Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 17th January – 23rd January 2011

The Finanser’s Week: 17th January – 23rd January 2011

Our biggest stories of the week are …

Yes, Prime Minister: the Northern Rock Episode

This week saw the first discussions of a possible sale of Northern Rock back into the private sector. The question is: who would buy Northern Rock? To find out, I listened in to this episode of “Yes, Prime Minister”, as David Cameron debates the merits of a sale with his Permanent Parliamentary Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell.

Forget privacy, I want prizes

I've been having an interesting dialogue with Jacques Bayens re information usage versus privacy and intrusion after my blog about information as a competitive weapon. The gist of Jacques point is that there should be limitations on data usage, as a bank pushing loan drugs to thirsty gamblers outside casinos is not a pleasant picture. But it’s one that I think we live with, and will become even more pervasive over time.

Is service irrelevant in banking?

We work in a zero fault tolerance industry. The latest example of zero fault tolerance is Bank of America, whose website went down over the weekend. For a major bank website to go down for even part of a busy workday is bad. For that website to be Bank of America’s, used by 29 million people, was headline news. But does such an incident affect customer loyalty? Not at all.

How to avoid bonus issues and taxes

I usually ignore press releases that land in my inbox as most are not relevant for the blog … but this one intrigued me:“BANKING SALARIES ON THE UP AS BONUS POOLS LOOK SET TO SHRINK” …

Monthly MiFID Monitor, December 2010

We are pleased to provide our ninth month of monitoring the MTF performances in European Equities trading, in partnership with Thomson Reuters Equity Market Share Reporter (EMSR).


The major general news stories of the week include …

Swiss bank UBS changes much-mocked dress code – The Telegraph

Swiss bank UBS AG is revising its dress code after getting mocked for suggesting employees wear skin-coloured underwear and avoid garlic breath.

Wikileaks given Swiss bank data – BBC

A former Swiss banker hands over data to Wikileaks that he says contains offshore account details of 2,000 prominent people.

Swiss banker found guilty after leaks – BBC

A former Swiss banker who said he gave Wikileaks details of rich tax evaders has been found guilty of breaching Switzerland's strict bank secrecy laws.

The FSA's 10 biggest fines – The Telegraph

Banks dominate the list of biggest fines handed out by the City regulator, the Financial Services Authority.

Female bankers win over Treasury Select Committee in bonus probe – The Telegraph

Last week the combative Committee collectively tore strips off Barclays' Bob Diamond. But faced by the women, its barred fangs were reduced to a goofy grin.

Goldman’s US clients to miss Facebook share sale – The Independent

Goldman Sachs has told its US clients that they will not, after all, be able to buy a piece of Facebook, as its $1.5bn fundraising plan for the social networking company turned from a controversy into a major embarrassment.

Irish lenders besiege central bank for emergency loans – The Telegraph

Irish banks are running out of collateral they can use to borrow from the European Central Bank, turning instead to their own central bank on an unprecedented scale.

Credit card borrowing in freefall – The Independent

The British passion for plastic has cooled with credit card borrowing falling to £97bn – its lowest level since 2005 – and the number of cards falling by 1.5million to a seven-year low of 60 million.

Visa data show debit card growth in the UK – Financial Times

The card processor says consumers used Visa cards for £1 in every £4 spent last year, with transactions carried out with its debit cards rising 45% to £251bn in Britain

Mobile Payment Debuts Nationally at Starbucks – Payments News

Starbucks has announced that it now accepts mobile payments in all US company-operated stores. Building on the earlier introduction of Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone and iPod touch and a successful mobile payment test program, customers now have access to the largest mobile payment program in


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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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