Barclays focuses on forecasting and reporting with analytics system

Barclaysis using business intelligence and analytical software from supplier SAS to improve how it calculates its capital.

The bank said it had improved management information over the last three years using SAS Business Intelligence software, following the “challenge” of calculating capital in a tough economic environment.

Rob Bishop, head of capital systems development for Barclays Global Retail Bank, said the system was “important” in helping Barclays have the right analysis of capital consumption, in order to help it steer through the worldwide economic collapse.

"We wanted to calculate both economic and regulatory capital for granular underlying assets across both retail and wholesale portfolios," he added. "SAS has enabled Barclays to calculate capital bottom-up, providing better management information across many of its material portfolios.” Barclays is also using the system to distribute its capital results to relevant staff online.

Using the SAS Credit Risk Management Solution, the bank supported its move from Basel I to Basel II regulatory reporting. Bishop said that having a "robust calculation engine” that could cope with the large amount of data across Barclays’ portfolios was “paramount”. The bank is also using the system to support wider business requirements across its retail, corporate and wealth management divisions.

The bank holds 16 months’ detailed asset information online in the SAS system, covering around three billion lines of data.

In other Barclays news, the bank's wealth management division has begun a £230 million IT overhaul, reportedly to focus on making it easier to monitor clients’ accounts, as well as setting up accounts for new customers.

The group in January decided not to renew a £400 million, six-year application development deal with supplier Accenture, for "commercial reasons". It also ended a desktop services contract with Getronics. It declined to give details.

The company has been extensively cutting IT staff. Last May it emerged Barclays would cut 700 IT staff by the end of the year, reportedly offshoring work to Singapore, Hungary and India.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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