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The Finanser’s Week: 29th June – 5th July 2009

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The biggest news stories of the week include:

Britain's banks are on life support, says Miles 
Probe launched after rogue trader costs City oil broker $10m 
Kroes sees Lloyds and RBS asset sales (Financial Times)
How the ECB’s fig leaf has completely withered away (Times)
Madoff given maximum
sentence - 150 years in jail
China's banks are an accident waiting to happen to every one of us  (Telegraph)
China Limits Use of ‘Virtual’ Currency
(New York Times)
It's a stretch to blame hedge funds for banks' collapse (Financial Times)

And our key stories include: 

PSD and SEPA research

In preparation for this year’s SIBOS, the Financial Services Club is
launching a major PSD and SEPA survey of payments professionals vies of
SEPA and the PSD.  The aim of the research survey is to provide an in-depth analysis,
comparison and contrast of the country-level transpositions of the PSD
and implementations of SEPA.  In order to participate in the survey, which should take you less than ten minutes, just click here. 

ATM fraud is now running at €484 million a year across Europe,
according to the European ATM Security Team (EAST).  It is no wonder
that this is the case when Russian criminals can find a way to install
simple malware on a Windows-based ATM so that it spits out all the PINs
and Card Numbers of the ATM users.

I got caught up in a debate about pay and remuneration in finance this week.   This is because Stephen Hester at RBS had his package hiked to £9.6
million if he delivers all of his targets – of which the main target
appears to be achieving a 70 pence share price as that will make UK plc
a profit of about £8 billion – whilst Citibank and others are
increasing basic remuneration and lowering bonuses to keep staff.  Now I find it interesting that folks believe pay caps, bonus cuts and
other changes – such as shareholders setting executive packages – is a
viable, appropriate or good thing to do.  It's not.

Banking in 1509 ... the same, but different

Half a century ago, Europe was in a state of flux and the Papal battles
were rife.  Rome was ruled by the Borgias, and nothing was stable or
sacred.  Then a banker appeared on the scene.  A banker who funded the Pope, Kings and Princes.  This banker became the most powerful and wealthy man in Europe ... in the world.  And, you know what?  He was just like Fred Goodwin or Richard Fuld ... with one crucial difference.

Zopa - love it or loathe it?

I’m often asked about Zopa’s business model and website Lovemoney have kindly made a video explaining what they’re all about and how they work. At the end, they ask whether you should love or loathe Zopa … you’ll have to watch the video to find out the answer to that one.

Deutsche Bank accused of 'spying'

Over the last month, Deutsche Bank has parted ways with their security chief and found themselves in deep schtook with the media and regulators.  It all began with a report in Handlesblatt on 27th May that high-level employees of the
bank were being spied upon.  This  allegedly included Hermann-Josef
Lamberti, DB board member responsible for day-to-day business and the
head of risk management Hugo Baenziger

Play on my Piano

Our esteemed but eccentric Mayor of London, Boris Johnston, recently had the bright idea of placing pianos around London to cheer up all of us credit-crunched citizens. I first encountered one outside the Gherkin last week.  It's a bit of a shame about where they've placed it, as no-one seems to want to play it.  Must be being in the City as we're all known to be miserable, sour-faced scrooges in this part of the world as demonstrated ...

For news by date, click on the dates below:


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Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, 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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