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Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 7th April – 13th April 2014

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Our biggest stories of the past week are ...

The Age of the Password is over

I saw a great but scary presentation this week from Kamran Meer, Chief IT Security Officer at Bank Alfalah, the sixth largest bank in Pakistan.  Kamran began by asking the audience if they knew about the Stuxnet attack.  The  Stuxnet video made the point that we live in a world where cyberattacks are becoming more and more targeted …

1,4 billion people have smartphones increasing at 44% per annum (infographic)

A fantastic infographic was sent over to me today by the folks at Open Mobile Media.  The main headlines include:  banks are the most trusted mobile payment providers (43%);  half of all smartphone users expect to adopt the use of mobile wallets in the next three years;  1.4 billion people now have smartphones …

There's a big difference between KYC and KNOWING your customer

I had a really interesting conversation with @Anthemis last week. These are the guys who have co-ordinated much of the funding and investment cycles in Fidor, Moven and Simple.  “It starts with community”, said Udayan …

Bankers and regulators: do you want a Red or a Blue Pill (Matrix)?

I present all the time and talk about the forces of change for the future: Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST).  I usually skip over the Political and Economic because it’s booooring, and focus upon the Social and Technological because it’s way sexier.  Then we were having a debate the other day, and someone said: “there’s a disconnect between the regulatory and innovation agenda” …

Laughing at the banks and all the way to the bank?

Talking of a two-stream market divided between Political and Economic change and Social and Technological change, there are other undercurrents that ripple in these waters.  For example, why is it that most bank conferences are either about regulation or innovation?   Why is it that banks only ever respond to two forces of change: regulation and competition?   And yet there is something else here …


The major general news stories of the past week include ...  

'Heartbleed' computer bug threat spreads to firewalls and beyond - Reuters
BOSTON (Reuters) - Hackers could crack email systems, security firewalls and possibly mobile phones through the "Heartbleed" computer bug, according to security experts who warned on Thursday that the risks extended beyond just Internet Web servers.

Banks top customer complaints league table - The Telegraph
Biggest banks receive thousands of calls and emails a day from disgruntled consumers

First Direct boss and Metro Bank founder to launch 'digital' bank Atom - The Independent
Two pioneers of challenger banking have got together to launch what they say will be the UK’s first “truly digital” retail and business bank.

Tech firms urge password reset - BBC
Several technology companies are advising the public that they should change all their passwords after the discovery of a major security flaw.

The big one: Bob Diamond poaches Barclays banker for African project - The Independent
Barclays' former chief executive, Bob Diamond, has brazenly poached a former senior colleague to become chief executive of his new African banking venture, Atlas Mara.

'Liechtenstein bank chief shot dead' - BBC
The head of a private bank in Liechtenstein has been shot dead, Swiss media say, with police hunting a man over an apparent financial feud.

Royal Bank of Scotland breaks vow to keep banks open by axeing 44 branches - Daily Mail
Royal Bank of Scotland will go back on a promise it made to keep banks open by axeing 44 branches over the next few months.

Banks told they must renew creaky IT systems - The Independent
Britain’s banks will have to spend billions overhauling their creaking IT systems over the next few years, according to the City’s top financial watchdog.        

Dark markets may be more harmful than high-frequency trading - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fears that high-speed traders have been rigging the U.S. stock market went mainstream last week thanks to allegations in a book by financial author Michael Lewis, but there may be a more serious threat to investors: the increasing amount of trading that happens outside of exchanges.

Think only an idiot would hand their bank card and PIN number to a thief? Read on... - Daily Mail
My landline rang. It was a Sunday morning and I was surprised because I’d given the number to only three people as I tended to use my mobile phone instead.


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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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