The Banking Industry Architecture Network e.V. (BIAN) is an independent, member owned, not-for-profit association to establish and promote a common architectural framework for enabling banking interoperability. It was established in 2008. BIAN's goal is to establish a semantic framework to identify and define IT services in the banking industry. The underlying architectural pattern originates from a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The community focuses on creating a standard semantic banking services landscape, while ensuring consistent service definitions, levels of detail and boundaries. This will enable banks to achieve a reduction of integration costs and use the advantages of a service-oriented architecture of implementing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software. Financial institutions, software vendors, and system integrators, along with technology partners, are invited to join the association and play a collaborative role with other industry leaders in defining, building and implementing next-generation banking platforms.
Absa Group Limited is one of South Africa's largest financial services organisations, serving personal, commercial and corporate customers in South Africa. The Absa Group Limited (Absa) is listed on the JSE Limited. Absa's business is conducted primarily in South Africa. In addition to this, the Group has equity holdings in banks in Mozambique and Tanzania. At 30 June 2009, the Group had 718, 2 million shares in issue and a market capitalisation of R79 billion. The Group had assets of R754, 3 billion, 11, 3 million customers and 9 211 automated teller machines. Absa is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, which holds a stake of 55,4% in the Group. Barclays is a major global financial service provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. Amalgamated Banks of South Africa Limited (Absa) was formed in 1991 through the merger of UBS Holdings, the Allied and Volkskas Groups, and certain interests of the Sage Group. In 1992 Absa acquired the entire shareholding of the Bankorp Group (which included TrustBank, Senbank and Bankfin), thereby extending its asset base even further. In 1997 the name of the holding company, Amalgamated Banks of South Africa Limited was changed to Absa Group Limited, consisting of three main operating divisions. In 1998 the United, Volkskas, Allied and TrustBank brands were consolidated into a single brand, and Absa adopted a new corporate identity. In 2004 Absa issued 73.2 million new redeemable preference shares worth R2 each to new black firm Batho Bonke, led by Mvelaphanda chair Tokyo Sexwale (currently Minister of Human Settlements), effectively giving Batho Bonke 10% of Absa's direct ownership and making Absa the first of South Africa's big four banks to sell a direct stake to a BEE consortium.