Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 23rd November – 6th December 2015

The Finanser’s Week: 23rd November – 6th December 2015

Our main stories of the past two weeks include …

110 years to save for retirement: the future of mortgages, pensions and savings

I don’t like talking about the long-term future much, as who knows anything about the long-term future?  Nevertheless, there are some things that are obvious in the long-term future based upon technological advances.

Who wants to live forever?

Building on yesterday’s blog about aging and the 150-year old humans to come, it really highlights how technology is re-inventing every part of living on Earth.  From Fintech to Science to Life Sciences, every aspect of humanity is being turned upside down.

We are the Robots …

To complete my discussion this week about the future world of longevity, and its impact on savings and investments, many of you may have missed the speech by Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England and Executive Director, Monetary Analysis and Statistics about robots replacing humans during the next few decades.

The Waterfall Effect: why blockchain is still a decade from mainstream

I’m often asked how quickly the changes I outline will take place, and my answer is between 10 and 20 years.  The building of the real-time, almost free financial network on the internet using blockchain and mobile will take about a decade at least before it becomes mainstream.  Oh, some go.  That’s a way off.  Can we talk about something happening sooner?

Banks must move to the cloud before it’s too late

There’s a lot of talk about augmented banking using artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics these days, but what does that mean in reality or, if you prefer, virtual reality?  It’s not clear, yet.  It is obvious that the developing focus upon Big Data and data analytics in financial services is a major and growing field.

Too Big To Change, Seagull Management and The Yes Team

Forget Too Big To Fail (TBTF), the real issue is that the global universal banks built between 1995 and 2015 are Too Big To Change (TBTC).  They are changing, but it’s not easy.  Think about it.  These banks have built themselves up into global powerhouses, operating in over 100 countries and offering everything from retail and commercial banking to wealth and asset management.  In reality, that means hundreds of thousands of people all working under a global megabrand that now needs to change.

A fine line for anonymity

I presented to the Financial Services Club meeting in Scotland last night and was asked an intriguing question at the end about anonymity.  What are the issues around protection of privacy and, by contrast, the requirements to protect anonymity?  If I am buying pornography, drugs or weapons online, am I doing this legally or illegally?  Buying pornography is not an issue but what if it’s paedophile pornography?  Buying drugs like Viagra may be no issue but what if it’s crack meth?  Equally, I can buy guns online in some countries without issue, but what if it’s for arming a terrorist organisation?

ToR and the Darknet: how to be anonymous

Building upon this theme of anonymity it’s worth talking for a minute about the Darknet.  It sounds like something out of Star Wars, but is all about ToR and the ability to surf without leaving a digital footprint.  This is the world of Silk Road, as detailed in the recent case study from Wired, and gives an ability to avoid the authorities.  Or does it?

Barclays on the blockchain

I blogged about the Whitechapel Think Tank last week and Simon Taylor, Vice President for Entrepreneurial Partnerships at Barclays, opened the evening with some really interesting slides about blockchain technologies and their potential in Financial Services.

Alibaba’s secret sauce

I saw a fascinating presentation by Porter Erisman, author of Alibaba’s World, last week.  Porter was involved in the early days of Alibaba, having lived in China since 1994.  As an American in China it must have been a fascinating experience, and Porter talked about how Alibaba was formed and how it differs to Amazon and other retailers.


This week’s major news headlines include …

Goldman bets on SETLcoin – Financial Times
Watchdogs bound to blench reading cryptocurrency’s patent application

Antony Jenkins ‘surprised’ at Barclays sacking – The Telegraph
The former chief executive was fired over the phone after less than three years in the top job at the bank

Why Saudi Arabia is planning the world’s tallest skyscraper when the oil price is tanking – The Independent
The Jeddah Tower is currently 26 floors tall, but when completed will stretch 3,280 feet

British banks brace for another £40bn bill for wrongdoing – The Independent
Bank of England stress tests plan for a doubling of penalties among seven top banks

VIDEO: The rise of the banking app? – BBC
The BBC’s Personal Finance correspondent Simon Gompertz looks at the rising popularity of banking by app.

Second digital-only bank is handed a UK licence – The Telegraph
Tandem Bank wants to join mobile bank pioneer Atom in launching next year

RBS and Standard Chartered singled out as BoE unveils stress test results – The Telegraph
Bank of England warns lenders they may have to set aside an extra £10bn as a capital buffer

Robots ‘will create UK jobs, not destroy them’ – The Independent
Investing in robots would create more, not fewer, jobs for the UK’s embattled manufacturing industry, according to research from Barclays.

Banks braced for verdict on tougher stress tests tonight – The Independent
Britain’s banks will tonight learn whether they have passed tough Bank of England stress tests, after the collapsed bank HBOS was told it had “less than” a 1 in 100,000 chance of failing those impo

Thousands of City firms use outdated broadband – The Independent
City firms are concerned about the lack of digital skills among their workforces


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About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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