Michael Shashoua: Message Received

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Know-your-customer data concerns have registered a greater presence on the industry’s radar, as seen in the agenda for Sibos this month. Michael Shashoua analyzes what efforts KYC data will require, and how communication can be crucial to data governance plans.

The agenda for this year’s Sibos conference in Singapore on October 12–15 includes many informational sessions about the ISO 20022 messaging standard, intended to spur firms to see the benefits of upgrading from ISO 15022, and provide guidance on how to accomplish this.

Last year’s agenda was focused on ISO 20022 as well, but in a different context, centered on gauging the progress of migration to the standard. In crafting this year’s agenda, Swift—the messaging standards cooperative that organizes Sibos—appears to be less concerned about the need to campaign or push for ISO 20022 adoption, and confident enough to just make resources available through the sessions.

This year, know-your-customer (KYC) data has emerged as a greater concern on the Sibos agenda. Swift’s Bart Claeys and Luc Meurant recently shared how the cooperative’s efforts with KYC data are changing. Although Swift’s KYC Registry, and other providers’ KYC offerings, have been available for a year or more, a “continuously evolving” regulatory landscape will affect KYC processes, necessitating changes and updates, says Claeys.

Striving to Standardize
Even though Thomson Reuters, Clarient and Markit|Genpact are also now in the KYC space, Swift is still striving to standardize KYC information on its own, as Meurant, head of banking markets and compliance services at the cooperative, asserts. Executives from firms that consume data, such as Tatjana Dobrovolny of Raiffeisen Bank and Amy Harkins of BNY Mellon, outline the need for data quality amid all the KYC data standards, which vary depending on who is providing the data and the different rules that are in force in whatever market that data emanates from. This raises questions about whether the industry can manage KYC data effectively to meet regulatory imperatives.

The presence of multiple KYC solutions raises the question of whether data will be consistent among all services, and whether those offerings will produce efficiency gains and cost savings in the process of better managing KYC data. If the definition of data is an important aspect of providing data quality, the definition of KYC data has to be more standardized to produce the progress the industry is aiming for.

CDOs have to spread their enthusiasm for data governance plans to colleagues who are vital to those plans’ success.

Data Governance Communication
September’s European Financial Information Summit saw some aiming for better communication in data governance efforts, particularly via internal communications. Chris Bannocks, chief data management officer at ING Bank, defines data governance as an internal marketing communications problem, not only an operational issue. Plans must be communicated to the business side so they can understand and get involved.

Roberto Maranca, managing director of enterprise data at GE Capital in London, carried out a directive to reorganize data operations geographically in Europe and Asia under the umbrella of the firm’s US data group. He “broadcast a message” using a social network of the firm’s staff, he said, to promote a central data management framework supporting GE Capital’s data governance strategy.

Distilling the value of data governance is necessary to communicate effectively, says John Parkinson, UK head of data governance at Capgemini Financial Services. “The key to communication and bringing stakeholders along with you is making it clear to them that data governance is an enabler to make their jobs easier—and improve their ability to manipulate data and get value out of it,” he said.

Chief data officers (CDOs) have to spread their enthusiasm for data governance plans to colleagues who are vital to those plans’ success. CDOs’ prior experience may be in data operations, the investment business or other functions. They will either have to grasp the data needs, or figure out how to better communicate those needs, depending on which expertise they already have. 

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