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IT Department Responsible for 36 percent of BCPs trends & highlights; Gomez Advisors Ranks Brokerage Web Sites; Direct-Access Usage Will Increase to 35 percent of U.S.-Equity Trading.

IT Department Responsible for 36 percent of BCPs trends & highlights
The typical organization has had a business-continuity program in place for less than five years, falls under the IT department, has less than 10 employees responsible for planning, operates on an annual budget of less than $100,000, and reports to a vice president, according to a recent study conducted by Strohl Systems. When asked which department was ultimately responsible for planning, 36 percent responded the IT department, 18 percent indicated that they have an internal BCP department, 11 percent said risk management, 8 percent said security, and almost 6 percent said financial. Twenty percent of the participants said "other" departments.


Gomez Advisors Ranks Brokerage Web Sites
Below is a ranking of full-service-brokerage Web sites by Gomez Advisors. This ranking is based on the following criteria: ease of use, customer confidence, on-site resources, relationship services and overall cost. For more information visit: www.gomez.com

Top Internet Sites
for Q1 2002

1. Merrill Lynch Online
2. UBS PaineWebber
3. Salomon Smith Barney
4. Prudential Financial
5. Morgan Stanley
6. Wells Fargo Investments
7. Piper Jaffray
8. DB Alex Brown
9. Legg Mason
10. McDonald Investments


Direct-Access Usage Will Increase to 35 percent of U.S.-Equity Trading
By 2005, direct-access platforms will execute almost 500 billion shares annually, representing more than 35 percent of the total U.S.-equity marketplace, according to a recent Celent Communications report. Volume is expected to rise as a result of increased usage among institutions and continued market fragmentation. According to Fritz McCormick, Celent analyst, "Direct access allows a trader to bring together market data into one book and execute upon that data, amalgamating liquidity and providing for best execution. The value of such a system for both retail and institutional traders is apparent; it enables greater efficiency and reduced trading costs. This functionality, combined with increasing market fragmentation, will help technology continue to grow in usage."

For an excerpt of the report, visit: www.wallstreetandtech.com/story/WST20020517S0001 or go to celent.com


The Next Phase of AML Regs
The Department of Treasury in July mandated the following second set of anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing regulations under the USA Patriot Act.

-Mandatory Suspicious-Activity Reporting to broker/dealers

-Adoption of due diligence procedures for correspondent accounts and private-banking accounts for non-U.S. persons

-Completion of the Patriot Act Communications System (PACS), a highly secure network created by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, heralding unprecedented collaboration between financial institutions and the federal government in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.

"The PACS network will be used to receive Currency Transaction Reports and Suspicious Activity Reports and will eventually be used to send alerts and other information regarding suspicious activity," notes Don Temple, industry expert, Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act, Mantas. This online system is expected to provide law enforcement with documented suspicious activity in an efficient and timely manner. Using the PACS network is not mandatory.

For more information on what financial institutions need to do to comply with the USA Patriot Act visit: www.wallstreetandtech.com/story/inDepth/WST20020610S0006

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