ACBS®, headquartered in San Diego, California, USA and a division of Fidelity Information Services since 2003, has specialized in the design, development, service and support of customized business system solutions since 1983. In 1991, ACBS® established a dynamic design team of bankers and developers to create Advanced Commercial Banking System (ACBS®). Built exclusively with LANSA, a working prototype was ready within a year and the first customer signed in 1993.
Since then ACBS® has grown spectacularly and in 1998 appeared at number 291 on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in America. ACBS® has established itself as the Commercial Loans industry standard for major lenders and syndicates and is used by 23 of the top 50 banks worldwide, including Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Credit Lyonnais, Credit Agricole/Indosuez, State Street and Bank of Nova Scotia.
ACBS® is determined to stay on the cutting-edge of technology and to give clients a competitive advantage. ACBS® works smarter by doing things differently.
"We use business analysts, not programmers, to develop our software, " said the then Vice President, Sales at ACBS®. "We have gone to great extremes to hire experienced bankers and business analysts for product design, development and deployment. We assemble small teams of highly-trained professional developers which produce tightly-knit, controlled efforts, and results."
"Because most of the highly technical aspects of software engineering is handled by LANSA, we can keep the distance between the end-user and the developer to a minimum and maximize end-user interaction in the development process."
"In today's world there is a growing need for commercial banks to compete at the global front. Smaller banks need to increase efficiencies of scale and as a result there are a lot of mergers and acquisitions. Commercial loans in this environment are often very complex and involve players from multiple countries. On top of that there are Year 2000 issues and the Euro too. Commercial Loan Accounting Systems (CLAS) need to keep up with this global marketplace."
"ACBS® helps banks and other global financial institutions automate the portfolio management of high risk products, notably the sophisticated credit transactions of international banking, such as multinational loan syndication and debt trades. Historically most banks would have a satellite system approach, where they had one base loan system and then surrounded that system with other applications that handled specific aspects of lending. They would have a combination of different components servicing what should be a fairly consolidated business."
"ACBS® improves the workflow and this has enormously reduced the cost for our customers. Some have sliced their loan-system operating costs by almost 40%."
"One area of workflow efficiency is deal pipelining. We used LANSA's Intelligent Middleware and Delphi to develop a high level GUI front office loan origination module. Sales staff input bits of information as they find contacts and banks interested in a deal. When the details are complete, the approving officers are notified to look at a particular deal in the pipeline. When a deal is approved, it is automatically booked into the loan system. There is no need for back office staff to re-key the information from a stack of documents."
ACBS® is committed to LANSA, which provides the following benefits and strategic advantages:
- Highly accelerated development cycles.
- Consistent design and development standards.
- Smaller development and support teams.
- Automated impact analysis for changes.
- Delivery of advanced, flexible software solutions.
Donna Spence, a Systems Analyst at ACBS®, explained how LANSA allows ACBS® to maintain a competitive advantage by building advanced software simply and quickly. For example, it took ACBS® only nine months to develop the Euro-ready version for the market in 1998, well before the required date.
"I estimate that LANSA has nearly halved our development effort. LANSA is very easy to understand and within a month or two our developers can use LANSA in a productive way."
"In terms of time to market, we can very aggressively market our product"
"We use the LANSA Object Repository extensively. It is a major benefit to have everything (prompting, triggers, business rules & validations) in one central location. This significantly helped with our year 2000 conversion as we didn't have to put in any additional logic."
"LANSA has made us more proactive in the way we design the ACBS® software. User defined parameters and LANSA's multi lingual facilities make our system flexible to deploy. And for the latest version of ACBS® we developed the dynamic new Request Object Architecture that makes extensive use of LANSA triggers and allows clients to customize ACBS® processing events without the expense and risk associated with traditional site-customized systems."
"LANSA's platform portability is certainly an advantage as ACBS® is now available on an increasing number of platforms, including various versions of IBM i and Windows OS. Customers don't want to be locked into a single platform."
What ACBS Customers have to said
Chase Manhatten, now part of J.P. Morgan Chase, deploys ACBS® for its international and multi-currency loans portfolio and has gone live with the system in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Bombay and in a further 20-odd countries. Chase is running ACBS® on a single IBM® AS/400® located at its Bournemouth data center at the south coast of the UK.
"This site runs 24 hours a day", says a Chase vice president working on the global loans implementation team. "Having the non US loans information in one place offers tremendous information management opportunities, since the system supports on-line user access around the clock. The worldwide aspect of this system allows us to deliver more complex products to a wider audience." (source: Risk Management, June 3, 1996 and Bank Systems+Technology October 1997)
Since the merge of Chase Manhattan and JP Morgan, J.P. Morgan Chase continues to use ACBS®.
Scotia Bank in Toronto, Canada (the world's 10th largest syndicated loan servicing agent), has recently implemented ACBS®. Stuart Harvey, senior manager Scotia Bank, comments " The syndicated loan structures are complex because they have different pricing options, repayment schedules, fee structures, borrowing instructions and other issues that depend on the currency used and the situation. To manage this, we must receive and process information in real time. The management information system must be strong to handle product accounting and support for all demands." (Source: Risk Technology Weekly, November 2, 1998).
CoBank, Englewood, Colorado (assets 18.5 billion) uses ACBS® for their growing syndicated portfolio of structured agriculture, rural utility and foreign trade loans. CoBank used separate accounting systems for its domestic and international loan portfolio, both of which had grown into makeshift systems overtime. CoBank converted both systems to ACBS® in 1996. Mike Luby, Senior Vice President of operations, comments on the conversion "Converting any loan system, whether you've got 1,00 or 100,000 accounts, has the same complexity. We were able to convert to ACBS® in about nine months' time, which is very rapid. We've been in production since July first and we've had no system problems at all." (Source: Bank Systems + Technology, December 1996).
Company and System Information
- ACBS has its head quarters in San Diego, California, with branch offices in London (European Headquarters), New York, Denver and Jamaica. ACBS, previously called Advanced Information Resources (AIR), has shown remarkable growth since signing its first banking customer in 1993. ACBS commercial lending clients arrange nearly half of the world's syndicated loans.
- For more information visit: www.acbs.com
- The ACBS® product suite is comprised of the following product modules:
- Deal & Loan Origination
- Deal & Loan Servicing
- Primary Sales & Syndication
- Secondary Sales & Trading
- ACBS DataMart
- ACBS® was developed with LANSA for iSeries. High GUI modules are developed with Visual LANSA and LANSA Open. The user can deploy ACBS in iSeries or Windows environments. Several Canadian customers make full use of LANSA's multi-lingual facilities.
- Fidelity Information Services (Fidelity), a division of Fidelity National Financial with total revenues of $5.1 billion (2002), has customers in more than 50 countries and territories. Fidelity provides information processing management, outsourcing services, professional consulting services and application software to the financial services and mortgage industries.
- For more information visit www.fidelityinfoservices.com