Control over the development of the organisation of the Bank and its subsidiaries, with reference to organisational structures, size and processes, is guaranteed by the Organisation and ICT Division.

In 2011 the development of the Bank’s organisational structure continued, especially as regards the management structure and control functions, such as Compliance and Risk Management, which both saw their scope of competence expand. In addition, work was completed to rationalise the organisation of and operations entrusted to branches, optimising the organisation of work through a redistribution of activities between the branches and the head office, as well as the implementation of the IT and process structures.

As for the regulatory environment, the Bank reviewed the main regulations (Group regulations, general regulations, regulations for the Corporate Accounting Reporting Officer, etc.) as well as the most important internal procedures, in order to introduce operational changes aimed at making processes more efficient and to reveal the latent risks in the various activities, so as to introduce the appropriate mitigating controls. In this context, considerable importance was placed on mapping the core activities: eventually, this allowed the realisation of a thorough monitoring system for credit risks, establishing the best form of interaction between branches, the head office and the control functions.

In addition, outsourcing service contracts were revised and updated in order to adjust them to changes in operations; in this context, also the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the services supplied were updated.

As regards the merger with Toscana Finanza, various organisational activities were launched and completed in terms of its integration (new organisational chart with optimised structures, updating the Bank’s internal regulations, rewriting the relevant processes relating to the merged company, etc.).

As every year, the Bank updated the Policy Document on Privacy as envisaged by art. 34 of Legislative Decree 196/03 -“Code on protection of personal data”.

Banca IFIS uses an information system that includes applications supporting banking services and internet operations, as well as naturally all the applications for administrative/financial, accounting and regulatory governance. Banca IFIS’s position as a leader and its propensity to innovate make it essential not only to be able to manage established services efficiently, but also to facilitate financial and service innovation with an operational structure that matches the high standing of its customers. At an organisational level this is achieved by managing the core activities of the Bank’s business (the applications to manage factoring customers and for retail funding) in-house and outsourcing the remaining activities, where the synergies and benefits achievable are greater.

During 2011 the organisational structure of the ICT division was strengthened in order to bring it into line with developments in the business. Here below are the main business-related initiatives that took place in 2011:

  • Introduction of Oracle’s Siebel CRM system for the whole sales network. The objective is to better address the customers’ growing needs by meeting the demands of the Bank's salespeople. For this reason, the system has been integrated with the Bank’s operational applications, in particular with customer records, electronic overdraft applications, external information sources, the Central Credit Register and the banking information system.

  • Start of work on the new management information system dedicated to factoring. The release of the new application, which is planned for 2012, will allow the Bank to enhance its own specific product lines aimed at SMEs.

  • Start of work on an expert system to evaluate financial statement data and the Italian Central Credit Register. The release of this application, scheduled for the first few months of 2012, will provide the sales network with a more reliable guide for carrying out further analyses on customers, ensuring more detailed information, during the preparatory stage, and for better assessing anomalous situations when granting the credit facility. The application is also the basis for enhancing the new credit monitoring system that was put in place during 2011.

  • Start of work on the Disputes division in order to achieve greater control of internal and external activities and to better rationalise management and operating processes. The new application will be released before March 2012.

  • Changes to the Rendimax account with the introduction of some new types of products (extending the maturities, settling interest payments in quarterly arrears, developing the “LIKE” option).

  • Activation of a new Disaster Recovery site at the Fastweb data centre in Caldera, Milan.

  • Start of work on the new accounting information system, available from February 2012. It will allow the Bank to better rationalise its accounting operations, addressing also the integration of the management application for Toscana Finanza S.p.A., the company which merged with Banca IFIS on 31.12.2011.

  • As for the merger with Toscana Finanza, various initiatives aimed at integrating it within the Group were started and completed.

Finally, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery of the Bank’s management system underwent the standard architectural and applicative tests during 2011. The scope of business continuity was extended to all the Bank’s core applications. The tests were carried out in the presence of the Internal Auditing.