Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 20th July – 26th July 2009

The Finanser’s Week: 20th July – 26th July 2009

The biggest news stories of the week include:

Stock Traders Find Speed Pays, in Milliseconds (New York Times)
The Misery Index (the Huffington Post)
Barclays and RBS 'will need billions more in capital' (Telegraph)
Lord Myners attacks bankers’ greed and finds God (Times)
Brussels gives UK five years to fix RBS and Lloyds (Telegraph)
UK economy will only make full recovery in 2014, thinktank warns (Guardian)
Three cheers for Goldman Sachs profits and its bonuses (Telegraph)
FSA staff fear for future after Conservatives outline plans (Telegraph)
Plan to axe FSA spurs crime warning (Financial Times)

Users warn of SEPA failure


The End User Committee associations, which comprise:

  • the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT);
  • the Confederation of European Business (BUSINESSEUROPE);
  • the European Association of Crafts and SMEs (UEAPME);
  • Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC);
  • EuroCommerce, the European wholesaler and retailer organisation;
  • the European insurance and reinsurance federation (CEA);
  • the European e-commerce and Mail Order Trade Association (EMOTA); and
  • the European Federation of Magazine Publishers (FAEP),

released a report which states that: “SEPA risks failure unless corrections are made.”

"savings eBay" processes €1bn a month 

When Zopa launched, many referred to them as a kind of eBay for loans.
When Bidroute launched, it described itself as an eBay for trading even though they appear to be no longer trading themselves.
Now there's another eBay in finance: Licuro.
Licuro is an eBay for savings, and is based on the highly successful Scandinavian MyBanker system.
A system that, due the credit crisis, is processing almost €1 billion per month today. 

Britain vs Brussels: let the bank battles begin 

The European Commission draws the line with their member states, particularly the UK and Germany, over bank bailouts.
Neelie Kroes, the Commissioner responsible for EU competition, presented plans that make it clear that the banks which have received government subsidies must be subject to the usual competitive forces.
The Commission wants to ensure that bailed out banks are restructured to a competitive size within five years.
The result is huge tension between London and Brussels, as the UK government is far more concerned with keeping the economy going by protecting the banks than restructuring them for competitive forces.
Let the battle begin.

Why Europe lacks consistent regulations 

Last week, the European Commission issued a bunch of papers about the financial markets including the results of a survey on post-trade costs, a revision to bank capital and remuneration rules and more … but the most interesting document (pdf link) is probably the one that discussed the state of transposition of various directives under the Commissioner for the Internal Markets, Charlie McCreevy.

Clearing is becoming clearer … 

Having written a bunch of blogs about clearing and settlement, an interesting announcement on clarifying the standards came out today:
The Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) and the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have set up a working group to review the application of the 2004 CPSS-IOSCO Recommendations for Central Counterparties to clearing arrangements for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.

The end of the FSA 

For years, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has been lauded and applauded by Europeans and Americans as a model of supervisory structures.
After the collapse of Northern Rock and the huge liquidity risk exposures demonstrated by Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS, the institution became tarnished and is now viewed by many as a failed system.

A bit of ATM fun … 

The BBC ran a report about ATM scams the other day.
In this case, it's the scam called "scandalous bank fees if you use an ATM overseas".  But if you want to see how a real ATM scam works, then you just need to watch the Real Hustle.

Update on Deutsche Bank 'spying' scandal

After picking up on German media reports about Deutsche Bank being investigated for allegedly spying on shareholders and employees almost a month ago, the spying scandal finally hit the mainstream transatlantic media today.

The march of mobile social connectivity 

The rise and rise of social media and social networks is illustrated well by the annual report produced by media and branding firm Universal McCann.
They've been tracking social media for a while and each year produce a study of what's happening.  

Just how easy is it to hack your PC?

I've regularly added notes about hacking and malware on the net, as this is a critical component of online finance issues. Firms like Symantec and McAfee are regularly producing materials that advise in this space, although one of my favourite sources of updates is the blog written by Graham Cluley of Sophos.

Wall Street's liquid workers 

Fascinating article in Time Magazine about the anthropology of work and how Wall Street sets the tone and structure of work in the wider society.
The headline is that Wall Street workers are liquid workers.
I thought that meant that they drank a lot …

Twitter rage against YouTube

Nothing to do with banks, although it is related as licensing is a key part of banking, but Calvin Harris has just had a little Twitter rage incident.
What? Who?
Well, bearing in mind how easy it is to send that email you wish you hadn't (email is so last century), Calvin has just had a very public hissyfit.

Liquidity Management … what's all that about? 

After talking about Wall Street's liquid workers, liquidity risk, liquidity reporting and liquidity management on several occasions, we had a big debate about it in the Financial Services Club a couple of weeks ago.
The meeting was titled: "This house believes new liquid architectures will dominate strategic plans for 2010", and was chaired by PJ Di Giammarino who heads up our Capital Markets Chamber.
Panellists included Rick Weinstein, former Head of Global Structured Credit, Dresdner Kleinwort; Andrew Carter, former CRO at Zurich Financial Services and former Head of Group Operational Risk at NatWest; and Don Deloach, CEO of Aleri.

Faster payment?

The UK's Faster Payments Service is meant to allow transfers of up to £10,000 to take place within 2 hours for telephone, internet and regular payments via standing order. In fact, most banks will not let you get even near those levels, with many restricting the amount that can be paid via FPS.


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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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