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The Finanser’s Week: 20th January – 26th January 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

KYC, Laundering and Regulators: a Lose-Lose Situation

I chaired a meeting today about KYC: Know Your Customer.  KYC is a wonderful thing that is debated in many financial circles and is an area that I could blog about for two minutes, but I think I need to take a little longer than that.  Therefore, I’m going to write a few blogs about the subject.  Apologies if it turns you off, but it’s a pretty important area and, in order to do it justice, deserves two or three slices of thought.

Why is KYC so difficult?

I have wondered for a long time now: why does every bank do its own Know Your Client (KYC)? For a long time my technology brethren have told me they have solved KYC. They talk about shared utilities, outsourced services, digital identities and more. The solutions are out there, so why aren’t they used?

Why is KYC so difficult (part two)

It struck me as I finished writing yesterday’s blog and went about my duties, that I’d missed one important point in this KYC debate.  I’d put it down to the reluctance for banks to outsource such a critical activity.  Specifically, banks fearing the risk of non-compliance or compromise being the reason why this had to remain as an internal process.  But there is another piece that plays into this that is just as important, as it has been at the heart of what I blog and talk about all the time..

Digital Banks digitize … and think it’s done #fail

Last week, I mentioned that Digital Banks may be losing sight of the customer.  I then had another comment that spins a different angle on the debate: Digital Banks digitize … and think it’s done. This is another error in management thinking, but is fairly common with banks I deal with.

Don’t tell mum I work for a bank … she thinks I’m a pianoplayer in a whorehouse!

I was going to start this week with a serious blog post, but the ABN AMRO kickoff meeting for 2014 has caught everyone’s attention.  In fact, it’s made everyone note it so much that I’m going to dedicate today’s blog entry to it.  Why did it grab the attention of all?  Because the Chairman of the Bank, Gerrit Zalm, dressed up as a brothel owner to talk about the similarities between a whorehouse and a bank.

The major general news stories of the past week include …  

Banking rivalries: Drifting apart- Financial Times

Barclays and Deutsche are diverging in terms of global ambition and priorities. But it is through the men at the helm that the contrast is clearest

Banking rivalry: UBS and Credit Suisse Financial Times

In a special series, the Financial Times looks at three of the old banking rivalries and assesses their contrasting approaches to post-crisis banking

Why are the Mint countries special?- BBC

Which are the four 'Mint' countries and what makes them special?

2013 in charts: A creeping ascent The Economist

THE world economy continued to recover from the financial crisis in 2013, albeit wanly. Stockmarkets around the world rallied (chart 1). And companies are issuing what is likely to be a record amount of debt (chart 2), to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates. The fear of further debt crises in

JP Morgan to ban staff from instant messaging services The Telegraph

Clampdown on chats used in Libor rigging could be enforced as early as this week        

Britain's bankers to face annual checks under draft laws- Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain's senior bankers will face an annual competency check under new laws being drawn up in parliament to reform the British banking sector and protect it against future crises.

How your bank could look in five years' time- The Telegraph

A technological revolution is under way in banking, with computers lined up to replace humans in branches

How UK banks contain cyber-threats- BBC

Have cyber thieves got inside the UK's big banks?

Why IT failures are unlikely to go away- BBC

Why IT failures at large firms are unlikely to ever go away

‘Make money and you can do whatever you like’: Sacked oil trader sheds light on working practices at Glencore- The Independent

An oil trader who was sacked by the commodities giant Glencore for being late or absent more than 60 times claimed on Monday that the company permitted staff to “do what you like as long as you make money”.        


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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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