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Banking and Financial news: Here you can find latest BFSI Domain events and articles.
15/12/08 Fintech stocks close higher, but index still down 40.5% in 2008
15/12/08 CNP and counterfeit card fraud on the rise in Australia
15/12/08 Russia's Alfa-Bank rolls out Aladdin authentication devices
15/12/08 IBM wins Madhav Nagrik Sahakari Bank IT outsourcing deal
15/12/08 DSB Bank signs for Finacle core banking platform
15/12/08 Voice Commerce launches biometric payments system for TV advertisers
12/12/08 ICICI plans interactive online banking service
12/12/08 Lloyds TSB creates innovation stockmarket
12/12/08 ANZ searches for new CIO after moving Dalton to innovation
12/12/08 Bank of America previews massive job cuts; Santander to cut 1900 in UK
12/12/08 Nyse Euronext begins migration to Universal Trading Platform
12/12/08 Punjab National Bank selects Finacle for rural IT overhaul

Fidelity puts Indian IT outsourcing unit on the block - Economic Times
US investment house Fidelity has put the IT support arm of its captive Indian back office business on the market, the Economic Times reports, citing two anonymous sources close to the sale process.

The IT unit employs 2000 staff in Chennai and Bangalore and comprises approximately 70% of Fidelity Research & Management Company (FMR) India employees. The sale is understood to exclude the remaining 30% of staff working in business analytics, BPO and implementations.
A Fidelity spokesperson says: "As part of our global business transformation strategy, we are exploring options to optimise our technology delivery model, including the one in our captive unit in India. We are evaluating sourcing options with leading global technology service providers that will help us maximise the value we can offer to our key stakeholders, including employees in the long term.
The winning bidder for the business will be rewarded with a multi-year outsourcing contract from Fidelity, says the Economic Times. Potential suitors include Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, IBM and Accenture.
Fidelity's move to offload its Indian support operations follows similar recent initiatives by other big financial firms including Citi and Aviva.

Fintech stocks close higher, but index still down 40.5% in 2008
Pegasystems, S1 and Diebold are the only three companies in the Finextra50 Financial Technology Index currently trading higher than at the start of the year.

