BIAT is home to Tunisia's leading trading room and is experiencing a period of rapid development, including the addition of a range of new services and a growing focus on international banking. Like many financial institutions, BIAT is also putting more processes in place to support risk management. Although the previous proprietary in-house system was suitable for existing services, it could not support these future plans. This led to the bank reviewing its IT infrastructure and, between 2002 and the end of 2003, carrying out a thorough investigation of the solutions available in the world market, ending ultimately in the decision to implement OPICS.
Says Adnane Ben Chaabane, BIAT's IT Director, "Our aim is to enhance the scope of information exchanged across the bank, and this is why we chose OPICS. The system will give us a true front- to back-office solution that is fully integrated, helping us to achieve greater STP (straight-through processing). It is flexible enough to support products that we will introduce in the future, such as cash management for corporates, and will allow them to be introduced with minimal deployment. In addition, OPICS' use of new technology, including the .NET platform, is also important to us."
Users of the system were closely involved in the procurement process. Says Lotfi Jabala, Chief Dealer for BIAT, "OPICS is able to cover the increasing range of activities carried out in the dealing room - with Tunisia being a fast growing market, the flexibility of the new system will help us to introduce new products very quickly. OPICS will also help us to expand our international banking activities, as its use of Internet technology will allow us to quickly and efficiently link the dealing room to different branches of the bank."
Ridha Sherif, in charge of BIAT's Risk Management, also comments, "We needed a system that could handle risk and OPICS is very good in this area. It is also very flexible for reporting, allowing us to make reports using our own criteria and design, and ensures that we are not prisoners of a single format. The system also benefits dealers, giving them better tools and control. For example, the system will check and verify limits in real time, which is essential for our business."
The first phase of the OPICS implementation is currently under way, with completion due for mid-2004, and covers FX and Money Markets.