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Bank of America Wholesale Division on a Journey of Transformation

The bank's CIO for Global Wholesale Banking Technology & Operations Bill Pappas is leading an infrastructure evolution.

The banking landscape is transforming on almost a daily basis, as new technology allows financial institutions to simplify processes, reduce inefficiencies and become more agile. At Bank of America, technology is playing an integral role in helping the organization streamline and reduce redundant processes after years of mergers and acquisitions.

While the overall organization has been undergoing a multi-year transformation process to simplify and modernize its infrastructure, BofA's wholesale banking division is also embarked on a mission to leverage new technologies and integrate its global platforms and processes. However, as Bank of America Merrill Lynch CIO for Global Wholesale Banking Technology & Operations, Bill Pappas terms it, "it's not a revolution, but managing an evolution."

The "Wholesale Model Bank" project, as it is known, involves creating a technology infrastructure that will reduce overall cost, operational risk and improve the client experience, explains Pappas. He says the multi-year project, currently ongoing, began three years ago as the wholesale banking division embarked on a plan to modernize it's core infrastructure, which includes systems reaching out into nearly 30 countries. Pappas says the goal is to provide the bank's multi-national and regional customers with access to a series of core processing services delivered with consistent business and operational processes under regional delivery protocols.

"The benefit is to get consistent global platforms and processes tailored to regional needs," he adds.

One such aspect of the project among the "strategic platform upgrades", Pappas points out, is it will be consistent with single euro payments area (SEPA) standards for credit transfers and direct debit payments. The project will also integrate Bank of America's trade and credit capabilities in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"We want the ability to accommodate growing volume transactions and support complex a regulatory environment," Pappas adds. "This will make our costs more elastic, our infrastructure more flexible."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
1/15/2014 | 11:42:28 AM
re: Bank of America Wholesale Division on a Journey of Transformation
It is definitely managing and evolution, not a revolution. The business is constantly changing and the strategy to support the business has to evolve along with it. Pappas definitely has the right attitude and vision for BAML. As Bryan says, a follow up is in order.
User Rank: Author
1/13/2014 | 9:13:48 PM
re: Bank of America Wholesale Division on a Journey of Transformation
Thanks! Glad you liked it. A follow up on their progress is probably due sometime this year, we'll try to provide that.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2014 | 7:56:27 PM
re: Bank of America Wholesale Division on a Journey of Transformation
Good Information Bryan. I appreciate Bill Pappas for keeping
the expectations right by saying "it's not a revolution, but managing an
evolutionGÇ¥. I will be interested to know how BAML is differentiating itself
from its global peers in Wholesale Banking space.
User Rank: Author
10/21/2013 | 12:50:40 PM
re: Bank of America Wholesale Division on a Journey of Transformation
In Bank of America's case, they've spent much of the last 5 or so years acquiring other firms and growing, so perhaps they couldn't dedicate the resources to a project like this then, whereas now they can. It's part of their overall streamlining/efficiency goal that Cathy Bessant talked about last year.
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2013 | 3:19:17 AM
re: Bank of America Wholesale Division on a Journey of Transformation
Ah, the payment hub concept/holy grail emerges again. As you know, banks have desired this for some time, it was a hot topic a few years ago, then not so much -- achievement seems to have been elusive, tho there is much agreement as to the potential benefits of payments hubs. What do you think is different now? What is BofA doing to make sure its payments hub delivers?
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