Swiss Volksbank has installed new software for use in trading, processing, and administering currency options and short-term interest rate swaps.

The Cmark software, developed by Act International Systems Inc., provides full facilities for pricing, protfolio analysis, and full trade processing for off-balance sheet instruments.

It comes with a front office trader analytics module that can operate in both proprietary and open systems environments. It also boasts an early-warning system, with a series of alerts that inform users as they near predetermined thresholds.

"Using the system means we can now manage risk more efficiently and we're finding the control of our business in real time to be another major advantage," said Swiss Volksbank board member Werner Bach-told, in a prepared statement.

Paper Blizzard in Past

Swiss Volksbank had previously used a mainframe-based system, which required many paper-intensive procedures.

However, the bank's growing trade in derivatives in recent years created the need for more efficiency and control. A heavy workload on the existing mainframe suggested a decentralized island solution, with the capacity to link to the host system at a later stage. Cmark fit the bill because it can run in a Unix environment on workstations. Swiss Bank is currently running the software on 20 workstations.

User access to the system depends on job function, allowing for a clear separation of trading, processing, administration, and risk management.

Staff members with different job functions are given different user profiles, allowing them to access separate components of the system -- and only the components they need.

Capacity and Flexibility

Cmark also interfaces directly with the bank's general ledger and improves risk management by providing senior management with complete pictures of the bank's trading positions.

"Swiss Volksbank is heavily involved in forward day agreements and currency option trading. The system will help meet their growing volumes as well as provide them with the flexibility to support varying and complex instruments," said Murali Vullaganti, a deputy director at Act.

Swiss Volksbank is based in Bern. The Cmark product is running out of the bank's Zurich offices. Act, the software and professional services company, is headquartered in London.

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