real technical solutions to real human problems.

Meantime, here’s my agenda for the week:


07:00     Breakfast
08:00     SIBOS registration
09:00     Toronto SIBOS exhibit hall and conference
12:30     Drinking begins
17:00     Partying starts
00:00     Fallover (claim it’s jetlag)


09:00     Breakfast
10:00     Toronto SIBOS exhibit hall and conference
12:30     Drinking begins
17:00     Partying starts
02:00     Fallover (claim it’s due to lack of food)


11:00     Breakfast
12:00     Toronto SIBOS exhibit hall and conference
12:30     Drinking begins
17:00     Partying starts
04:00     Fallover (claim it’s the pills I’m taking)


13:00     Breakfast
14:00     Go back to sleep
16:00     Toronto SIBOS exhibit hall and conference
16:01     Drinking begins
16:02     Partying starts


22:00     Catch flight and fallover (claim it’s jetlag)

Liquidity risk is rife?

Case proven.



About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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