OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY BECOMING KEY COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATOR AMONG FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, SAYS WALL STREET SYSTEMS

- Wall Street Systems’ strategy paper highlights risk of under performance if financial institutions ignore operational efficiency -

London and New York, September 1, 2005 – Operational efficiency is fast becoming the key differentiator amongst leading financial institutions with significant improvements and reviews required in order to be competitive, says Wall Street Systems, the leading provider of global treasury and capital markets solutions, in a strategy paper launched today.

Wall Street Systems’ strategy paper is for senior managers and practitioners in the financial markets who are seeking to deliver major improvements in operational efficiency. The paper explores the current drivers affecting operational efficiency and proposes a robust framework for assessing and improving operational efficiency. It examines both general and specific obstacles to overcome and draws upon Wall Street Systems’ experience established through long-term partnerships with its clients.

"To ignore the challenge of improving operational efficiency is to consign your organization to under performance and succumb to competitive threats", said Mike Thrower, director of marketing at Wall Street Systems. "Operational efficiency needs to be placed at the centre of business and technology strategy for every financial institution.

"Financial institutions need to invest in delivering operational efficiency as a core competence. This requires a structured long-term vision and a successful change program of delivery to achieve market-leading levels. With increasing volumes and globalization, combined with ever decreasing margins and increasing competition, only the institutions that grasp this challenge will survive."

Wall Street Systems demonstrates that banks need to develop a structured approach to the periodic review of day-to-day operations in the treasury and capital markets areas. These periodic reviews can, if managed effectively, be invaluable resources, especially at times of increased change such as during mergers and acquisitions or the introduction of new business lines. Furthermore, they can provide senior management with crucial information on the cost of settlement and impact on the profitability of trades while identifying areas for potential process improvement, streamlining and automation.

The benefits of the review can be felt by the entire organization in achieving cost reductions by both minimizing process inefficiency and the release of manpower for more value-add activity. With increasing regulatory pressures, such as Basel II and Sarbanes Oxley, an effective operational review can be a major catalyst for the overall reduction of operational risk and exposure.

Wall Street Systems has been working closely with its clients to achieve operational efficiency through increased automation. In June 2005, Wall Street Systems announced the go-live of a project undertaken with Fifth Third Bancorp*. Wall Street Systems has helped the bank consolidate existing systems and reduce its manual processes. The result is a fully integrated solution which delivers improved operational efficiency through increased straight-through-processing (STP) rates.

Thrower added: "It is important to marshal the correct skills and resources, to partner with the right third parties to assist in delivering operational efficiency. We at Wall Street Systems have a strong track record in being that strategic partner and a history of project success that has delivered remarkable return on investment and operational efficiency to all our clients across the globe."

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