To help Bahraini businesses thrive, the National Bank of Bahrain embarked on an ambitious plan to expand its treasury activities. The bank grew its treasury operations with enhanced trading capabilities deploying Fusion Kondor from Fintech company Finastra. Maha Al Mahmood, Head of Treasury Customer Service Sales Flow Business, National Bank of Bahrain, tells Intelligent CIO Middle East why the bank implemented this project.
After successfully establishing the largest customer base for retail banking in its domestic market, National Bank of Bahrain set its sights on enhancing and expanding its treasury operations-a move that would enable the bank to play an even bigger role in the economic growth of the region.
Maha Al Mahmood, Head of Treasury Customer Service Sales Flow Business at National Bank of Bahrain, said: “To ensure that we always deliver the same excellent level of service for businesses as we do for our retail customers, we launched a Digital Transformation project to strengthen the core systems and processes that support our capital markets operations.”
Through its Digital Transformation initiative, National Bank of Bahrain aims to enable higher levels of automation to improve operational efficiency and extend its offering with innovative products.
Jaffar Hussain, Head of Liquidity and Market Risk, National Bank of Bahrain, added that: “For our ambitious project to succeed, we needed a robust and flexible end-to-end trading solution. We knew that by automating the majority of our trading operations, including price calculations, trader activity monitoring and risk management, we could provide our customers with ultra-responsive services while also achieving significant efficiency savings.”
Having used Fusion Kondor to support its trading activities for many years, National Bank of Bahrain decided to upgrade to the latest version of the solution to unlock new opportunities for growth.
“Fusion Kondor has been a global player in treasury systems. We have used the Finastra solution to support our trading operations for some time and knew that we could rely on the solution to deliver the same level of reliability and flexibility while also giving us new cutting-edge capabilities. Moving to the latest version of Fusion Kondor also provided a clear, simple implementation path and would easily integrate with our existing systems,” Hussain said.
National Bank of Bahrain recognised that the latest version of Fusion Kondor would enable it to independently evaluate all pricing and trading decisions in real time. In turn, this would help the bank to strengthen risk management for its trading operations.
Al Mahmood pointed out that: “We wanted to ensure that our Digital Transformation project would deliver long-term value for our treasury operations and knew that Fusion Kondor and our wider partnership with Finastra would help us to drive continuous innovation. Being able to adapt quickly and accurately is essential to banking and Finastra solutions help us to rapidly evolve our operations and services.”
With support from Finastra Services, the National Bank of Bahrain upgraded to the latest version of Fusion Kondor in under nine months.
“Our teams collaborated closely with Finastra Services’ team throughout the project, which helped us to avoid unnecessary delays and enabled us to meet our implementation targets,” recalled Hussain.
Taking the Fusion Advance approach, Finastra started the implementation with a series of workshops in which the National Bank of Bahrain worked with the Finastra team to design two new trading applications including a Market Conformity Module and Market Limit System. After the design phase, the bank worked with Finastra to outline the technical specifications for the upgrade and configured new modules in Fusion Kondor.
To ensure that the new Finastra solution was optimised for the bank’s specific operational requirements, Finastra and National Bank of Bahrain performed rigorous testing of each module based on pre-defined uses cases. After this initial testing phase, Finastra offered training for traders at National Bank of Bahrain before beginning detailed user-acceptance testing.
Impressed with the support and expertise of the Finastra Services team during the upgrade, the National Bank of Bahrain drew up plans to work with the Fintech solutions provider to deploy an interface for real time market data for its traders.
Al Mahmood explained that Finastra aren’t just providing a product but also a service – and this full solution is essential. “On an on-going basis they are looking at new technologies, new ways of improving the system, which plays an important role in future developments,” she said.
By stepping up its trading activities with Fusion Kondor, the National Bank of Bahrain will significantly improve operational efficiency and risk management. Today, the bank is better equipped to explore new avenues for product development.
Hussain said upgrading to Fusion Kondor has opened up the capital markets sector for National Bank of Bahrain and is helping the bank to expand its market share in this arena. “Ultimately, this will help us to provide more innovative banking services that will help businesses to drive economic growth and infrastructural development in Bahrain,” he said/
According to Al Mahmood, Fusion Kondor will improve the efficiency of the bank’s trading and treasury operations. “We will be able to settle and process payments faster, react more quickly to market changes and run daily operations more effectively. What’s more, Fusion Kondor will also help us to strengthen our risk-management capabilities, which will increase our resiliency in the event of unexpected market changes.”
With the latest version of the solution now in place, the National Bank of Bahrain can explore opportunities to enhance its products and services leveraging the solutions open application programming interfaces (APIs). This will help the bank drive innovation in the sector that can keep pace with changing market conditions and evolving and regulatory requirements.
Hussain reiterated that: “Finastra has played a key role in expanding our service offerings and enhancing the internal tools supporting our core trading activities, which is helping us to realise our ambitious plan to expand our treasury operations. We look forward to continuing our work with Finastra to build the bank of the future.”Click below to share this article