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.
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.
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.
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.
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.