Since 2000/01 banking institutions have been increasingly using management consultancies for outsourcing models to improve their cost to income ratios. Additionally, the top 20 management consultancies and boutique city consultants have been assisting in the construction of regulatory compliance frameworks for Basel II, SOX, KYC and now the impending EU MiFID Directive. However, the financial solutions community has seen consolidation and concentration as evidenced by Oracle buying I-Flex and PeopleSoft; Misys buying Almonde Risk Software, GL Trade buying UbiTrade. Equally banking institutions are selectively buying strategically important software component providers. Software vendors with sizeable recurrent maintenance streams are weathering the downturn in new project starts, as banks do more themselves.
The management consultancies are taking advantage of providing knowledge and expertise in both Change Management and transition programmes for outsourcing models, advisory engagements on business improvement projects. However, the major growth area for engagement by the management consulting firms has been regulatory compliance. Typically the banks are using their own internal resources to implement and integrate the regulatory frameworks as advised by the management consulting firms. As Basel II frameworks are being completed, banks have been hit with new regulatory framework of the EUâs MiFID Directive â estimated to cost the financial community Â£9 billion to comply with. The Anti-Money Laundering regulations are and will be on-going.
Management consultancies are also enjoying advisory business on how banks can better improve their businesses through channel management and financial supply management â increasing corporate entrenchment and âstickinessâ. The clever management consultancies are linking market infra-structure initiatives (SEPA), regulatory compliance and business improvement initiatives as an overall advisory engagement i.e. how banks can achieve competitive advantage â as investment growth improves market conditions. The real challenge for the software vendor community is to make a âstep changeâ in providing substantial innovation for the banking community.