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The Finanser’s Week: 24th February – 2nd March 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are ... 

A banking system designed for a USB stick

I often wonder if I’m actually telling the truth when I have a go at banks for being slow to change and poor with technology.   They can’t be that bad can they?  But then I meet a banker who tells me I’m spot on, and that they’re just as fed up with the state of the bank’s technology as I am.

If you think 'rip out and replace our systems' is naive … think again

Building on yesterday’s theme, one that I cover often, I was accused of being naïve when I say that banks should rip out and replace old infrastructures.  They tell me that you would not do that with historic houses.  You just refresh and renew room by room, on an evolutionary basis.  But the metaphor does not work.

Digital identities demand a digital infrastructure

Having talked about RBS yesterday, I’m just returning to my other theme of the week: rip out and replace.  I guess it’s interesting that it is a complex situation as I was sitting yesterday talking about KYC, Know Your Client, once more and argued that for a digital age we need digital identities.   This is a way off if you look at the state of KYC.

Why you might love Goldman Sachs

It’s over five years since the Global Financial Crisis (GFI) began, and the regulators woke up to the fact that a small number of banks had become Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs).  Ever since, the powers that be have been working to prune, reshape and restore confidence in the system and yet, as the years go by, maybe the system is sorting itself out naturally.  You only have to look at the SIFIs to see how they are reshaping themselves.

The state of RBS: a ghost of banking past

Just been reviewing the results of Royal Bank of Scotland and, unsurprisingly, it’s the ghost of banking past.  Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has reported its sixth annual loss since it was rescued by the UK government in 2008.  The bank's pre-tax loss for 2013 was £8.2 billion  (£5.28 billion in 2012).  

The Financial Services Club Agenda 2014

It's been a manic season of Financial Services Club meetings now that we are in eight cities – Bratislava, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Oslo, Stockholm, Vienna and Warsaw – and it does not look like changing soon so, in the spirit of sharing, here's the headline events for the Club over the next four months:


The major general news stories of the past week include …  

Standard Life quit plan sparks row- BBC

Standard Life's announcement that it may move operations outside Scotland in the event of independence sparks a political row.

Peer-to-peer lending: Banking without banks- Economist

SAVERS have never had a worse deal but for most borrowers, credit is scarce and costly. That seeming paradox attracts new businesses free of the bad balance sheets, high costs and dreadful reputations which burden most conventional banks.Foremost among the newcomers are peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, which match borrowers and

Hackers focus on stealing money from mobile banking- The Telegraph

Twice as many malicious programs were found to be targeting smartphones and tablets last year compared to 2012, and they are increasingly looking to steal money from bank accounts        

Foreign banks could be banned from City- The Telegraph

Bank of England sets out a series of requirements for non-EU banks wishing to do business in the UK        

'Would you prefer to do time in the US or Switzerland?' US asks Credit Suisse- The Telegraph

Credit Suisse faces the wrath of a Senate hearing over alleged attempts to conceal up to $10bn from the taxman        

Scotland: No pound, no banks is not an idle threat- The Telegraph

There is possibility independence will drive out Scotland's financial services industry        

Goldman Sachs unmasks elevator gossip mole- The Telegraph

A former Citigroup executive from Texas has been unmasked as the blogger behind the Goldman Sachs Elevator Gossip Twitter account.        

Credit Suisse helped Americans hide $10bn from taxman, government claims- The Telegraph

Operation allegedly included secret, remote-controlled lifts and bank statements hidden in Sports Illustrated magazines        

VIDEO: World's 'clumsiest bank robber' drops $20,000 stash as he tries to make escape - The Mirror

This is the moment a bank robber dropped his haul of cash as he tried to escape with his money. The suspect, named as Robert Williams, is seen on CCTV dropping the $20,000 he is alleged to have stolen from the PNC bank in Laurel, Maryland.

BBVA buys US digital bank Simple to increase online offering- Financial Times

BBVA has agreed to buy Simple, a fast-expanding digital bank in the US, in a move that highlights the growing importance of technology and the internet for the traditionally staid retail banking industry.


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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, 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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