A massive information technology overhaul being undertaken in the mainland's banking sector has opened the door for large Chinese banks to implement new integrated risk and marketing strategies. Senior executives at Experian, a specialist IT provider to the financial services industry, said growing competition and new global financial regulations were encouraging mainland banks to adopt ways to use their business intelligence data more efficiently and improve corporate decision-making. 'It is a vast, rapidly evolving marketplace that we want to be a part of,' said Roger Aubrook, president of Experian-Scorex, a unit of the larger Experian Group under British conglomerate Great Universal Stores, which provides consultancy, analytical techniques and software systems mainly to the financial services and telecoms industries. John Harker, regional director at Melbourne-based Experian Asia-Pacific, said it was moving to expand operations in the mainland ahead of the anticipated full deregulation of the Chinese banking market in 2007. 'We see the challenges in China's financial services industry to include strong competition and adopting complicated technologies in a dynamic world market.' To meet those challenges, bank IT spending in the mainland is growing at 23.9 per cent annually and will reach US$10.5 billion by 2006, according to research firm Celent Communications. A key factor for Experian's interest is that large mainland banks must comply with the New Basel Capital Accord by January 2007, which requires financial institutions worldwide to make major changes in their approach to risk management.