Friday, November 27, 2009

Remediation Plan for Canopy Financial Omnibus Custodians

The meltdown at Canopy Financial is apparently placing client financial institutions' customers at risk sooner than expected. With most of the employees laid off, there are serious questions about how much longer the servers will keep running. I myself have an account at Sovereign Bank and am monitoring the situation. For those of you at Sovereign, Wachovia, Fifth Third, or CareMark, I am liaising with ABA HSA Council members to coordinate a response.

Some alternatives to Canopy are readily apparent. Lighthouse 1 has announced its interest in helping former canopy clients. Metavante would be another choice. Both of these vendors already assume an omnibus model, just like canopy. As a public company, Metavante might better smooth anxieties after the Canopy fiasco.

The project plan for the actual transition will be more complex. A couple suggested starting points:

1. Sourcing replacement: make/assemble/buy. As a vendor and a purchase, I've used RFPs for HSA services that ran to hundreds of pages.
2. Managing customer reaction: needs quick PR pieces re: security of data, with focus on HIPAA processes and how the PHI on the system will be retained
3. Managing transition to new CIF, if possible, so as not to fracture the back office.   

If you are interested in learning more, drop me a line. I have a number of executives from the credit union, community banking, and software services industries that are collaborating on a solution.

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