Our biggest stories of the past week are ...
It’s EU elections time, and so the mad moments begin. All of the eurocrats are keen to push through their final legislative agendas and so we’ve just seen the final I’s dotted and T’s crossed for the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), the Mortgage Directive and the Savings Directive (not forgetting MiFID2 and EMIR of course).
Building on yesterday’s chat about London versus Europe, there’s more to this than initially meets the eye, as it’s also Europe versus Banks. That’s the real thing here, and it’s a political agenda rather than a market based one.
In answer to yesterday’s question about How many banks are driving blind?, it’s about 20 percent. This is because of the European stress tests of the mainstream banks. The question then is: what will happen to the weakest ones?
Last week, when delivering his announcements of Royal Bank of Scotland’s continuing losses (£42 billion worth since 2008 and £8.2 billion last year alone), Ross McEwan said that the bank is “the least trusted company in the least trusted sector”. Wrong.
I’ve written lots about USAA and First Direct as leaders in new media. Both are financial firms without branches and both are loved by their customers. The key thing that differentiates both institutions is that they recognise they exist as a remote engagement and hence truly understand the art of creating digital relationships.
The major general news stories of the past week include …
Free banking could end, says RBS boss- The Telegraph
Ross McEwan says the end of free-if-in-credit banking would lead to greater transparency about how banks funded themselves
Sir Richard Branson's banking arm will this week become the latest of Britain's high street lenders to say that it is supporting the payment of higher bonuses under new European rules.
The boss of Virgin Money has become the latest bank chief executive to declare the death of the traditional High Street branch.
One in four bank branches will disappear within five years
Who is the reclusive billionaire creator of Bitcoin?- The Telegraph
A secretive programmer called "Satoshi" invented the currency and still holds more than 4pc of all coins in existence. Who is he and what is his plan?
Claims by Newsweek to have found the man who invented the Bitcoin virtual cash system have drawn criticism and scepticism.
Crowdfunding start-up entrepreneurs are angered by new regulations that they say will take the crowd out of crowdfunding.
Investors call for protection after second Bitcoin collapse- The Independent
Bitcoin investors and entrepreneurs are calling for regulation of the digital currency after the collapse of two major platforms handling the cryptocurrency in less than a week.
A top lawyer has claimed she suffered a miscarriage due to the stress of being racially abused at ABN Amro in London.
Best and worst banks for customer service: TSB ranks last- The Telegraph
TSB, which relaunched on the High Street last year, has been named the worst bank for customer service
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