Our biggest stories of the past week are …
I was reflecting on the number of new companies starting new ventures in financial services, and wanted to quantify the numbers somehow. This cropped up because almost everywhere I go, there’s a fintech start-up or start-up challenge. Barclays has The Accelerator, SWIFT has The Start-up Challenge, Finovate highlights the hot new guys, Sberbank and Santander have funds for start-ups, BBVA challenge them all to show their capabilities and so on.
I got this report from Monitise a month ago, but only just got around to writing about it. It's stats about mobile money and, if anyone knows me well, they'll know that I like stats. So here are some numbers: 1,008 million people use Facebook mobile every month; 341 million people only use Facebook mobile; 50 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple’s App Store; $10 billion is the income Apple generated from apps in 2013; 500 million tweets are sent every day; 540 million people use Google+; $108 (UK) $96 (US) is how much Google makes out of every adult (15+) in 2013 … and a few more …
I recently chaired a dinner in Turkey. Turkey is one of the hotbeds for retail bank innovation, alongside Poland, in Europe (assuming you count Turkey as European). It was in Turkey that I first saw a strong and concerted push into contactless payments. Remember this ad for Garanti Bank …
As mentioned earlier this week, whilst in Turkey I visited with BKM, the interbank clearing system for low value payments. Owned by the largest 10 banks in Turkey, BKM opened for business in 1990 and now processes half of the transactions in the country. The other half are run on a 'as on-us' basis on the same bank card or same bank POS or ATM (there are 49 banks in Turkey, with 28 on the BKM system).
After the huge arguments between London and Brussels over bankers’ bonus levels, where the UK has argued Europe is encouraging our bankers to leave and go to Geneva, New York and Hong Kong, we have now responded by introducing levels of punishment for financial wrongdoing that far outstrips those in Geneva, New York and Hong Kong.
The major general news stories of the past week include …
This latest round of banker bonus bashing is ludicrous – The Telegraph
New rules will force banks to pay higher salaries, forcing them to make widespread redundancies in the next downturn
JPMorgan to cut tech support jobs as revenue dips: Bloomberg – Reuters
(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co , the biggest U.S. bank by assets, is slashing its technology support workforce in corporate and investment banking division following a revenue dip, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
HSBC closes some Muslims' accounts – BBC
HSBC bank writes to Finsbury Park Mosque and other Muslim individuals and organisations around the UK giving them notice their accounts will be closed.
Bank denies burlesque dancers business account because they are 'moral problem' – The Telegraph
Santander Bank refused to give dance troupe an account because of showgirls' burlesque-style costumes – a fringed bikini and stilts
City ignores Russian capacity for hardship at its peril – Financial Times
The glasnost that fostered ties between Russian and western business is expiring amid the wreckage
Is Standard Life preparing a new headquarters outside Scotland? – The Telegraph
The FTSE 100 pensions and savings giant is in talks to buy a large office development in the City of London which could be used as its headquarters if Scotland votes for independence
Mark Carney considers further action over £218m Lloyds fine for rigging fees owed for taxpayer help – The Telegraph
Lloyds agrees to pay £218m to British and American regulators manipulating the amount it owed taxpayers for financial life support during the crisis
'You are too old for a credit card', bank tells customer – The Telegraph
An 80-year-old woman with no debts and a good pension was told she was "too old" for a credit card
Trust Goldman Sachs to make a record fine look like a good result – The Telegraph
The fact remains – Goldman Sachs manages its comeuppances better than its rivals
Man 'who had been refused overdraft extension' is Tasered by armed police after bursting into bank with a homemade FLAMETHROWER – Daily Mail
A man was Tasered and arrested by police today after he allegedly burst into a bank with a makeshift flamethrower and threatened to burn it to the ground because he was refused an overdraft.