JP Morgan updates securities-lending tool

A desire to increase transparency is a major driver behind the US bank's move to make its securities-lending dashboard more customisable.

Enhancements to JP Morgan's securities-lending dashboard reflect demand from users for greater transparency and the need for more product differentiation in an increasingly competitive market.

Part of the bank's Access web portal, the updated tool increases the ability of clients to customise their activity views. Users can focus on a variety of metrics, including loans outstanding by asset class, collateral type, non-cash collateral by rating, top securities by earnings and top borrowers by loan balances.

Transparency and the ability to customise are common themes among investors today. Since last year's crisis and various scandals, asset owners have been asking for more thorough reporting and increased control over their holdings from their managers and service providers.

The dashboard enhancements respond to such demands, says the bank. Paul Wilson, global head of securities lending relationship management and sales at JP Morgan, says: "Over the last year, clients have significantly increased their oversight of securities-lending activities both in terms of the breadth of things they are looking at, and the depth at which they are reviewing them."

The bank first launched the dashboard in 2006 as part of its Views portfolio-reporting system. Wilson says JP Morgan is committed to "ongoing" investment in its online tools, with the next enhancement to the dashboard expected in the first quarter of 2010.

JP Morgan's new customisation feature for the dashboard is just one of a number of recent enhancements to banking web portals. At September's Sibos congress in Hong Kong, both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi announced new web 2.0 platforms.

While Wilson did not call the enhanced dashboard "web 2.0", he did say: "The web-based dashboard provides a combination of data and graphical information, sorted logically, with customisation and drill-down capability providing more detailed information if required."

The enhancements reflect the increasingly competitive nature of the securities-lending business. For example, Deutsche Bank acquired Dresdner Agency Securities Lending earlier this year, viewing customer-facing technologies as increasingly important product differentiators. And Jacob Jegher, senior analyst at research firm Celent, wrote in a recent blog post that to stay competitive, institutions need to focus on the "customer experience" online.

JP Morgan's securities services unit has $14.9 trillion in assets under custody and $5.1 trillion under administration globally.

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