Last week's gainers
Fidessa was the index's strongest performer last week. It gained 16.67% by Friday close to finish at 560p in a week that saw it announce its connectivity to LeveL ATS, the independently run US equity dark pool platform created by a consortium of broker-dealers.
Advent Software rose 14.23% to $24.32 after it was announced that CEO and founder Stephanie DiMarco would be handing the position of company president to Peter Hess, a longstanding company executive who was most recently EVP and general manager of Advent’s Investment Management Group.
Polaris Software Lab gained 10.37% to Rs39.90, reversing losses it had seen since speculation in early November that Citibank's increasing troubles could lead it to sell some of its 40% stake in the company. CEO Arun Jain denied that this was likely.
Other companies to see significant increases include:
• Iress Market Technology, up 15.09% to A$4.5
• Longtop Financial Technologies, up 10.36% to $15.02
Last week's losers
The Innovation Group close down 14.44% down last week to 3.85p. It had risen the previous week after its cash position was revealed to be significantly stronger than expected. But the UK insurance software and outsourcing specialist had a challenging year: It posted a 27% increase in full year revenue, but swung into a pre-tax loss of 3.8 million pounds due to increased investment in new business process outsourcing products (BPO) and contract delays.
Other companies to see significant falls last week include
• Bravura, down 11.54% to A$0.23
• S1, down 9.29% to $7.03
• Financial Technologies, down 8.69% to Rs474.90
• Linedata Services, down 5.78% to EUR4.89
2008 comings and goings
The year so far has seen seven companies replaced in the index, either due to mergers, being taken private or through no longer meeting the index criteria due to revenue sources. Unlike last year, which saw four companies leave the index after acquisitions, this year only Choicepoint (Reed Elsevier) and GL Trade (SunGard) exited in this manner.
Leavers
• Choicepoint
• Chordiant
• EDB Business Partner
• Oberthur Technologies
• GL Trade
• SSP Holdings
• Firstsource
New entrants
• Yucheng Technologies
• Lender Processing Services
• Syntel
• EXLservice Holdings
• Longtop Financial Technologies
• Financial Technologies (India)
• Ffastfill
2008 gainers
The index began the year with a value of 91.24 on 4 January, and closed 12 December at 54.24 - a fall of 40.5%. So it's perhaps not surprising that only three companies look like finishing the year in a stronger position than they started - all of them US-based.
Pegasystems has been the index's best performer this year, closing last Friday up 15.88% on its 4 Jan close at $12.33. It saw a strong share price rise in May on the back of record Q1 revenue and profits. Revenue growth has continued to be strong, although its quarterly profits in the latter hald of the year tailed off a bit and missed analyst expectations.
On 12 December, S1 was still up 6.52% for the year at $7.03, despite a 9% drop that week. It has been rising steadily since falling along with the wider market in September.
Diebold posted slimmer gains this year, creeping up 3.21% to $27.67. It had a slow start to the year, but its share price rocketed on acquisition rumours in March, and it therefore had a bigher plateau to fall from when market volatility reached its peak in October.
2008 losers
Among the many companies to see big drops in share value this year, five fell more than 75%. Besides the two biggest fallers, the list is dominated by Indian fintech firms, with five of the six Indian index constituents losing more than two-thirds of their value.
UK insurance sector specialist The Innovation Group (TIG) tops the fallers. It was the biggest faller last week, and is down 88.76% for the year so far. Integration costs from its purchase of Nobilas last year contributed to a loss in the first half. And, with several subsequent smaller acquisitions to swallow, costs continued to rise, seeing the firm to a full financial year loss, despite healthy revenue gains
TIG is followed closely by Bravura Solutions, which is down 87.70% for the year so far after a confusing situation where shares owned by company management were caught up in the failure of brokerage Lift Capital; missed revenue targets and an aborted takeover by private equity firm Ironbridge Capital.
The list of the top five losers this year is rounded out by three Indian fintech firms:
• Nucleus Software, down 86.97% to Rs49.50
• Financial Technologies, down 81.52% to Rs474.90
• 3i Infotech, down 75.62% to Rs35
Index comparison

Methodology
More information on the Finextra50 Financial Technology Index methodology and constituent stocks can be found here.

Fidelity puts Indian IT outsourcing unit on the block - Economic Times
US investment house Fidelity has put the IT support arm of its captive Indian back office business on the market, the Economic Times reports, citing two anonymous sources close to the sale process.

The IT unit employs 2000 staff in Chennai and Bangalore and comprises approximately 70% of Fidelity Research & Management Company (FMR) India employees. The sale is understood to exclude the remaining 30% of staff working in business analytics, BPO and implementations.
A Fidelity spokesperson says: "As part of our global business transformation strategy, we are exploring options to optimise our technology delivery model, including the one in our captive unit in India. We are evaluating sourcing options with leading global technology service providers that will help us maximise the value we can offer to our key stakeholders, including employees in the long term.
The winning bidder for the business will be rewarded with a multi-year outsourcing contract from Fidelity, says the Economic Times. Potential suitors include Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, IBM and Accenture.
Fidelity's move to offload its Indian support operations follows similar recent initiatives by other big financial firms including Citi and Aviva.
Fintech stocks close higher, but index still down 40.5% in 2008
Pegasystems, S1 and Diebold are the only three companies in the Finextra50 Financial Technology Index currently trading higher than at the start of the year.

