In today’s markets, financial institutions need to manage the growing volume of reconciliations which are becoming increasingly complex in nature, making processing more time-consuming and costly. Firms have to overcome this challenge, as well as avoid the rising backlogs. One route financial institutions are exploring is the use of utilities. Working in partnership with a utility vendor allows a financial institution to outsource all or part of the reconciliations handling process, thus enabling them to realise greater savings, faster results and more accurate data. 

Since its launch 18 months ago and with over 20 clients now in production, SmartStream has built a deep understanding of the key benefits in using the CoE. Processing has become more efficient and clients have seen an improvement in customer service levels. More specifically, there has been an improvement of match rates in excess of 97 percent and vast increases in STP rates, as well as a reduction in exceptions by as much as 67 percent.

The Central On-Boarding Utility (COU) acts as an off-site delivery arm for a financial institution. SmartStream’s deep domain experience and multiple projects have enabled the COU to see commonalities across processes from which they have built a library of frequently used configurations across different reconciliations. This allows the COU to deploy reconciliations on client sites quicker. A number of clients currently utilising the COU services also have SmartStream’s TLM solutions installed on their own sites.

SmartStream recognises that there is a growing band of financial institutions that wish to access SmartStream’s technology as a utility and there is an increasing desire amongst financial institutions to adopt a fully outsource reconciliations processing service. SmartStream have spent years on creating an offering, which provides access to both its reconciliations processing technology as a utility, and a full end-to-end managed service. 

The Managed Service Utility provides reconciliation and exceptions management functionality. It covers the entire, end-to-end reconciliations process, including the hosting of SmartStream’s TLM solutions within the on-demand offering, monitoring the environment, loading data and ensuring auto-matching is completed within agreed SLA’s, as well as performing manual matching and break resolution. 

Julian Trostinsky, Managing Director of Central On-Boarding Utility and Managed Services, SmartStream, states: “Since the launch of the utility 18 months ago, we have seen a tremendous surge in demand for its services. Our competitors are only now entering the space. In the mean time we have trained our resources at SmartStream’s CoE to oversee every aspect of the service, therefore reducing the management burden, whilst at the same time ensuring operational excellence. The service also includes risk mitigation, continuous process improvement, scope across business lines and geography, as well as providing clients with access to optimal infrastructure and technology. It is a highly competitive offering, and very unique to other offerings in the market today. In addition, ours is an approach where we place great emphasis on working together in partnership with our customers”. 

Looking to the future, SmartStream will be extending the remit of the CoE’s managed service to include not only reconciliations processing but other important solutions, such as TLM Corporate Actions and TLM Cash & Liquidity Management.