Hellenic Bank moves quickly to meet Basel II with SAS®
Results quickly: implementation in fewer than eight months, automated results in two hours
Hellenic Bank, a member of the Hellenic Bank Group, offers a full range of banking, investment and advisory, and insurance services and businesses ranging from small to enterprise. As a major player in the financial services industry in Cyprus, Hellenic Bank faces the challenges posed by Basel II, which require transparency of financial data, effective risk management and new conditions of corporate governance.
With the aim to comply permanently with Basel II regulations, risk management challenges have become even more urgent for financial institutions. In order to comply within the required time frame set by the Central Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank worked with SAS to implement a solution for risk transparency and precise capital adequacy calculation. Working together, SAS and partner Teradata are helping to integrate risk management into daily business activities in order to catch risky behavior as soon as it occurs. The solution provided the necessary advanced risk management and contributed to increased efficiency and improved customer service.
“We faced the challenge of complying with the Basel II requirements in a very short period of time,” said Petros Ioannides, Manager of Group Credit Risk of the Hellenic Bank Group. “In addition, we had a key challenge of accurately providing capital adequacy calculations in a timely manner.
"SAS is a reliable and flexible solution,” explained Ioannides. “We were able to put it in place and, in a very short period of time, begin seeing results. We could calculate our capital adequacy reserves (under the Capital Adequacy Directive) with speed and accuracy and proceed in compliance with the Basel II requirements. This was possible because SAS provided both the necessary solution and the right people to implement it.”
"We adopted the SAS solution, and it took us around eight months to complete the implementation," said Ioannides.
SAS provided a single-architecture solution that includes all of the necessary components to manage credit risk. This was particularly helpful in the development of the Basel II risk reporting framework common reporting (COREP) and the Basel II regulations on financial risk reporting and capital adequacy ratios. This approach brought Hellenic Bank into compliance with Basel II and, in addition, provided more effective analysis of risks across multiple business processes.
"Before SAS, capital adequacy calculation was a manual process that required extensive effort to complete," said Ioannides. “Now, with a press of a button we know exactly where we are in terms of capital within two hours."
The reliability and completeness of the SAS solution and the proven expertise in the field of risk management were the factors that tilted the balance in favor of SAS for Hellenic Bank.
"We analyzed the market valuations and did our own research before making our final decision," says Ioannides. "We believe that the SAS solution is reliable and is therefore used by banks and other financial institutions. Also, the fact that SAS is providing an integrated risk solution was a key factor which played an important role in our choice of SAS.”
The results justify the bank’s choice. According to Ioannides, completing the first phase of the project strengthened the bank’s confidence that SAS will help record and analyze the risks, meet the legal institutional obligations and increase profitability.
"Using the bank's customer data, we are now going to develop and create internal models using the SAS solution, for more advanced methods of capital calculation," said Ioannides.
Ioannides sees other valuable uses for this solution outside of regulatory compliance. He envisions uses for productivity and efficiency just to name a few. For instance, he says that SAS is an efficient tool whereby other branches of the bank can become familiar with the returns of funds from interrelated and cross-related areas. This flexibility allows the bank to quickly calculate capital consumption by sector, which could be particularly useful for evaluating services and products.
About Hellenic Bank Group
Hellenic Bank Group began operations in 1976. Shortly thereafter, it established itself as one of the biggest banking and financial institutions in Cyprus. The group enjoys a network of around 80 Cyprus branches and 29 in Greece while employing more than 2,000 people locally and abroad.
Having a customer-centric philosophy, Hellenic Banks aims to always provide the best possible service, tailor-made solutions to its customers based on their needs, reliable advice and high-level services.
Hellenic Bank has operated successfully in Greece since 1998, and its presence has grown strongly. Currently it has 30 branches in Attica, Thessaloniki and Ioannina. Hellenic Bank also has 12 subsidiaries in Greece and Cyprus as well as Representative Offices in South Africa, Russia and Ukraine.
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
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Manager of Group Credit Risk
Comply with Basel II directives, effectively analyze risks across multiple business processes and automate workflow.
SAS' single-architecture solution provides an advanced risk management solution for regulatory compliance. In addition, implementation was complete in fewer than eight months and automated results reduced analysis time from four days to two hours.
“Before SAS, capital adequacy calculation was a manual process that required extensive effort to complete. Now, with a press of a button we know exactly where we are in terms of capital within two hours.”
Manager of Group Credit Risk