Bank of America to roll out derivatives system

Over the past three years, the bank’s technologists have been primarily concerned with integrating the assets of Nationsbank, with which Bank of America merged in September 1998. But over the past six months, the bank has turned its attention to creating a new derivatives platform that can handle the growth from the merger and beyond, said Nessan Fitzmaurice, chief technology officer for the Global Corporate and Investment Bank (GCIB) division.

Advantage, and its internally developed predecessor, support interest rate swaps and credit derivatives – areas that earn more than $1 billion in revenue annually for the bank. Advantage is intended to produce cleaner data and to more fully automate the confirmation process, among other functions.

The system interfaces with SwapsWire for trading and Swapclear for clearing. The bank is a member of SwapsWire and plans to make more use of Swapclear. But the majority of BofA’s trades are negotiated by phone, said Fitzmaurice.

And as part of the bank’s drive to meet increasing trade volume, BofA is building new trading floors in New York, Charlotte, and in the London Canary Wharf building it is partially leasing from Credit Suisse First Boston. At Canary Wharf, four floors will incorporate all the product areas covered by the GCIB, and is scheduled to be finished in mid-2003. In the US, trading floors will be completed by the fourth quarter, although no details on the numbers of traders to be supported are yet available.

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