IBM adds to compliance arsenal

IBM on Friday announced software aimed at helping companies comply with Basel II, the international banking accord.

IBM's Risk and Compliance - Basel II Information Management Offering combines data management and analysis tools to help handle the information banking institutions are obliged to collect and report in accordance with Basel II. Published by the Bank of International Settlements, Basel II is a standard for measuring risk.

IBM's Basel II platform - which the vendor says 35 banks are using today - includes its DB2 Data Warehouse, WebSphere Information Integrator, and Alphablox analytic software.

In addition, the bundle is integrated with Fair Isaac's TRIAD adaptive control system, which includes specialized tools for risk analysis. Used together, the two platforms can help banking institutions make decisions about customer and account management, scoring, collections, credit line management and marketing communications, IBM says.

Among retail banks in the U.S., compliance and risk management is a key technology driver, according to research from Datamonitor. In the firm's survey of 100 IT executives at U.S. banks, 80 percent said enabling compliance with changing regulatory requirements is the most important driver of core systems investment in 2005.

Respondents plan to spend US$2.6 billion this year, or 4.2 percent of their total IT budgets, on systems for achieving compliance with regulations such as Basel II, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the USA Patriot Act, Datamonitor says. That's up from 3.8 percent in 2004.

"The wave of banking regulation enacted over the past several years is exacting a heavy operational and cost toll on the U.S. banking industry," said Edward Blomquist, financial services technology analyst at Datamonitor, in a statement. "Efforts to comply have supplanted core operations and branch renewal as leading concerns of both business and IT managers."

IBM Risk and Compliance - Basel II Information Management Offering is available now. Enterprise prices average $500,000, not including the Fair Isaac TRIAD software.

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