Banking

Firms like Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and BlackRock are picking favorites to partner with in their cloud journey. Here’s whom providers are winning over on Wall Street.

  • Financial companies, from big banks to startups, are increasingly embracing the public cloud.
  • Preferred partnerships are cropping up between these companies and the industry’s four main cloud providers.
  • Insider has a compiled a running list of key cloud partnerships announced so far.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Wall Street has finally begun to embrace the public cloud, and it’s a buyer’s market. 

The major public cloud providers — AWS, Google Cloud, IBM, and Microsoft Azure — are battling it out to win over financial institutions. This year alone has seen a wave of finance-specific business lines and offerings coming to market. 

It’s an attractive opportunity for cloud providers, as banks look to lift and shift existing applications and data to the cloud to develop new features.

The timing appears to be right, too. Bank executives are digging deeper into their tech budgets and setting their sights on the elasticity, resiliency, and faster development times that come with the public cloud.

And while financial institutions typically work with a few providers to avoid concentration risks, an increasing number are stepping forward to publicly side with one provider as a key partner.

Here’s a breakdown of key cloud partnerships across Wall Street.


The logo of Amazon Web Services (AWS) is seen during the 4th annual America Digital Latin American Congress of Business and Technology in Santiago, Chile, September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado



Reuters


Amazon Web Services

Bank of Montreal

BMO’s early June announcement selecting AWS as its “preferred, strategic cloud partner” signaled the bank’s desire to increasingly migrate to the cloud. Its US retail business BMO Harris, commercial and investment banking operations, and wealth management are among the areas making the move.

Capital One

Capital One has been at the forefront of Wall Street’s adoption of the public cloud, tapping AWS as its predominant cloud provider in 2016. In November 2020 it announced it was the first US bank to become fully-cloud enabled after shuttering the last of its physical data centers

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank CEO Bruce Van Saun told Insider the bank is pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy, using both a private cloud alongside a public cloud provider, which is principally AWS. The bank’s mobile app, data lake, Citizens Pay, and its lending-as-a-service business are all hosted on AWS. 

Klarna

In 2019, Klarna tapped AWS as its preferred cloud provider. The buy-now, pay-later firm has leveraged AWS for faster development cycles and scale, launching its direct-to-consumer platform on AWS and building architecture for smaller functions with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service.

Monzo

UK-based

neobank
Monzo currently hosts more than 1,600 smaller, core banking functions on AWS’ cloud, according to the provider, and has been built on AWS since the founding of the company.

Nubank

Brazilian challenger bank Nubank, the most valuable private neobank with more than 10 million customers, is also built on the back of AWS. Like Monzo, it’s been a partner of AWS since the company’s launch, according to the provider.

Santander

In 2018, Openbank, Santander Group’s online bank based in Madrid, announced it had migrated much of its operations — from its website and app to its core banking system — to AWS. Currently, Openbank operates in several markets across Europe and counts more than 1.5 million customers.


GettyImages 908368194



FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images


Google Cloud

CME Group

Exchange operator CME Group first tapped Google Cloud to launch a real-time market data streaming product in 2019, sending futures and options data via the cloud. CME has since broadened the scope of its data offerings through Google Cloud to include delayed data streams and JSON-formatted data as well. 

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank inked a multi-year deal with Google Cloud in December 2020. The aim is to accelerate the bank’s migration to the public cloud, starting with the unification of its retail digital applications, improving the bank’s decade-old Autobahn system where customers access the bank’s electronic services, and introducing new lending offerings. The two firms will also develop new cloud-based tools for the broader

financial services industry
.

Equifax

Although it has a multi-cloud approach, Equifax tapped Google Cloud as its lead partner for its data and analytics offerings, Bryson Koehler, CTO of Equifax, told Insider. Equifax, which pledged $1.25 billion towards tech upgrades following its 2017 security breach, plans to migrate the majority of its North American data operations to the public cloud by 2021.

GoHenry

GoHenry, the UK-based neobank geared towards children and their parents, hosts some 99% of its services on Google Cloud, according to the startup’s managed cloud provider Rackspace. 

KeyBank

KeyBank tapped Google Cloud in 2019 as an early adopter of Anthos, which helps users manage cloud infrastructure across public and private clouds, on-premise data centers, and rival clouds like AWS and Azure. In 2020, KeyBank announced it would migrate its data operations to Google Cloud from on-premise data centers.

PayPal

PayPal continues to migrate more of its workloads to Google Cloud (and plans to shutter one of its Salt Lake City data centers by the end of this year) as it pursues a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy. The move builds on a 2019 decision to move one-quarter of its traffic to Google Cloud in advance of the holiday season, PayPal CTO Sri Shivananda told Insider.

Revolut

Financial app Revolut, also based in the UK, counts more than 14 million personal customers and 500,000 business banking ones. The fintech tapped Google Cloud to run its core infrastructure (in addition to previously using Google Workspaces).

SEB

Swedish banking stalwart SEB announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud in March that will see the bank use the public cloud across retail and corporate banking. SEBx, the bank’s innovation studio, was already using Google Cloud’s SQL tools.


FILE- In this April 26, 2017, file photo, the IBM logo is displayed on the IBM building in Midtown Manhattan, in New York. IBM says it is getting out of the facial recognition business over concern about how it can be used for mass surveillance and racial profiling. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)



Associated Press


IBM

Bank of America

Bank of America and IBM’s linkage on cloud initiatives isn’t surprising given Howard Boville, the bank’s former CTO, now leads IBM’s financial services cloud practice. Boville previously led Bank of America’s development of a private cloud, which saved the bank billions of dollars. The bank helped the tech giant with the initial build out of its financial services-focused cloud, which had a wide release in April.


FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft logo is shown on the Microsoft Theatre at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake



Reuters


Microsoft Azure

BlackRock

BlackRock is eager to build Aladdin, its risk-management program, into the “language of portfolios” for the entire asset management industry. Tech partnerships have been key in reaching that goal. BlackRock teamed up with Snowflake to launch a data analysis tool in February. It also inked a strategic partnership with Azure in April 2020 to host Aladdin’s infrastructure on the public cloud. 

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley tapped Microsoft Azure as its lead public cloud partner in June, eyeing a level of scalability not possible with on-premise data centers. The firm’s aim is to co-design new applications and tools for Morgan Stanley, some of which will also be available on the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. Morgan Stanley will continue to work with other cloud providers, though.

TD Bank Group

Toronto-based TD Bank Group tapped Microsoft Azure as its strategic public cloud partner in 2019. The deal gives TD’s tech and design teams access to data and AI resources, security investments, and Microsoft’s technical engineering strength. The bank also uses Office 365 to boost productivity and collaboration internally.

UBS

Swiss banking giant UBS formed a strategic partnership with Azure in 2018. The following year UBS become an anchor partner for Microsoft in Switzerland. The bank is pursuing a hybrid-cloud approach with applications equally split across the public cloud, private cloud, and UBS’ mainframe infrastructure, according to Microsoft. The tech giant opened two cloud data centers in Zurich and Geneva in 2018.

Volt

The Australian neobank Volt announced in September 2020 that “Volt 2.0,” a

banking-as-a-service
tool for businesses, will be be built on Azure. 

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