Last week's gainers
Fidessa was the index's strongest performer last week. It gained 16.67% by Friday close to finish at 560p in a week that saw it announce its connectivity to LeveL ATS, the independently run US equity dark pool platform created by a consortium of broker-dealers.
Advent Software rose 14.23% to $24.32 after it was announced that CEO and founder Stephanie DiMarco would be handing the position of company president to Peter Hess, a longstanding company executive who was most recently EVP and general manager of Advent’s Investment Management Group.
Polaris Software Lab gained 10.37% to Rs39.90, reversing losses it had seen since speculation in early November that Citibank's increasing troubles could lead it to sell some of its 40% stake in the company. CEO Arun Jain denied that this was likely.
Other companies to see significant increases include:
• Iress Market Technology, up 15.09% to A$4.5
• Longtop Financial Technologies, up 10.36% to $15.02
Last week's losers
The Innovation Group close down 14.44% down last week to 3.85p. It had risen the previous week after its cash position was revealed to be significantly stronger than expected. But the UK insurance software and outsourcing specialist had a challenging year: It posted a 27% increase in full year revenue, but swung into a pre-tax loss of 3.8 million pounds due to increased investment in new business process outsourcing products (BPO) and contract delays.
Other companies to see significant falls last week include
• Bravura, down 11.54% to A$0.23
• S1, down 9.29% to $7.03
• Financial Technologies, down 8.69% to Rs474.90
• Linedata Services, down 5.78% to EUR4.89
2008 comings and goings
The year so far has seen seven companies replaced in the index, either due to mergers, being taken private or through no longer meeting the index criteria due to revenue sources. Unlike last year, which saw four companies leave the index after acquisitions, this year only Choicepoint (Reed Elsevier) and GL Trade (SunGard) exited in this manner.
Leavers
• Choicepoint
• Chordiant
• EDB Business Partner
• Oberthur Technologies
• GL Trade
• SSP Holdings
• Firstsource
New entrants
• Yucheng Technologies
• Lender Processing Services
• Syntel
• EXLservice Holdings
• Longtop Financial Technologies
• Financial Technologies (India)
• Ffastfill
2008 gainers
The index began the year with a value of 91.24 on 4 January, and closed 12 December at 54.24 - a fall of 40.5%. So it's perhaps not surprising that only three companies look like finishing the year in a stronger position than they started - all of them US-based.
Pegasystems has been the index's best performer this year, closing last Friday up 15.88% on its 4 Jan close at $12.33. It saw a strong share price rise in May on the back of record Q1 revenue and profits. Revenue growth has continued to be strong, although its quarterly profits in the latter hald of the year tailed off a bit and missed analyst expectations.
On 12 December, S1 was still up 6.52% for the year at $7.03, despite a 9% drop that week. It has been rising steadily since falling along with the wider market in September.
Diebold posted slimmer gains this year, creeping up 3.21% to $27.67. It had a slow start to the year, but its share price rocketed on acquisition rumours in March, and it therefore had a bigher plateau to fall from when market volatility reached its peak in October.
2008 losers
Among the many companies to see big drops in share value this year, five fell more than 75%. Besides the two biggest fallers, the list is dominated by Indian fintech firms, with five of the six Indian index constituents losing more than two-thirds of their value.
UK insurance sector specialist The Innovation Group (TIG) tops the fallers. It was the biggest faller last week, and is down 88.76% for the year so far. Integration costs from its purchase of Nobilas last year contributed to a loss in the first half. And, with several subsequent smaller acquisitions to swallow, costs continued to rise, seeing the firm to a full financial year loss, despite healthy revenue gains
TIG is followed closely by Bravura Solutions, which is down 87.70% for the year so far after a confusing situation where shares owned by company management were caught up in the failure of brokerage Lift Capital; missed revenue targets and an aborted takeover by private equity firm Ironbridge Capital.
The list of the top five losers this year is rounded out by three Indian fintech firms:
• Nucleus Software, down 86.97% to Rs49.50
• Financial Technologies, down 81.52% to Rs474.90
• 3i Infotech, down 75.62% to Rs35
Index comparison

Methodology
More information on the Finextra50 Financial Technology Index methodology and constituent stocks can be found here.

CNP and counterfeit card fraud on the rise in Australia
Annual fraud figures from the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) show a continuing increase in levels of card-not-present fraud and counterfeit/card skimming scams.

