OCC launches an extranet site for national banks

OCC launches an extranet site for national banks

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

Technology has driven change in business processes at the Treasury Department's Comptroller of Currency.

National Banknet, an extranet initiative of the Information Services Office, lets national banks run comparison reports against their peer institutions online with information that was only available on paper before.

'The techies came to us because they had the technology available,' said Cheryl F. Davis, director of the Supervisory Data Division. 'The data was here, we had to kick it up a notch.'

National Banknet focuses on three major capabilities: electronic communications, business application and analytical tools, and data exchange, said Charles Wright, OCC Information Services Division director.

The OCC Information Services Division and Network Services Division began developing the site late last March, teaming up with the Supervisory Data Division to develop the first application.

OCC launched a pilot in June with 12 participants.

The participants asked OCC to incorporate additional data elements on the report and allow downloading onto spreadsheets. The banks also requested that institutions be compiled into peer groups'such as credit card and agriculture.

Make it simple

The participants also asked for a user-friendly interface with step-by-step instructions.

After incorporating this information, OCC introduced National Banknet, with its first application'Comparative Analysis Reporting'in October at the American Bankers Association conference in Phoenix.

Comparative Analysis Reporting lets bankers, who had been receiving paper quarterly reports from OCC examiners, run reports themselves at any time, Wright said.

'Right now the banks can compare to see, 'What am I doing different? Why are my costs so high?'' said Mark Ziska, senior computer specialist and Banknet project manager.

'Currently it is a one-way interface, but we will make it more interactive in the future,' he said.

OCC will add a Web portal to give bankers customized institutional information, Ziska said.

The site now serves 587 national banks, representing more than 2,000 users connected through a T1 line.

National Banknet operates on a pair of Compaq ProLiant servers running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, hosting Microsoft's Internet Information Server for Hypertext Markup Language and Active Server Page content.

Information on the site is maintained in a Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database management system.

A SunSoft Solaris firewall manages site security and Secure Sockets Layer encryption for transmissions of private information. OCC computer security officials respond within 24 hours to provide site access requests, using Microsoft's Site Server for customer authentication.

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