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April 28, 2008


Chris Ward

In my dealings with Citibank, I noticed that their globalisation could be improved. Try transferring $1000 from Citibank US to a dollar account in the same name with Citibank UK; you'd think it would be automated, simple, and no charge to the client.

Banks could usefully figure that 'retail depositors' provide a chunk of the funding which enables the bankers to pursue hopefully-profitable business ventures. The commercial relationship between a bank and a retail depositor should be "I pay you interest in order that you will leave your funds on deposit with me".

And a global bank should respect that, globally.

If you get large organisations reversing that, charging fees where they should be paying interest, it discourages the clients.

Henry Engler


Your observation that entities within a large enterprise often believe they are different and therefore have special IT or process needs is quite true. Moreover, I've found that large, global institutions often develop large-scale, infrastructure sytems based on the requirements of the "center," versus a thorough vetting of regional offices, whose requirements often differ.

Within financial services, I find this type of approach most common with regard to U.S. institutions whose development plans are NY or London centric, often neglecting the nuances and legitimate differences that their offices in Asia have.

The challenges of achieving a fully-integrated back-office may often be as much cultural as the "I am unique" mindset.


Henry Engler

Srinagesh Eranki

By extension, would the type of innovation you apply be different for front-office and back-office tasks?

That is, within a large global company, sustaining innovation for back-office and disruptive innovation for front-office tasks.

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