The total rate of fraud for cheques, debit cards, credit and charge cards for the year to 30 June 2008 rose only marginally from 5.9 cents to 7.2 cents for every $1000 of payments.
But, while cheque fraud declined significantly, payment card fraud rose to 31 cents in every $1000.
APCA says this is still some way off the global equivalent of 47 cents in every $1000.
Card-not-present (CNP) is the most common type of payment card fraud accounting for 48% of the fraud value on Australian issued credit and charge cards.
After CNP fraud, counterfeit/skimming represents 32% of the total value of fraud on credit and charge cards and 40% of the total value of debit card fraud.
APCA's chief executive officer Chris Hamilton, comments: "Unfortunately, we are now starting to see a long anticipated migration of counterfeit and skimming fraud to Australia from offshore."
The Australian banking industry is committed to a move from mag-stripe to chip-embedded payments cards and the major banks have begun to issue smart cards to customers.
However, a mass market migration to the new technology across all cards and payment terminals remains a long-term goal. Visa last week outlined plans to accelerate Australia's migration to chip and PIN card technology as part of a five year programme to improve payment system security in the country.
APCA's Hamilton points out that of the 3.8 billion plus transactions made on Australian issued cards in the 12 months to 30 June 2008, about 400,000 were fraudulent - or just over 1 in every 10,000 transactions.
"It's important to remember that consumers are not held liable if fraudulent transactions are made with their cards or account information," he adds.
Russia's Alfa-Bank rolls out Aladdin authentication devices
Russia's Alfa-Bank has rolled out 20,000 USB smartcard authentication devices from Aladdin Knowledge Systems to its online banking customers.

Aladdin says Alpha-Bank chose its eToken devices to provide its online customers with additional protection from phishing, malware and other Web threats.
The devices will enable online customers to securely process electronic documents, monitor transactions, contact the bank and import and export data to its accounting systems.
Shlomi Yanai, VP, authentication business unit, Aladdin Knowledge Systems, says: "There is a growing trend within finance, healthcare, law enforcement and other sensitive industries to use advanced smartcard identification to restrict access, prevent fraud and ensure security when conducting business online."

IBM wins Madhav Nagrik Sahakari Bank IT outsourcing deal
Madhav Nagrik Sahakari Bank, a co-operative in the Indian state of Rajasthan, has inked a five year IT outsourcing deal with IBM to support its move into Internet and mobile banking.

The deal will see IBM host and manage the bank's IT infrastructure from its own data centres, supporting an aggressive expansion plan targeted at the state's rural population.
As well as the introduction of Internet and mobile banking, the bank plans to expand its network of 25 branches and ATM facilities in the state.
Mukesh Modi, managing director, Madhav Nagrik Sahakari Bank, says: "In this age of technology driven banking, even co-operative banks like ours are taking a leap in providing the best of banking experience to our customers."
Nipun Mehrotra, VP and general manager, global technology services, IBM India and South Asia, adds: "By offering our IT services to the bank, we will not only help them cut their IT expenditure but also ensure they are able to focus on their core business and expansion plans."
DSB Bank signs for Finacle core banking platform
DSB Bank, Netherlands, has selected the Finacle universal banking system from Infosy to overhaul its retail operations and power a new online savings bank.

The bank will replace its legacy systems with the Finacle core banking and integrated customer relationship management technology as well as a treasury product.
Infosys says Finacle, as a multi-country system, will also enable DSB to foray into new markets such as Germany and Belgium.
Hans van Goor, COO and member board of executives, DSB Bank, says: "Transforming our technology platform is a strategic initiative to address DSB's new business requirements, enhance customer experience, and be nimble to respond to market changes."
The deal comes just days after Infosys reported a Finacle contract win with India's Punjab National Bank.
Voice Commerce launches biometric payments system for TV advertisers
UK start-up Voice Commerce Group has launched a payments processing service for TV and IPTV advertisers that lets customers phone up and buy products by 'signing' for the transaction with their voice.

