Financial agencies and institutions see cloud-enabled efforts bolster U.S. housing equity

Cloud strategies at Fannie Mae, HUD and FHA illustrate how federal agencies and financial institutions can reduce risks and improve housing equity, in a new report.
(Getty Images)

In April 2020, as more than 23 million Americans suddenly faced the prospects of unemployment, officials at Fannie Mae, one of the nation’s leading sources of mortgage financing, faced a situation unlike any they had seen.

“We had no historical reference point to suggest how borrowers or mortgages might perform under conditions like that,” recalled Kimberly Johnson, Fannie Mae’s then-executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Johnson and other executives at the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) recounted in a new report, sponsored by Amazon Web Services, how various cloud initiatives underway at Fannie Mae at the time allowed analysts to move quickly to assess potential risks and to develop new tools to help homeowners that were likely to face financial hardships.

Read the full report.

Fannie Mae is one of many leading financial institutions that are leveraging the cloud to modernize their IT operations, reduce lending risks and improve institutional services, according to Olivia Peterson, a former Freddie Mac director and now head of U.S. Federal Financial Services at AWS, commenting in the report.

The report, “How Cloud-Enabled Innovation Helps Financial Institutions, Federal Agencies, and U.S. Housing Equity,” highlights how enterprise-scale cloud services helped Fannie Mae not only develop new risk models, but also created an innovative new approach to expanding access to credit for historically underserved populations.

The report also highlights how other financial institutions and federal financial agencies are using the cloud to modernize services, including:

  • The IRS, which worked with AWS to leverage a number of FedRAMP-authorized data, software and infrastructure services to improve the online experience for taxpayers, while strengthening security controls.
  • The Bureau of Fiscal Service at the Department of Treasury, which created a FedRAMP “high security” data lake to store, access and analyze data from across the department, break down data silos and build a platform to support AI and machine learning.
  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the nation’s securities industry self-regulator, which built a petabyte-scale data lake on AWS, allowing hundreds of analysts and partners to query terabytes of financial trading data daily across the U.S. securities market.
  • The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), a division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has freed up traditional IT resources using the cloud and is working to dynamically scale resources up and down based on actual needs.

“The continuing speed and impact of technology changes underway at banks, investment firms, insurers and other financial institutions are also putting enormous pressures on government monetary officials and financial regulators to keep up,” noted Peterson in the report.

While the cloud is helping GSEs and federal financial agencies like Fannie Mae and HUD keep up with escalating user demands, “it’s also helping those GSEs and agencies focus more on their primary missions — by using data in new and more powerful ways, to expand housing equity and affordability in the United States,” said Felipe Millon, senior manager, federal financials at AWS in the report.

Download the full report and learn how AWS is helping federal financial agencies and financial institutions innovate.

This article was produced by Scoop News Group for FedScoop and sponsored by AWS.

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