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The Finanser’s Week: 21st December 2009 – 11th January 2010

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The biggest news stories of the week include ...

Y2.01K bug hits BoQ Eftpos system - Sydney Morning Herald
German bank cards hit by '2010' bug - Financial Times
Tim Geithner's NY Fed told AIG to keep quiet about $105bn paid to banks - Telegraph
Virgin plans to develop UK bank - BBC
Barclaycard and Orange unwrap contactless credit card - Silicon 
Santander To Rebrand UK Ops As Banking System Begins Makeover - Wall Street Journal
Financial Services Firms Ban Facebook
- Advanced Trading
The End of Checks in the US? - Celent

And our biggest stories of the week are ...

The Financial Services Club's First Quarter Agenda

The first quarter season of the London-based Financial Services Club has just been announced and includes discussions on SEPA, EU regulations, Innovation and the Media, and includes leading luminaries from the BBC, Payments Council, EBA, Wonga and more.

Social media and financial services

Further to previous surveys conducted by the Financial Services Club,
we are pleased to announce our first research for 2010 focused upon
Social Media in Finance.  Click here to take the survey.

Each year, I try to start the year with a few predictions of what will
happen.  Here are this year's:
* Certainty in the economy returns
* Banking markets return to normality
* Too big to fail restructures the industry
* Too big to succeed becomes a problem
* The world’s biggest banks will stop politicians over-regulating
* Asian financial markets will show their muscle
* American and European banks that faltered will stabilise

Here are five key things that
will happen this year with banking tech:
* Banks will start using cloud computing services across the board
* Real-time becomes normal
* Real-time disrupts the status quo
* Mobile services will continue to rip through banking and payments innovations
* Contactless payments will finally start to make some inroads

Back in the 1950s you had large banks (Sharks) being run around by
small banks (Jets) who were nimbler and quicker ... so the large banks
acquired them and the Sharks became Gorillas.  Now we have large banks that are strong (Sharks) running rings around
large banks that are weak (Gorillas), whilst the small banks (Jets)
still run circles around both of them. 

Five predictions: were they right?

Back in January, I made five firm predictions for banking in 2009. Those predictions were:

  1. More major European and American banks disappear
  2. There will be some spectacular failures in the BRIC economies
  3. A Global Financial Regulatory Body is formed
  4. The US will drop IFRS
  5. Solvent banks gain major market share.

So what happened?

A few incorrect predictions for 2009

After reviewing how my five predictions for 2009 did, I was fascinated to get a note from Business Week  with the ten worst predictions made for the year.

The Top Bank Ads of 2009

Various sites rate banking ads in different ways.  Here are a few of my favourites this year.

The Top Ten New Words of 2009

has been a year that has seen a lot of hate, fuelled by anger towards
banks that have taken taxpayer's bailouts and then paid big bonuses.
 It's also a year that has seen a lot of sharing, thanks to the success
of Twitter and social networks like Facebook.  So it's no wonder that the top ten new words for 2009, according to my own recollection of the year, are ...

The Top Stories of 2009

The seventh most popular word on my list for 2009 of the most commonly used new words is 'hashtag'. The
hashtag - '#' - is used to preface a word on twitter so you can show
it's really relevant to that subject, rather than loosely related to it.  What were the most popular hashtags of 2009?

Remittances and the need for financial inclusion

term ‘remittances’ is generally used to refer to foreign
workers sending money home and represents major GDP for many
countries. For example, Tonga’s remittances represent 40% of the
country’s GDP, Samoa’s is 25%, Jamaica’s is over 20% and the
Philippines 10%. This is a big market and a mature one, being radically remodelled thanks to the latest innovations in technology and communication.

M-PESA reaches 8 million people and $3.37bn

checked out Safaricom's results presentation for the first half-year
2009-2010, and found some interesting slides on M-PESA.

Zopa members' lending near £2 million a day

Just stumbled across the website Lendify - a tracking system for lending on Zopa UK, the P2P social lending service.  Here's the chart for the last 28 days ...

Apple through the years

to do with banking except that, as readers know, I am fascinated by how
technology changes our lives and particuarly our relationship with each
other and with our money.  And one of the biggest innovators has been Apple, so here's a brief review of Apple over the past three decades.

Who am I?

I’m sitting in the house.  It’s snowing and I’m wondering: "Who am I?"  It’s the New Year. Christmas is over.  And you tend to ask those big existential questions at this time of year like: What’s the meaning of life? Why am I here? Who am I?  Or I do at least.

Happy New Year from the Bank

It's Monday, January 4th 2010. It's
the first day back at work for most people in England (Scotland's still
on holidaze), and so you would imagine after everything has shut down
for almost a fortnight that it might be busy.  So you're a bank branch manager.  And what do you do?

Hank Paulson's new job ...

I've just heard that Hank Paulson, he who many blame for turning the
financial drama into a crisis, has got a new job.  Can you guess what
it is?

No wonder we're getting rid of cheques

With the announcement that the cheque is ending its existence
in 2018, I wonder whether Gordon Brown inspired this decision.  This is
because one of his cheques bounced way back in 1972, during his student


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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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