To use the VoicePay TV service, businesses place a logo, free phone number and unique product code in video adverts.
If customers want to buy the product advertised they call the phone number and authorise the transaction by 'signing' for purchase with their voice.
To use the service customers have to open a VoicePay account, creating their signature using voice biometrics as well as their purchasing history, trends and location patterns. The vendor says the signature is unique and cannot be imitated - even by recording someone's voice.
A nominated credit or debit card is linked to the customer's voice signature and used to make payments whenever they call and authorise a purchase. The vendor says that because customers do not need to hand over their card details every time they make a purchase the risk of phishing and identity theft is reduced.
Advertisers benefit because there is a much shorter gap in the purchasing lifecycle between grabbing a customer's attention and selling them the product. They no longer need to rely on the customer to remember their advert or product before visiting the Web site at a later date.
In addition, businesses can see a measurable return on investment from advertising - all incoming calls from customers can be traced back to product codes from exact adverts and locations, making it possible to monitor the effectiveness of campaigns.
Nick Ogden, founder, Voice Commerce Group, says: "Our voice signatures overcome the challenges of using other payment tokens or mechanisms because they do not require additional devices, passwords or pins and, after all, consumers now carry their own voices as well as their mobile phone wherever they go."
The VoicePay network currently covers over 50 countries and is fully integrated with Visa and MasterCard.

ICICI plans interactive online banking service
India's ICICI Bank is set to launch an interactive online service that aims to emulate the branch banking experience, complete with virtual staff.

V Vaidyanathan, an executive at ICICI, told reporters the bank wants to create an interactive online service that acts as more than a passive transaction tool.
The new offering will have a virtual teller, branch manager and receptionist and navigation tools in a bid to create the feeling of a real branch.
The as yet unnamed initiative is set to be launched by the end of the year.
Earlier this year ICICI launched an Internet-only operation dubbed 'b2 - Branch-free banking'.
Lloyds TSB creates innovation stockmarket
Lloyds TSB has introduced an internal artificial currency and stockmarket in ideas in a bid to foster an innovation culture at the UK bank.

Participants in the innovation market publish ideas and identify the best through trading.
Under the programme, bank staff are paid in artifical Bank Beanz for their involvement in an online community that collects, rates, and categorises new ideas. Staff can vote for the ideas they like, or comment on them in forums.
The most successful ideas are picked up and promoted onto an internal stock market where staff can use their Beanz to buy into ideas they like.
The price of the idea approximates the chance it has of going into production, says James Gardner, head of innovation at Lloyds TSB.
"Believers in the idea can get in low, and sell high. They can make windfall gains in Bank Beanz, and use them for rewards in our Innovation Store," he says. "Yes, we back the Bank Bean with cold, hard, cash. It is an exceptional motivator."
Gardner says the bank has had to put in controls to counter hyper inflation of the Bank bean, but conversely is encouraging insider trading since it makes people want to be on the inside so they can speculate successfully. As Gardner observes, to get on the inside you have to work on the team making the idea happen.
"The idea, we hope, is that with this coupling of ideation and innovation we'll make it possible to accelerate our pipeline of interesting things," he says. "Instead of being scale-limited with headcount constraints in the central innovation team, anyone can be an innovator."

ANZ searches for new CIO after moving Dalton to innovation
ANZ Bank is looking for a new chief information officer (CIO) after shifting incumbent Peter Dalton to the newly created position of group general manager for innovation.

Following his sideways move, from January Dalton will report to Margaret Payn, group managing director, strategy, marketing and customer segmentation.
The bank told The Australian newspaper that in his new role Dalton will look at "integrating emerging technologies to deliver better business results across the bank".
Dalton joined ANZ in 1995 and was appointed CIO in August 2006 having previously worked as chief technologist in the personal division.
Until a replacement is appointed, Dalton's duties will be shared by David Cartwright, group MD, operations, technology and shared services and Kieran Griffiths, deputy CIO.
Bank of America previews massive job cuts; Santander to cut 1900 in UK
Bank of America has confirmed plans to axe up to 35,000 jobs over the next three years, as it moves to eliminate redundancies from its pending merger with Merrill Lynch and respond to the weak economic environment.

