Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 15th September – 21st September 2014

The Finanser’s Week: 15th September – 21st September 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

Maybe it’s not so Simple, after all

For some time, I’ve banged on about banks must redesign for a digital core.  It’s no longer a world that can live in a batch overnight update, when real-time everything is here.  That is the huge challenge for banks: how to move from old core to new core, and how to move from a physical infrastructure to one that is digitalised.

US Digital Bank Book Launch

We are launching Digital Bank officially in the USA over the next few weeks.

  • September 23rd (Tuesday) in New York;
  • October 2nd (Thursday) in Boston; and
  • October 14th (Tuesday) in San Francisco.

If any of my American readers want to come, the official invite is below and just contact us to request attendance.

What drives banks’ investments in technology?

Another interesting debate is what drives banks’ investments in technology?  For years, it’s been cost reduction, cost avoidance, regulatory requirements for change, risk management and compliance, competitive imperatives and such like.  Not one of these talks about customer needs however.

Trust, brand and money are different things

For some years there has been a lot of discussion about which brands consumers trust for banking.  Rather than banks, protagonists assert that it’s Apple who could win, as they have the #1 brand with millennials.  Alternatively it could just as easily be a Wal*Mart, Virgin, Google or someone else.  For some years, I’ve joined in with these discussions, but I’m not going to anymore.

Who am I paying?

I received a text alert about a possible fraud last night.  The alert asked me to ring my credit card provider ASAP to verify the payment, so I did.  “Hello”, I said after entering my name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name and inside leg measurement, “you alerted me to a possible fraud”.  “Yes we did”, said the helpful person on the other end of the phone.  “Is it?”

What is a bank?

So I had a meeting the other day where we started arguing about banks and what banks really are these days.  The traditional view is that banks are those that offer deposit accounts and have a bank licence.  They are recognised by regulators as banks, and governments oversee their activities.  That view is no longer valid however, as we have a lot of other things that are like banks around.


The major general news stories of the past week include …

European court adds hundreds of millions to UK bank taxes – The Telegraph
VAT ruling means tax will be charged on services between banks' international operations in latest ruling to hit UK financial sector

Banks spend more on IT, hoping the cloud is silver-lined – Reuters
GENEVA (Reuters) – Two-thirds of banks are planning to spend more on information technology this year, the highest proportion since before the start of the financial crisis, according to an annual survey published on Wednesday.

US banks in race for Apple Pay advantage – Financial Times
Marketing staff from banks are due to meet the technology group to receive strict guidelines on how they can advertise Apple Pay to customers

Bank 'tops customer service ratings' – BBC
Online bank First Direct has topped a customer service league compiled by consumer group Which?, with Npower ranked bottom.

A tale of two financial centres – BBC
What would an independent Scotland mean for the UK's two biggest financial centres?

French bank warns: Stay away from these 20 stocks ahead of Scotland vote – The Telegraph
France’s second biggest bank has warned investors to stay away from UK equities ahead of the Scottish referendum, singling out 20 European stocks to avoid.

More bank account switching? The number has actually fallen – The Telegraph
Banks hailed the success of a new system for switching banks this week. The Payments Council, which launched the seven-day guaranteed service a year ago, said 1.1?million people had moved accounts since then, a rise of 19pc.

Can India really provide bank accounts to 1.2 billion people? – BBC
When it comes to ambition, one cannot find fault with India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His recent pledge to provide bank accounts to all of his country's 1.2 billion people – and in particular its poorest citizens – is one of the most audacious ever announced by an Indian government.

PwC partners awarded £722,000 each in highest pay-out since 2010 – The Telegraph
Profits at UK's biggest accountant increase by 3pc amid shake-up of audit market

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.


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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, the Finanser.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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