Financial IT Fall Issue 2022

  • 10 Oct, 2022 07:00 am

Sibos, which this year takes place in Amsterdam on 10-13 October 2022, is no small undertaking and requires months of planning.

It is unlikely that, when planning began, the organisers at SWIFT would have foreseen what would happen over the course of the first nine months of the year.

In no particular order, and without getting caught up in the details, the world’s developed economies have seen: rampant inflation; a succession of sizeable increases in official interest rates that have been announced by central banks; rising bond yields (or, if you prefer, falling bond prices); negative real interest rates; a clear bear market for stocks in the United States and some other countries; and a surge in the US dollar against most other currencies. The last of these has proven to be a challenge for economies and financial systems in many emerging markets.

These words are being written two weeks before the beginning of Sibos. It remains to be seen whether the toxic combination of trends listed in the preceding paragraph produces a major financial crisis somewhere in the world between now and the end of the conference.

In any event, the world is one where the leaders of financial services organisations need to become, as one of the contributors to this edition of Financial IT put it, “Wartime CFOs”.

We would suggest that a Wartime CFO is one who can respond very quickly to a rapidly changing situation. A Wartime CFO may work for a long-established and traditional financial institution. Alternatively, he/she may work for a recently formed fintech that challenges the status quo in its particular field.

He/she needs a certain mindset that can look through the disinformation that pervades any war. He/she needs to see the opportunities that arise – often in greater numbers than in periods of peace and tranquillity – and seize the day.

Perhaps most importantly, he/she needs access to the best technology that is available – which is, hopefully, better than the technology that is being used by his/ her organisation’s main rivals.

In this respect, being a Wartime CFO in and around the global financial services industry is not dissimilar to being a general in the ongoing, and tragic, conflict in Ukraine.

Every one of the contributors to this edition of Financial IT have insights, or products, or services that will assist a Wartime CFO in his/her work.

Without exception, the contributors have been helping their clients (or stakeholders) to reduce risk, to use data more profitably and/or to more easily develop new products and services. Some of the initiatives that are described in this edition of Financial IT do all three.

A clear message from our contributors this time is that artificial intelligence (AI), big data and machine learning will help a Wartime CFO to survive, and thrive, in what is an unusual and challenging environment for financial services companies.

Information gaps that have existed previously will likely be filled. One of our contributors discusses how synthetic data will make possible advanced analysis – but with total security in terms of privacy because there is no link to the original data from which it is derived.

The main theme of Sibos this year is ‘Progressive finance for a changing world.’ Related themes include ‘embracing the digital landscape and technological opportunities’, ‘driving sustainability and ethics’ and ‘succeeding in uncertain times’.

These themes are – appropriately – very positive and emphasise actual and potential benefits for the clients of financial institutions and fintechs, rather than conflict.

As discussed above, the question of a major financial crisis in a large part of the developed world is far more likely to be ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.

Therefore, this year’s Sibos is one of the most important one to take place in the 44 years since SWIFT’s first banking operations seminar in 1978.

As Wartime CFOs respond to the threats and opportunities that come from volatile financial markets, the likely winners will be those who most adroitly use the technology that is being showcased at this conference.

We wish all participants and stakeholders a successful Sibos in Amsterdam.


Andrew Hutchings, Editor-in-Chief, Financial IT 

Sabrina Akramova, Managing Editor, Financial IT

Other Issues