Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 22nd February to 28th February 2010

The Finanser’s Week: 22nd February to 28th February 2010

The biggest news stories of the week include …


And our biggest stories of the week are …

First Direct's Twitter Sex Hack Attack

HSBC's First Direct have been applauded for their early ventures into social media and are active users of Facebook, Twitter et al.  Unfortunately, they were caught out this week by a hacker who sent out a very first direct message in their name, offering their followers 'better sex'.

Over the past year, most of the banks I deal with have dropped the word
‘innovation’ from their mantra.  Now the Heads of Innovation have all gone and Innovation is at the
bottom of the banks ‘to-do’ lists … in other words, the
Heads have become Bottoms.  Why is innovation in banking so difficult?

Innovations and snails

According to Fast Company, only one of the Top 10 financial
websites of the world comes from a traditional bank.  That bank is Itaú
Unibancoe in Brazil.  Well done Itaú Unibancoe … what happened to the rest of you?  Oh yes, banks don't innovate.  Mind you, plenty of innovation from outside banks and my favourite
upstart of the year has to be BPAY in Australia.

What comes next in Mobile Banking?

next meeting of the Financial Services Club (England) will focus upon a
around the question "What comes next in Mobile Banking?" with a great panel comprising:

  • Tim Murdoch, Founder & CEO
    of iCeni Mobile and co-creator of M-PESA
  • Michael Salmony, Board
    Member of Equens and the EPC 
  • Nick Ogden – Chairman and Chief Executive of Voice Commerce
  • Michael Davison, Senior Managing
    Consultant, IBM Global Business Services


We also wrote a series of three articles related to the credit crisis, bonuses and the regulatory and bank responses …

aren’t charities, so why do we treat them that way?

Banks aren’t charities and yet the non-stop bleating about
bonuses and interest rates would make you think they should be run as
though they were not-for-profits.  But banks aren't
not-for-profit.  They are there to make money, not to exist for the
public good.  Unfortunately during the past two years, the line between
public and
private has blurred, and now the media and taxpayer think they have a
say in every banks' bonus scheme and interest rate setting policy.

I’m fed up with the argument about bonuses and cannot believe it
still rumbles on after a year of debate and G20 meetings. With Barclays
announcing record profits last week, and therefore increased bonuses,
the media latched onto this angle more than the fact that Barclays, UBS,
Goldman Sachs and others demonstrates reviving markets and a recovered
financial sector.  Sure, bonuses are irritating so here’s my suggestion as to how it
could be resolved.

It seems that I’m having a long whinge and rant all week, but
I’m trying not to.  What I’m really trying to do is to
get some answers to this crisis of confidence in the banks and,
consequently, the banking system. This is nothing to do with the credit
crisis, but the response of the banks to the credit crisis, which is to
trash all trust and confidence in their ethics and approach.  What the industry really needs to do is to talk with one voice, not a


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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, TheFinanser.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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