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Bank of England Seeks Software to Underpin FX, Balance Sheet Risk Management

BoE continues its systems overhaul...

By CBR Staff Writer

The Bank of England (BoE) has gone to market this week seeking a software and hardware package to underpin its financial risk management processes in a £3 million contract opportunity.

“The Bank intends to identify an economic operator to provide the financial risk architecture simplification (FRAS) solution and services”, it said in the procurement notice, posted Wednesday.

“FRAS delivers a new financial risk management framework covering the Bank’s balance sheet and the UK’s foreign exchange reserves.”

(Those alarmed by the plunging pound amid Brexit uncertainty may be either reassured or alarmed by the news: the Bank of England software hunt comes as analysts say the pound will fall to its lowest against the dollar since 1985 on a hard Brexit).

The five-year contract will go to a company that can provide hardware, software and services, the BoE said. Requests to participate need to be in by September 4.

See also: Bank of England Cloud Concerns Revealed

“[The BoE will] favour a Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) software solution.

“[This is] required to integrate seamlessly with its trading platform (OpenLink FINDUR), a number of internal source systems and in-house developed risk models to answer risk management questions and ensure trading is controlled in real-time” it said.

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New Bank of England Software: Service Provider Needs to…

The solutions provider will need to be able to support the following:

(a) modelling — the “ability to plumb custom built models in the risk system and distribute calculations efficiently”

(b) limits configuration — the “ability to accurately apply limits at point of trade against a variety of different models and metrics”

(c) trade controls — provide “visibility into real time limits usage, the ability to block trade input that would breach trade limits, and limit reserving/optimisation”

(d) end of day calculations — help “aggregate data from a variety of systems and databases, call calculations and produce end of day processes£

(e) risk reporting — have experience “creating real time risk dashboards, and the ability to allow users to create and customise reports”

(f) analytics and visualisation — furnish “visualisation tools and scenario [with] what if capability, covering variations in market data and in portfolio composition”

FRAS will be a key part of the Bank’s processes and strict security controls are deployed to protect the service, the Boe noted and the procurement process will include steps to “protect the essential security interests of the UK.”

A new software solution is not the only thing the BoE needs: a hunt is on to find a new governor for the central bank, with the Chancellor expected to announce his choice within months. They can expect to have an exciting tenure…

See also: The BoE’s Future of Finance Report: “Ludicrous, Elitist, Sycophantic and Vague”

 

 

 

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