IBM’s Swift Action Reduces Bank Of China Paper Trail

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The Bank of China’s London office will elimintate 95 percent of its Swift paper usage thanks to IBM

IBM and Centric iSolutions have been working with the Bank of China to reduce the paper trail that supports its interbanking messaging process, based on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) standards. The partnership claims that this will virtually eliminate the 3,000-plus documents generated each day by the bank’s London operation.

The Bank of China saw the paper-driven operation as time-consuming and resource-inefficient as well as being a security risk. It also overcomplicated the process of validating and finding the transactions.

Document Deluge Becomes A Paper Tiger

The process consumed 50 lb weight of paper every day and the new electronic process being installed by IBM and Centric will reduce this by 95 percent, IBM claimed. This represents a saving of £12,000 per year in paper costs and an additional, unspecified, saving in labour.

Apart from the physical security problems of moving the paper around the company, the bank saw the situation worsening as the number of transactions per day continued to increase.

The new electronic system is based on IBM’s Informix database applications which handle the secure access rights and storage of the Swift data. The system will be accessed, on a role-based permissions basis, by bank employees in the loan, trading services, banking, clearing and IT departments.

“The improved access to information has been key in helping us meet compliance regulations and reduce costs,” said Stephen Hinds, COO of the Bank of China, London. “IBM and Centric iSolutions have been instrumental in helping us stay ahead to more efficiently manage an increasing number of interbank transactions and monitor business process activity across multiple departments.”

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