What to expect at this year's Sibos?
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What to expect at this year's Sibos?

Financial crime, cyber security, implementation of new regulation, and innovation will all feature on the agenda of the 35th annual Sibos event between September 16 and 19.

The financial community is set to converge upon the Dubai World Trade Centre for the 35th annual Sibos event between September 16 and 19.

While the European Sibos events tend to receive the highest attendance levels – the 2010 Amsterdam event was attended by 8,900 delegates – organizers Swift is expecting this year’s conference to attract 7,000 delegates, up from 6,250 in Osaka in 2012.

As the biggest gathering of the world’s financial community, Sibos offers delegates the opportunity to discuss and hear about the most pressing topics and trends affecting the industry.

Source: Sibos; Swift

Sibos 2013 will focus on three key themes: regulation, operational excellence and worldwide shifts. While regulation has been a recurring theme in recent years, this year’s event will focus in particular on the challenges associated with implementation, according to Arun Aggarwal, Swift’s head of UK, Ireland and Nordics.

“We’ve had a long period of seeing a tsunami of new regulations coming into the industry,” says Aggarwal. “It’s not at an end, but the broad structure of the financial industry is becoming much clearer as big pieces of legislation such as Dodd-Frank and EMIR come into force.”

As a result, Aggarwal says banks are able to take a more holistic approach when deciding how to implement the new regulations efficiently and effectively – not only for compliance purposes but also for business-benefit purposes.

Reflecting this focus on regulation and compliance, the conference programme will include a two-day compliance forum.

Financial crime and cyber security will also feature prominently throughout the event. “We are quite heavily involved in this area at Swift,” says Aggarwal. “Many people are taking the view they need to switch their transaction processing away from the internet and to use more secure networks such as Swift as part of their strategy against cybercrime.”

The second theme of operational excellence is one that Aggarwal describes as a “continuing theme at Sibos”, as banks strive towards efficiency, cost-effectiveness, transparency and risk management.

While this is not a hot topic per se, it continues to be a key area for delegates and as such will continue to attract substantial airtime at this year’s event.

Meanwhile, the theme of worldwide shifts will focus on changing global dynamics and regional trends – and, in keeping with this year’s location in Dubai, the continuing economic shift from west to east.

“For delegates in a global business planning role, this theme will be particularly interesting,” says Aggarwal. “Included within this area will be some interesting topics including financial inclusion and the challenge of bringing more people into the financial services industry.”

In terms of other specific topics, Aggarwal highlights Target2-Securities (T2S), a new securities settlement engine which is intended to remove fragmentation in the post-trading sector and remove barriers between countries once it is introduced in 2015.

Source: Sibos; Swift

Another important subject is that of big data and what can be done to leverage the mass of data flowing through the industry. As well as general interest sessions, the conference will include a number of different forums focusing on different topics, including the technology forum, the corporate forum, the compliance forum and the standards forum. The last day of the conference will include an Africa and Middle East day.

With such a varied audience and conference programme, it is difficult to pick out particular sessions delegates should attend, but Aggarwal highlights the big issue debate on regulation as one that would be particularly worth hearing.

To navigate the event, delegates can access presentations and exhibitor information, network with other attendees and watch videos of the event after its conclusion at Sibos Online, a portal for delegates and exhibitors.

Information about the conference programme, speakers, exhibitors and travel information can also be accessed via the SibosApp, which is available for iOS and Android.


Innovation will also feature prominently in this year’s event in the form of the Innotribe space, complete with art installations and a “high-tech campfire”.

In addition to keynote sessions, case studies and interactive discussions, the programme includes the final of the 2013 Innotribe Start-Up Challenge, featuring 15 start-ups selected during regional showcases in the Americas, EMEA and APAC.

Innotribe’s themes for 2013 include Value/Wealth 3.0, which will look at the re-definition of wealth and well-being; Innovation 3.0, which will focus on new models of innovation; and Network Insights 3.0, which will include topics such as network cartography, fraud detection and pattern recognition.

In addition to the Start-Up Challenge final, there will be a focus on other innovations already under way.

While Swift often takes the opportunity to launch new products and initiatives at Sibos, nothing has been announced as yet for 2013 – but Aggarwal says that in some of the most important areas of focus – such as financial crime, regulation and compliance, cyber security and big data – “we feel Swift has an increasingly relevant role to play”.

He adds: “We are exploring ideas in all of these areas and will continue to explore them at Sibos.”

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