News Release

Cisco Asia Pacific Banking Executive Summit 2004 Officially Opens

Financial Executives Converge to Share Experiences and Insights for Better Achievements Ahead
Jan 09, 2004

SHANGHAI- January 9, 2004 - More than 200 financial experts from Asia Pacific converged in Shanghai Pudong yesterday to learn about emerging banking services and strategies for increasing revenue and customer loyalty.

Executives from Financial Insights, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Fortis Asia and ABN Amro, IBM and Cisco Systems® shared trends and their experiences in multi-channel retail banking. Entitled 'Enabling the Retail Bank for Growth', the Cisco Asia Pacific Banking Executive Summit 2004 was hosted by Cisco Systems and technology solutions providers for the banking industry.

For the first time, financial executives from India, Korea and the Greater China joined their colleagues from the Asia Pacific region at the event. This is part of an increased effort by Cisco Systems to focus on the specific needs of customers in different industry segments.

"Network technology plays a critical role in the financial industry," commented Mr. Gordon Astles, president of Cisco Systems Asia Pacific. "The goal of this summit is to offer a platform for leading international banking institutions, industry experts and technology solutions providers to share their successful experience. By enabling exchange of idea and experience across the financial industry, we hope to help our customers grasp new business opportunities."

At the Summit, Douglas A. Jaffe, senior research manager, Asia Pacific Financial Services from Financial Insights, IDC's parent company, introduced the trends and challenges of multi-channel sales and e-banking services. According to Jaffe, the multi-channel service strategy has rapidly evolved as a solid revenue base for many Asian banks. At the same time, they are faced with increased competition and the need to fulfill the ever-increasing customer demand. Hence, enhancing the effectiveness of multi-channel sales and e-banking are key success strategies.

Dennis J. Ziengs, CEO of Fortis Asia, the top financial institution in Europe, discussed bancassurance models, cross selling and and the implementation of multi-channel strategy.

James T. Le Mon, vice president, Global Technology Solutions, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., talked about the evolution of the retail branch network. He indicated that the information network forms the heart of a banking operation and is integral to customer relationship. It enables retail branches to obtain accurate and complete customer information for introducing new banking products and services. It also facilitates communications between the bank and its entire customer base. As part of its retail branch network evolution strategy, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is adopting IP Telephony in its retail branches. Mr. Le Mon elaborated on the rationale and successful experience of implementing this strategy from a global perspective.

Mr. Peter Chapman, vice president and head of Strategic Initiatives, Consumer and Commercial Clients, Greater China, ABN Amro Bank, shared with audience the bank's global operating structure. He also discussed how the experience and resources of his group are used in a regional context to develop and support a cost-effective operating platform. Together with a strong focus on its customers, this platform enables ABN Amro to achieve sustainable growth and value delivery to its shareholders.

Lance Tay of Cisco's Internet Business Solution Group argued that Asian banks need to quickly align and prioritize IT spending. To thrive, Asian banks cannot blindly adopt a fast-follower strategy. Things that work for a global bank in a developed country may not necessarily work for a regional bank in a developing country. To be a leader, Asian banks have to make sound decision on strategic business direction and IT investments.

Supporting the Summit were Cisco partners IBM, Intel, and Panduit, which demonstrated their solutions in conjunction with Cisco. Frederick Fung, Financial Services Industry Marketing, Cisco Systems Asia Pacific, emphasized that the key is customer industry relevance. Realizing the growing importance of multi-channel retail banking, Cisco and its partners have put together a model named "Branch of the Future". By deploying advanced technologies from Cisco and other solutions from its partners, the model turns retail bank branches into a truly customer-centric environment providing superior experience for the bank's customer.