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The Finanser’s Week: 2nd December – 8th December 2013

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

The relationship between Bitcoin and Mount Everest

We were talking about Bitcoin yesterday at the Financial Services Club Vienna, and there was a great dialogue about the difficulties of buying and then using Bitcoins. I’ll talk more about the practicalities and details of that conversation later this…

What is this thing called Bitcoin?

Some of us know the numbers. If you’d invested $1,000 in Bitcoins in summer 2011, you would be sitting on around $500,000 today. That’s because we didn’t invest $1,000 in summer 2011. Nevertheless, some of us did invest $1,000 in…

Bitcoin: all hype and bluster or a brave new world

The biggest question about Bitcoin is whether it’s really important or just a bubble that’s about to burst. Advocates would obviously claim the former and critics the latter, and both have some substance. On the advocate’s side, the economy is…

Mobile makes invisible banking visible (again)

I’ve been thinking about the new providers of bank services a lot lately.  The guys who are innovating using mobile.  The Breeze’s of this world from StanChart, the mBank’s, the Simple’s and more.  One thing that is common to all is a different view of the customer. 

What do corporates want? KYB (Know Your Bank)

Another day, another Financial Services Club meeting. This time it was the turn of Colin Tyler, CEO of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. Colin delivered a fascinating presentation around whether banks are delivering for their corporate customers’ needs. Based upon…

The major general news stories of the past week include …

An exclusive interview with the Edward Snowden of banking – Channel 4 News
It was the biggest bank heist in history, not of money or gold bullion, but something far more important – data – and it all stems back to one man, who worked in one branch of just one bank.

'Banks need to take on Amazon and Google or die', BBVA CEO – Financial Times
Some bankers and analysts think that Google, Facebook, Amazon or the like will not fully enter a highly regulated, low-margin business such as banking. I disagree. An opinion piece by Francisco González, CEO of BBVA.

NatWest and RBS Cyber Monday card glitch: Bank has under-invested in systems for 'decades' admits Ross McEwan as customers set to receive compensation – The Independent
Royal Bank of Scotland boss Ross McEwan today admitted that it had failed to invest properly in systems for decades as he apologised for the embarrassing IT failure during Cyber Monday.        

RBS IT 'glitch' leaves bank facing £1bn bill – The Telegraph
RBS will have to spend more than £1bn on upgrading its computer systems in the wake of its latest IT problems, according to analysts        

KPMG told former Co-op Bank chief to 'tone down' report on lender's financial health – The Telegraph
One of the Co-op's main auditors, KPMG, has said he told the bank's former chief executive Barry Tootell to rewrite an overly optimistic report on the troubled lender's health months before it revealed a £1.5bn capital shortfall        

IT outage leaves NatWest and RBS customers unable to use debit and credit cards on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year – The Independent
NatWest is in the throes of a desperate crisis management exercise after thousands of customers took to social media and reported having their debit and credit cards declined in shops across the country on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.        

The pre-history of the US dollar – BBC
What America used for money before the dollar

Andy Haldane: The coming man of British banking – The Independent
Never mind Mark Carney. The Bank of England's executive director of financial stability is the one to watch. For a start, he agrees with the 'Occupy' movement…

Rugby star turned super-unicorn hopeful: Monitise boss Alistair Lukies – The Telegraph
Learning that mobile phones outnumber bank accounts by three to one led a former rugby star to launch his own company        

All aboard for Europe's shrinking bank branch network – Reuters
Banks have shut about 20,000 branches across Europe in the last four years, including 5,500 last year and 7,200 in 2011, according to a Reuters analysis of European Central Bank data.


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About 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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