The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Towards the plug 'n' play bank

Financial web sites are no longer little more than electronic advertisements. Investment banks want to offer their clients meaty services - pricing models, account-management tools, databases of trades, perhaps even real-time trading. Security is a declining problem but there are still bandwidth limitations to contend with. However, at least one bank reckons it can reduce its own costs if clients can get straight to data rather than deal with customer services. Andy Webb reports.

Although the financial community has been quick to embrace the Internet, two major handicaps are impeding fuller use of it - security and reliability. Most banks have moved beyond putting simple brochureware on their World Wide Web sites and are publishing their research as well. The next step in the process - about a year ago it was the source of many brave words about what could be achieved - is to use the medium for transactions.

This is where progress is beginning to hit a wall. Although the private-client groups of many banks already offer on-line share dealing and other transactional services, banks have been reticent about extending these to the corporate and institutional level. Internet security has been substantially improved in the last few months, but public perception that this is the case is still lacking. The news that the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser software contained a bug that could enable an outsider to break into its user's computer or network created the sort of headlines that tend to stick in clients' minds.

Near enough is not good enough, particularly for banks - security needs to be absolute.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree