Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 17th February – 23rd February 2014

The Finanser’s Week: 17th February – 23rd February 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are ... 

Why governments will fail to block the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been through another turbulent time lately, peaking at a value of near $1300 per bitcoin on MTGox Japan in December, only to see this drop to under $300 today. 

What can you buy with a bitcoin?

Everyone thinks bitcoins are worth buying as they keep going up in value.  The thing is that if you think that bitcoins are an investment instrument, you would be wrong.  They are for buying things.

Will Cyprus become Bitcoin's global financial centre? An interview with Jon Matonis of the Bitcoin Foundation

Jon Matonis, Executive Director with the Bitcoin Foundation, spoke at our Polish Financial Services Club meeting last week.  It was challenging timing, as the issues with MTGox and other exchanges had just come to light. 

Digital banks support digital business

I talk a lot about how the digitisation of banking is changing the customer relationship, and this is as true for the corporate customer as the retail consumer.  Examples are appearing everywhere of real-time access to cash netting and pooling, and immediate payments across borders and continents, but there are nuances to the beat of the digital drum in the corporate world that we do not see as clearly as in the consumer space.

The re-tail wagging the wholesale dog

I talked yesterday about digital banks underpinning corporate digitisation, but corporate digitisation is being driven by consumers. That’s a radical statement in itself, with the most radical aspect being the consumerisation of technology.  That is the real change here, and this theme comes up at every conference I go to.


The major general news stories of the past week include …  

RBS to retrench in investment banking, cut 30,000 jobs: FT – Reuters
(Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to announce its withdrawal from many investment banking activities as well as much of its international business in a move that is expected to reduce staff numbers by at least 30,000 over the next three to five years, the Financial Times reported

Colorado's marijuana firms beg banks to take their cash – BBC
Elliot Klug isn't in the security business – but he may as well be. "Let's just say we have a couple of armed staff," he says. The owner of Pink House, a marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado, Mr Klug has armed his employees because he has been unable to find a bank that will accept the thousands of dollars of cash he takes in each day since recreational cannabis became legal in Colorado on 1 January.

Lloyds to domicile TSB in England as Scottish fears mount – The Telegraph
Exclusive: Lloyds is to place its 631-branch subsidiary into a new holding company registered in London        

'Inside Man Helped £1m Barclays Bank Fraud' – Sky News
Fraudsters stole more than £1m from a Barclays bank branch after fitting a remote control gadget to a worker's computer, a court has heard.

Paragon becomes second new bank in 100 years – City AM
Paragon Bank launches today after receiving a license from the authorities – the first new license since Metro Bank’s in 2010, making Paragon the second new bank in over 100 years.

Man jumps to death from JPMorgan headquarters in Hong Kong – The Independent
A man jumped to his death from the roof of JPMorgan's Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong on Tuesday.        

Small-firm lawyer takes on Wall Street and wins, twice – Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Before attorney David Wasinger decided to take on two of the biggest global banks in federal court in New York, he had visited the city just twice: once when he was 6, and the second time on a tour bus with his children.

OUTLOOK: Bullying culture in the City bears a striking resemblance to Dolphins locker room – The Independent
On the face of it big employers in the City are on a different planet to the Miami Dolphins American football teams. On the face of it.        

Iranian bank sues UK government for $4 billion over sanctions – Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – Iran's largest private bank is suing the British government for almost $4 billion in damages after the Supreme Court quashed sanctions imposed against it over alleged links to Tehran's nuclear program.

Tesco Bank celebrates an accounts milestone – The Herald
TESCO Bank has announced the opening of its seven millionth account as the company makes the final preparations for its key assault on the established high street institutions with the launch of current accounts later this year.


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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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