Red Flags in Morning, Firms Take Warning

Red Flags in Morning, Firms Take Warning

Posted on January 20, 2011 0 Comments

A pattern is emerging within new financial services regulations where regulators and financial services firms deploy monitoring technology to "red flag" potential issues such as risk, position limits, errors and manipulation. The "red flags" raised would then alert the relevant personnel or authorities.

In the case of the Volcker Rule, prohibiting banks from proprietary trading and investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds, the authorities would use a three tiered approach (  First "tripwires", such as the length of time a trader holds a position, its size or riskiness, would alert banks’ compliance departments  who would (#2) quiz the trader on the nature of the position. And (#3)regulators that keep inspectors on banks’ premises would see the tripwires and monitor both traders and compliance departments.

Over at the CFTC, regulators are looking at a similar approach to monitoring and controlling position limits on products such as oil and metals with a "points" system that would give the CFTC monthly reports that it could use to red-flag traders with large positions (

The tracking and red flag approach is the latest step in increased monitoring of trading operations with the ability to take response before it’s too late. At Progress, we have been advocating using monitoring and surveillance technology to help catch inside trading and avoid fat fingered trading errors for years. With new regulations, monitoring becomes not only mandated but more complicated. Red flags are likely to be flying all over the place within as little as months, both inside and outside financial services firms, presenting a fine opportunity for our Responsive Process Management software solution.

As the financial services world becomes more compliant, the ability to manage red flags becomes more critical. Every process within a financial services firm must be scrutinized, from trade entry to risk management, to analyse and understand internal and external events. This take sophisticated technology. This is where Progress Software's RPM software fits in. According to technology research firm Ovum: "Unless an organization has already made a significant investment in creating an operational responsiveness solution around best of breed products, it will be worth seriously considering the competitive advantage and improved effectiveness that could be achieved by deploying RPM."

Ovum noted in a Technology Audit note that multiple technologies are required to gain a comprehensive insight and respond more rapidly to changes to the environment. These include: business process management (BPM) to model, implement, and execute the processes; business analytics to determine how effectively the processes are working; complex event processing (CEP) to understand the implications of many streams of internal and external events; business rules management to determine the appropriate actions for a given set of conditions and variables; and visibility into end-to-end transactions to track and audit their progress.

The interrelationships between all of these components and the vast amount of information that has become available must be understood before its impact on processes can be ascertained and appropriate tuning performed. In other words, RPM is the answer.

RPM can monitor an increasing number of information feeds, both within or external to the organization, then apply business policy and governance rules, then automatically tune the  established process or alert a human decision-maker (if necessary) and present him/her with current, relevant information on which to base the most appropriate response.

According to Ovum: "All of these individual capabilities already exist (at different levels of maturity), but the cost and complexity of integrating these into an effective business solution is beyond the means of most organizations. Hence Ovum believes that the requirement identified by Progress represents a genuine market opportunity." Well said.


John Bates

View all posts from John Bates on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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