Temenos stood out from the rest as a new bank chose the system for its Asian launch. Nippon Wealth Limited Bank (NWB), based in Hong Kong but with Japanese roots and ambitions, is a start-up vying for success with T24 fuelling its push to power and glory.

Don’t rest on your laurels. In fact, don’t even stop for a moment.

With the first stage of implementation completed in May 2015, and the dust not yet settled, Temenos are already planning phase two with NWB.

The bank got its restricted licence earlier this year and only opened for business a couple of months ago. It’s based in Hong Kong and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OJBC Co Ltd and an associate of Shinsei Bank.

Martin Frick, regional director, Asia Pacific, at Temenos, explains how things evolved.

‘Being a start-up, the bank had progressively ramped up its team for IT, operations and front office,’ he says. ‘The system requirements were to be frozen ahead of ramp-up. The risk was understood by both Temenos and the bank during the initial stage itself.’

To ensure minimum changes to the scope of the project, Temenos’ team included consultants with knowledge of market practices and regulatory requirements. In turn, the bank had senior members as part of the project team to define and agree on the requirements.

Speed was always of the essence.

Frick says: ‘The bank was keen to launch the operations as soon as it could get the banking licence. In order to meet this objective, it was essential that they could adopt T24 model bank.’

He stresses that this was the ‘key principle’ for the project. As a result the customisations were restricted to regulatory requirements, customer-centric requirements such as AML, on-boarding and statements.

While recent events moved with some alacrity, the bank actually issued an RFP in Q2 2013 and the selection process lasted for about six months.

NWB shortlisted Temenos and its T24 core offering in Q4 2013, with Oracle FSS understood to be the vendor’s main competitor for this deal.

A final decision was made in Q1 2014. Implementation started in April 2014 and the system went live in May 2015.

In a highly competitive market, how did Temenos come out on top?

‘I think our capability in the area of private banking and wealth management helped,’ Frick says. The vendor already has a number of T24 takers in the region, including big names such as American Express, Credit Suisse, ABN Amro and Bank SinoPac. Recently, another private banking heavyweight, Julius Baer, has signed for the system to be installed in its Hong Kong and Singapore locations.

NWB requested some key customisations, which included customer risk profiling – namely a risk questionnaire and scoring calculation; and trade validation for bonds, mutual funds and dual currency deposits for vulnerable customers. In addition, the bank asked for an interface with its AML system, Citibank, Bloomberg, Mass Mutual, Planet Press and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) reporting system.

In terms of functionality in the initial phase, the system covers banking services, remittances, fixed income products, mutual funds, FX, FX-linked structured products and structured notes.

Frick says Temenos is in the planning stage for phase two of implementation with NWB – such as ‘how to enable its channel capability’.

But with the initial system now in place, the bank has great expectations and ambitions in Asia.

NWB believes it can capitalise on the ‘growing demand’ for wealth management services. Its target customers are expected to invest more than HK$1 million ($100,000) and they also want to expand the current customer base to 30,000 within the next five years.

The bank has placed its faith in Temenos to achieve these kinds of figures and growth.

Whether it will be rewarded is something that we will all have to wait and see.

By Antony Peyton.

by IBS Intelligence
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