XBRL will cash in banks' paper financial filings

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has awarded Unisys Corp. a $39 million, 10-year contract to build and run a central financial data repository based on an offshoot of the Extensible Markup Language.

The new Web interface, written in Extensible Business Reporting Language, will ease the exchange of banking data, FDIC chairman Donald Powell said last month at a Council for Excellence in Government seminar in Washington.

The new system will put bank quarterly reports in a data warehouse within electronic reach of banks, regulators and the public. The Web portal and real-time reporting tool will replace the paper reports that banks now send to FDIC.

"I don't have an adjective to describe" the paper reports, Powell said. "That's how bad they are. ... XBRL is going to change all that."
Unisys officials said they plan to launch a pilot in about 13 months, then make the XBRL system fully operational within 18 months.

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