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Forget standards … you’ll never get one

So SIBOS Day Two evening was a fun one.

Dinner with VocaLink saw a lively discussion about the
future of mobile and other retail transaction processing launched by a speech
about e- and m- wallets from Mikato Shibata of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and
ably chaired by Brian Caplen, editor in chief of The Banker magazine.

That was followed by a fun ending to the night at the
SunGard party, which was Japanese themed with a superb selection of Sake served
by Mr. Fukata.

After such shenanigans, it was back to the HSBC stand for a
strong injection of expresso from barista Franco Russo.

Franco

As you can see, he's a pretty popular guy first thing in the morning and works really hard, with great panache and aplomb.

I mentioned Franco yesterday, and asked him a little bit
about his SIBOS experiences.

It turns out that he’s been the resident barista with HSBC
for the last twelve years. 

Franco travels the world’s tradeshows with them and covers
SIBOS , Eurofinance and many more events.

His favourite memories are of SIBOS in Sydney in 2006.

That was one of my favourites too!

Originally from Sicily from a generation of restaurateurs,
Franco is truly Italian and truly global. 
One of the stars of SIBOS.

Franco Russo

In fact, he really gave me one idea to recommend to the
SIBOS organisers.  When I asked him the
one place in the world he has yet to see but has not visited, he said Fiji.

SIBOS Fiji?

A wonderful idea …

Anyways, after coffee I got into a chat with the Standards Forum
and one of their brethren told me that banks are childish about standards.

Childish?

Yes, he said.  I deal
with many industries – automotive, airlines, utilities and more – and banks are
really juvenile when it comes to agreeing standards.  For example, I asked a group of senior
bankers the other day: “how many legs are there in an OTC Derivative exchange”.

One said two, the two
counterparties
; another said three or
four, if you include the end customer
; and two others said an infinite
number.

Then they argued about it and could not agree.

I said: “there you go. 
If you cannot even agree on a simple question about OTC Derivatives, you
will never agree global standards.”

I laughed and asked what the solution was.

He said: “avoid a global standard as you will never have
one.  You’ve tried for years and you will
never agree such a thing.  Instead, work
on adapters.”

In other words, like electricity, we need plug adapters to
our networks, not standards.

Totally agree with that.

Talking of which, it’s time to jump into the discussion
about T2S, ISO20022 and EMIR.

Ah yes, the challenges of interoperability.

 

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.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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