Middle East banking industry faces regulatory compliance

Middle East banks should begin compliance process in order to keep up with international banking industry says leading storage company.

  • E-Mail
By  Angela Prasad Published  August 29, 2004

The introduction of new global financial regulations has left banks the world over facing storage system overhaul in order to become regulation compliant says Hitachi Data Systems. The storage vendor, with its experience in assisting banks in Europe to ramp up to compliance has signalled to Middle East banks to act quickly while there's still time "Middle East banks have always been very conscientious with regards to keeping up with international standards and as a result this is a booming industry. Recent developments in international regulations present the Middle East banking industry with a critical opportunity to act quickly and come out on top and in control of the situation," says John Bentley Sales, director at Hitachi Middle East. "These regulations are likely to place a huge strain on most companies' IT systems and will present a new challenge for data storage, recovery and business continuity. The financial industry is looking at a significant investment of time and effort, as well as capital, in order to comply with the data retention and disaster recovery requirements,” says Sales. The regulations cover three main areas; Basel II outlines policies for the support of data collection, storage and analysis. SEC regulations underpin disaster recovery and online retention of e-mail while Sarbanes-Oxley specifies requirements for financial support. The regulations will require banks to retain records for anything up to eight years, and be able to call up and access these records on demand. "Although this all might seem unreasonable, consider how many e-mails are sent back and forth containing the same data; multiple copies of the same data slow systems down and eat up investment. Hitachi’s storage solutions index archives copies by subject heading, body text and attachments in order to delete multiple copies, cutting down on costs and increasing efficiency,” says Bentley. In accordance with regulations demanding accountability and transparency as well as data archiving for anything up to eight years, banks are being required to invest an unplanned and unbudgeted amount of money and time for overhauling existing systems. In addition to this, the regulations will also require all financial institutions to regularly update and test their disaster recovery arrangements. To ensure that data can be immediately recovered, Hitachi advises companies to invest in back up systems located at a safe distance, or even in out of region locations, in case of disasters natural or otherwise. The process of overhauling and restructuring existing IT and storage systems is a long and costly one. With the introduction of regulations that are setting standards for the global financial playing field, no bank can afford to sit on the matter. "Planning and action now can prevent unsatisfied customers later," adds Bentley.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code