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The Finanser’s Week: 27th January – 2nd February 2014

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Our biggest stories of the past week are ...

Data is at the heart of everything today, especially cyberattacks

Another dimension of discussion at the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery conference was the whole area of hacktivism and cyberattacks.  We all know that the cybercriminals are organising cybergangs of cyberteenagers to cyberattack the cyberbanks (ed: isn’t that too many cybers for a Friday morning?).  This was illustrated well by the figures I gave yesterday of over 300,000 attacks a day and 7 seriously dangerous attacks a month.  By serious, we mean ones that could bring down the bank.  But then another tweak of nuance came out of this.  The data.

Banks' legacy liability is resolved by the cloud

So I just finished presenting at a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery conference.  Not my strongest subject although, after years of battering my liver with alcohol, I am pretty adept at Disaster Recovery. Anyways, not knowing much about the subject, I just called the presentation Life’s a Glitch, as there appear to be so many of those darned glitches out there right now.

SEPA migration started to rock and roll in December

I received a press release last week from the Eur0pean Central Bank that shows new statistics for the migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which gathered pace strongly in December 2013.  According to the latest figures provided by national central banks, 74% of credit transfers in the euro area were already SEPA-compliant at the end of December (from 64% in November).

Who's who on a banknote: Jane Austen versus George Best

For us Brits, we pride ourselves on having famous figures from history on our bank notes. Some are more historical than others, and some are even still alive so, if you're interested, here's how the nations of Britain celebrate their heroes through their bank notes.

Siri once worked for a Bank!

I was mulling around the internet this week, and stumbled across this video of Susan Bennett talking about how she provides voice services for technology companies as a voice actor.  What she didn’t realise, until a friend told her, is that one her recent acting jobs had landed her the job of Siri on the iPhone.

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..

A final note on KYC: it's getting serious

OK, I’m going to cheat now and finish all the KYC chat by reproducing a couple of articles that spring boarded from the event.  First, Elliott Holley recorded the BAFT-IFSA session for Banking Technology.  Here’s what he wrote: “Unbanked banks” suffer from tougher KYC rules.


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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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