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Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 14th December – 20th December 2009

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Xmas Party

The biggest news stories of the week include ...

US House Passes Historic Wall St. Reform Act - News Junkie Post
UK banking sector 'more stable' - BBC
Copenhagen climate summit: How banks can help to save the planet - and make a profit - The Telegraph
Darling defies bank threats on bonus tax - Financial Times
Deutsche Bank to spread UK bonus tax pain worldwide - Telegraph
FT interview transcript: Josef Ackermann (CEO, Deutsche Bank) - Financial Times
Metro Bank presents quandary for FSA - Telegraph
Citi shares dive on botched sale - Independent
Goldman Fueled AIG Gambles - Wall Street Journal
Facebook CEO Shows How Not to Use Site's Privacy Settings (NBC)

And our biggest stories of the week are ...

Sberbank's Branch of the Future

There have been many attempts to create the branch of the future (Accenture, IBM, John Ryan ... Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank, Umpqua Bank
...), and so I was intrigued to hear that Sberbank in Russia had made a
major investment in creating a flagship branch in Moscow.  I meant to drop in during my recent visit, but didn't have time, so I was pleased to catch the announcement of the branch opening this week.

3,238 days to the end of the cheque

With the news that the cheque will end its life
as a valid payments instrument in the UK on 31st October 2018, it's
worth reminding all that it's not just old people who use them.

WaMu and MPs expenses

In the UK, we've been talking for a while about the issues with our politician's expenses being blanked out.  It's so refreshing to see how America does things so differently with
the release this week of the  internal communications between
Washington Mutual's (WaMu) regulators, the Office of Thrift Supervision
(OTS), that led to the closure of WaMu.

What do bank failures look like?

With over 130 American banks closing so far this year, have you ever wondered what all of those American bank failures looked like?  Well, now you can ...

Lunch with Goldman Sachs' Chief Economist

Each year, the Evening Standard has an auction for charity.  This year it's for Kids UK, and the top City prize offer is to have lunch with Goldman Sachs' Chief Economist Jim O'Neill.

It's forty days since the introduction of the Payment Services
Directive (PSD), so there has been lots of chat about the PSD this week,
and how it’s working or not working.  Derogations and interpretations are rife, with the hottest and most
contentious issue being the fact that charges are now meant to be shared
(SHA in the SWIFT message exchange), except that many banks,
institutions and even government administrations are insisting on OUR
charging structures, where the sending bank pays all fees.

As discussed over a year ago, Vernon Hill - the creator of US cult bank
Commerce Bank - has finally got the green light to launch Britain's
first new retail bank for a long, long time: Metro Bank.  With the slogan "love your bank", it appears to be a view
that when all around you are falling apart, it's a good time to attack
and win  business.

How technology is changing our lives

In a recent speech, JP Rangaswami (Managing Director of Innovation and
Strategy at BT Design and former CIO of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein)
made some interesting commentary about technology and millennials (also
known as the Generation Y or Gen-Y, and born between 1982 and 1995).

The wonders of Google

I love Google's predictive texting, which often finishes my search
idea before I get to the end of typing. It's also quite informative
about what's on people's minds.  For example, as you start typing: "why
do bank", you get a list of the most popular things people are asking
about banks.

This year has seen dramatic innovations in mobile usage, such as those
of the Bank of America in the USA.  According to Doug Brown, SVP at Bank of America, they saw 300 percent
growth in mobile customers from 2007 to 2008 and it looks like 350
percent plus growth from 2008 through 2009. 

Spank the Banker

After the Fat Cat Cash Back internet game comes Bailout Wars, the iPhone App, and Whack-a-Banker, the Pier Game.

Should I sell my house to a banker?

The Guardian
asks readers to give advice on a dilemma each week. This week's dilemma
is: "should I sell my house to the nice people or the banker?"  I'm
fascinated by the reader's views.  Here's a selection, as well as the
question in full.

Santa's in trouble, please help

Come on, banks have been bailed out.  Car manufacturers and all sorts of others have been bailed out.  Now Santa needs help. Come on, have a heart. 

And finally ...

Xmas Party

Thanks to Private Eye

The Finanser is sponsored by Vocalink and Cisco:
For details of sponsorship email us.

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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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