According to a new survey conducted by AIM Software, the financial industry's focus has recently shifted from complying with Basel II to MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). AIM Software's study was designed to inquire into the driving forces, challenges and planned investments for reference data automation and risk management.


The current findings reveal that improving reference data quality is regarded more than ever as a key issue for operational risk management and that regulatory requirements had no less impact on these decisions than last year, while companies now focus more on MiFID rather than on Basel II as in the last few years.


Regulations apart, the surveyed companies are also focusing on reducing errors and costs associated with back office workflows through improved straight-through processing (STP). This year, 58 percent of the survey's respondents named improved efficiency as an important driving force for implementing a reference data management solution.


The focus of reference data management lies in the automation of static data and the processing of corporate actions data, the areas from which the largest costs originate. Thirty-three percent of this year's respondents plan to increase their levels of automation for corporate actions.


The predominance of proprietary reference data management solutions has reduced significantly since this area is no longer regarded as an internal core competency of an institution's IT department. Although 38 percent of the companies interviewed still rely on internally built solutions, the number of companies preferring to buy a data management solution grew from 22 percent in 2006 to 41 percent in 2007.


Detailed findings of the survey can be downloaded for free here.

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