People often ask me for a universal data model for banking, credit card processing, securities brokerage or other specific aspects of financial services. I reply that there is a universal data model for financial services (see The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 2, Wiley, 2001) that provides detailed, generic data models suitable for all types of financial service enterprises including banks, securities companies, credit unions, brokerage services, credit card companies and many other types of financial services enterprises. Should there be separate data models for each of these specific types of businesses or should there be common data constructs that handle the information needs for any of these types of finance services?

One reason for providing a common financial services model is that enterprises often provide (or may provide in the future) many of these various financial services. Another reason is that various types of financial service organizations usually have very common information needs. In each of these types of businesses, individuals or organizations make financial transactions against their financial accounts. Accounts are governed by both the agreements that are established for the account as well as financial regulations. Financial service products often have features such as the interest rate and functional settings such as when to send statements. This article explores the issue of having specific data models such as a banking or securities brokerage model versus having a generic financial services model. As this article summarizes and expands upon The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 2, please refer to this book for a great many more details and explanations behind the models in this article, plus examples of the types of data that would populate these models.

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