The Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK’s statutory regulator for the financial services industry, has awarded a £6.5 million contract to design and build its new Mandatory Electronic Reporting (MER) system to Capgemini UK plc.
The FSA says that the new system, scheduled for implementation from July 2008, will ease the regulatory burden on the financial services industry by making regulatory reporting simpler and easier, while at the same time tightening compliance by improving the accuracy, consistency and availability of information within the FSA.
The system will enable the FSA and every business it regulates  to operate against a clear, consolidated reporting schedule, removing much of the complexity inherent today. It will provide the flexibility to more easily amend the reporting required as new legislation takes effect or the scope of the FSA’s activities changes. It will also have the scalability to handle expansion in the numbers and types of organisations within the FSA’s regulatory remit beyond the current total of approximately 28,000 businesses.
The custom-designed MER system will replace a diverse mixture of IT systems that the FSA inherited from its various predecessor regulators. It is expected to increase efficiency within the FSA by substantially reducing paperwork and clerical processing.
The project is the first major piece of work to be contracted under a long-term application delivery framework signed between the FSA and Capgemini in July 2006.
Graeme Ashley Fenn, Director of Contact, Revenue and Information Management and sponsor of the Integrated Regulatory Reporting (IRR) programme at the FSA, said: “The MER system is of fundamental importance as the FSA delivers against its promises to the industry. We are looking forward to working with Capgemini in building a world-leading regulatory reporting solution.”
Capgemini will deploy its proven Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) in designing MER and integrating the solution with the FSA’s new IT architecture, and apply its Rightshore™ strategy to maximise the cost-effectiveness of its solution, with some 80 per cent of its 60-strong project team being based at a Capgemini Application Development Centre in Mumbai, India.
Jason McLean, Vice President of Financial Services at Capgemini UK said: “This project is crucial both to the FSA and to the whole financial services industry, and we are privileged to be entrusted with the challenge of seeing it through to a successful conclusion.”
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 MER will initially exclude life and general insurance reporters until the industry and the FSA is clear on changes to reporting arising from Solvency 2. Those firms impacted will continue to use existing reporting mechanisms.
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, which it calls the Collaborative Business Experience. Capgemini reported 2006 global revenues of EUR 7.7 billion and employs more than 75,000 people worldwide. More information is available at www.uk.capgemini.com.