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May 31, 2012

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Paul Wallis

Chris,

Some points made by the delegates really stand out in your very informative post,

“...we don’t even know what the problems are in financial markets, let alone solutions...

...technology is making everything far too complex...

...most banks are not even standardised and interoperable internally, so how can you expect the market to achieve standardisation?”

These opinions took me back to comments I made on a couple of your 2009 blogs.

The new thinking I described in, ‘The Future of the City of London’, about creating clarity in business by understanding data flows,

http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2009/05/the-future-of-the-city-of-london.html

I believe holds the key to overcoming some of the fundamental challenges mentioned in the blog.

Finance, like most other industries today, relies on flows of data. But, like most industries, it does not have clarity on how these flows of data interact with the people, process and technology of the business, in this case, the financial system.

As complexity has built up over time, and staff turnover has led to knowledge loss, perhaps it’s not surprising that stakeholders within banks/financial institutions are not 100% sure on how each flow of data traverses the business.

In the markets, during recent years, we have seen a number of data flow related incidents which have shaken confidence in the financial system as whole. We haven’t seen the last of such events. Compared to just three years ago, today there are many more flows of data interacting, at higher speeds, in more physical locations, in more jurisdictions. But the pace of technology and complexity, is far exceeding that of governance.

May I invite you to read a short extract from ‘The OBASHI Methodology’, published by The Stationery Office, and of which I am co-author? This outlines why understanding flow has been key for business since the industrial revolution:

http://think.obashi.co.uk/profiles/blogs/obashi-and-the-history-of-flow

Some more of my thinking about the problems facing finance has been summarised in 'Finance: who’s driving the bus?'

http://think.obashi.co.uk/profiles/blogs/finance-who-s-driving-the-bus

Hope the above is useful.

Paul

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