The giant West coast bank says that the cuts will affect all lines of business and staff units. Detailed measures will be announced in early 2009.
"As many reductions as possible will be made through attrition," says the bank in a statement.
The cuts represent 11% of the combined workforce of 308,000 staff at Merrill Lynch and BofA.
The restructuring is likely to take a heavy toll on jobs in the City of London and Canary Wharf. Bank of America has around 2000 staff at its European headquarters in Docklands while Merrill has 6000 people in the Square Mile.
The UK jobs market took another blow late Friday when Spanish bank Santander announced plans to cut 1900 jobs in its three UK businesses - Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.
Santander says it will be making efficiencies through transferring operations onto its proprietary IT platform, Partenon, as well as removing duplicated back office and support functions across the businesses. The operations of recently-acquired building society Bradford & Bingley are set to be migrated to Partenon in 2009.
There will be minimal impact on customer-facing roles in branches and call centres. Instead, the focus of the reductions will be in back office roles and across operational and head office sites. The bank has no current plans to close major sites although it may consolidate some smaller offices into larger sites.
The bank says that it will begin laying off staff in 2009.

Nyse Euronext begins migration to Universal Trading Platform
Nyse Euronext has begun moving over to its new Linux-based multi-asset class, Universal Trading Platform (UTP) with the migration of European bond products.

The transatlantic exchange decided to create a single platform for all its US and European markets in a bid to reduce costs following the merger of the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext in 2007.
The UTP will replace four separate platforms by the end of 2009: the Nouveau Système de Cotation (NSC) for Euronext, Liffe Connect for the derivative Liffe market, Arca in the US and the electronic order book supporting the hybrid model on the NYC market.
Once completed, customers will need only one connection through Nyse Euronext's SFTI global network to access all its cash and derivatives markets in the US and Europe as well as new initiatives like Nyse Arca Europe and SmartPool.
On Monday the first stage of the migration saw the exchange move 2889 fixed-income products from the NSC platform, involving approximately 120 European customers.
Based on existing systems and incorporating new technology, the platform will see European cash customers experience reduced latency from 1.5 milliseconds a roundtrip to 150-400 microseconds, with capacity trebling, from 30,000 orders a second to 100,000 orders a second.
Anthony Attia, executive director and head of the Universal Trading Platform programme, says: "In an increasingly competitive environment, particularly in Europe, the Universal Trading Platform puts us ahead of the competition and not only meets the needs of our customers today but will also meet their future needs for greater speed and capacity as well as sophisticated functionality."
Stanley Young, co-global CIO, Nyse Euronext, adds: "At the time of the Nyse Euronext merger we committed to introduce one single trading platform for all our markets, to significantly reduce costs and create IT synergies. Since then, our IT teams on both sides of the Atlantic have been working to a very ambitious timetable on the development of the next-generation platform, which represents a step change in the trading capabilities and efficiency of our markets."
Nyse Euronext is not alone in revamping it technology platform, as traditional exchanges looks to realise IT synergies from consolidation and face off competition from modern automated platforms.
Deutsche Börse - which earlier this week said that talks with Nyse Euronext about a potential mega merger had fizzled out - has committed to a rise in costs of EUR1.35 billion for next year as it invests in the development of a single global trading system, initially for ISE, as the nucleus of its IT platform strategy.
Punjab National Bank selects Finacle for rural IT overhaul
India's Punjab National Bank (PNB) is set to roll out the Finacle universal banking system from Infosys across six regional rural banks (RRBs) covering 1300 branches.

The move is part of public sector bank PNB's rural banking initiative, designed to improve customer services and gain new customers outside of urban areas.
Infosys says Finacle has been adapted to suit PNB's rural branches, dealing with issues surrounding unreliable telecomms connectivity, centralisation of data and specific customer service requirements.
In addition, the system will enable the RRBs to better manage audit processes, adhere to statutory compliance, enhance internal MIS requirements and standardise processes and operations on a single platform.
R I S Sidhu, chief general manager, PNB, says: "The key objective of this transformation initiative is to strengthen our RRBs and make them vibrant channels of financial service delivery for the rural sector. Leveraging Finacle's state-of-the-art technology we aim to standardise operations and offer customers a range of innovative products and services at reduced cost, enabling greater inclusive growth."
Haragopal M, head, Finacle, Infosys, adds: "In today's financial environment accessing the bottom of the pyramid has become a key business as well as social imperative for banks. With increased reach, Regional Rural Banks can become principal vehicles for financial inclusion in the country."


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