British Telecommunications (BT) Global Services, a leading network information technology supplier, is targeting more domestic financial institutions in China to join the world’s largest cloud-based financial services.
“[Cloud] technology and networking are the lifeblood of financial institutions. There are certainly opportunities in China and the region,” Tom Regent, president of global banking and financial markets, told EJ Insight.
The company connects 15,000 member sites comprising exchange houses, brokerages, investment companies, banks and market data providers on its Radianz cloud network in a secure and reliable way, he said. “If you are part of the cloud, you have immediate access to any of the counterparties.”
The Radianz cloud is the fabric of the financial market from a networking point of view, he said.
BT Global Services accounts for about 39 percent of the total revenue of parent British Telecommunications. In turn, financial customers make up about 20 percent of BT Global Services’ revenue.
In China, the company has about 50 financial services customers with more than 400 member sites. It sees a promising future there, especially as many domestic firms are expanding their global footprint.
“For many years, BT has been helping global multinationals in the US and Europe. Increasingly, we have been helping large Asian and Chinese companies to get access [to technology] and expand globally as well,” he said.
“This is a very attractive opportunity for us. I see more opportunities than challenges.”
Singapore Exchange, Australian Securities Exchange and Australia’s Financial and Energy Exchange Group Ltd are among the users of its dedicated cloud financial services.
Regent said the 2008 financial crisis resulted in tighter capital rules, prompting financial institutions to sharpen their focus on operational efficiencies. That meant more business opportunities for Radianz.
“Most of these financial institutions have to conserve capital to conform to Basel III solvency requirements. They have to be flexible and able to lower their unit cost,” Regent said.
They’re spending money to create operational efficiencies rather than building infrastructure. Radianz helps by saving them the expense of building their own networks.
And it’s not just about cost-saving. It gives them a much faster access to different markets around the world and connections can be established overnight, he said.
The company will launch an enhanced version of the cloud, BT One Voice Radianz, in Asia Pacific this quarter, he said.
One Voice Radianz unifies voice, mobile and data services, removing the need for separate voice connections and telephone networks.
Also, Regent said the cloud can be paired with its turrets, which are sophisticated trading telephones used by one in three traders worldwide — 68,000 in more than 800 trading firms across 60 countries.
The communication tool can now have interconnectivity with the Radianz cloud, allowing its users to connect to the any of its member sites in the cloud in a phone call, he said.
Last month, China Development Bank tapped BT Global Services to provide 110 turrets on their trading floor when the lender expanded its trading operation after relocating to its new headquarters in Beijing. The bank is also connected to the Radianz cloud.
“All the opportunities we see in China depend on how the market opens up. You have the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and these are all very promising for us,” Regent said.
– Contact the writer at [email protected]