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Shaping the future of finance


The Finanser’s Week: 28th February – 6th March 2011

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Our biggest stories of the week are ...

Survey: are payments infrastructures fit for purpose?

We've had a lot of dialogue about interoperability and the difficulties of getting all the pipes and plumbing of payments to work together. The real question is whether payments processors are meeting the challenges of the world of 2011?   To find out, we are launching a survey to see what readers think of SWIFT, EBA, Fedwire and other clearing systems.  To join in, click:

SEPA, ISO20022, Interoperability and more ...

I was involved in a tweminar yesterday organised by Karen Hsu of Informatica, and in conversation with Nancy Atkinson of Aite Group. This conversation was all about payments and specifically SEPA, ISO20022, interoperability and more, which should prove quite interesting for those who like everything payments focused.

UK Bank debt

I just met Josh Ryan-Collins, a thoughtful chap who works with the New Economics Foundation. Josh shared this chart with me which shows the state of UK bank debt, and it’s pretty frightening stuff.

The Jolly Banker

Originally a song by Woody Guthrie, this cover version by Wilco is darned good ... and the lyrics are pretty interesting too.

Banking on Angry Birds

Ever since I got my iPhone, I’ve been hopelessly devoted to Angry Birds, along with about 75 million other people. 75 million! That’s 75 million playing a game on their smartphone. That’s more than the whole population of Britain all playing Angry Birds. So what's that got to do with banking?

Which came first: the Chicken or the Egg?

Yesterday I joined the excellent Digital Money Forum run by FSClub speaker and friend Dave Birch. Halfway through the meeting, someone asked the question: "Does currency shape societies or do societies shape currencies?" It's a classic chicken and egg question. So what's the answer?

Competition: do you know what it is?

Sure we know what competition is. Competition is when someone threatens to take your business away from you. So how does competition work in banking? I’ve blogged sometimes that it doesn’t, but there is competition in banking.


The major general news stories of the week include ...

Money trail – BBC

The UK's probe into Gaddafi's wealth has only just started

Credit card borrower 'tortured' - BBC

The MBNA bank has been accused by a judge of "torturing" a customer with repeated phone calls demanding he repay his credit card.

Lloyds Banking Group launches strategic review - The Telegraph

Lloyds Banking Group's new chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has launched a strategic review at the state-backed bank and accelerated the forced sale of 600 of its UK branches.

Fake money - BBC

Why can't the banks eliminate fraud?

Rising to the top at McKinsey - Financial Times

Until civil insider trading charges were filed against Rajat Gupta, he was regarded as one of the great success stories at McKinsey, the elite management consultancy

Cell Me the Money: Unlocking the Value in the Mobile Payment Ecosystem - Payments News

A new Deloitte Research study, Cell me the money: Unlocking the value in the mobile payment ecosystem, examines the challenges and benefits of mobile commerce in the United States. The report is based on a survey of senior executives from the mobile payment value chain. Survey results shed light on

ETFs face clampdown if risks are not spelt out, warns FSA - The Telegraph

The FSA has warned it could stamp down on the proliferation of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) if more is not done to inform consumers of the risks of investing in them.

'Old' is the new thing in banking for the UK boss of Sweden's Handelsbanken - The Telegraph

Anders Bouvin is not your average bank boss. For a start, the UK chief executive of Sweden's Handelsbanken does not take a bonus. Ever.

Stephen Hester's RBS repair job is showing results - The Telegraph

A much worse than expected result from its Irish bank knocked the shine off Royal Bank of Scotland's results on Thursday and disappointed the stock market. However, taxpayers, the company's main owners, should be happy enough.

The unseen hand of Antonio Horta-Osorio is already changing Lloyds - The Telegraph

The expectation is that come the Lloyds half-year results this summer, Lloyds' new chief executive will be ready to serve up some tough medicine for the bank.


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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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