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The Finanser’s Week: 6th October – 12th October 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

The importance of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain to banks (and everyone)

We had a revival of the Innotribe from SIBOS on Monday, by gathering the great and the good to discuss cryptocurrencies at the Escalator, an incubator for new fintech start-ups in East London run by Barclays Bank.

HSBC's shared service centre in Poland: an interesting insight or two

So it’s been another busy week with Financial Services Club meetings in London, Edinburgh and Warsaw.  I’ll summarise each one over the next week, but will begin with our meeting in Warsaw which saw John Rendall, CEO of HSBC Polska, presenting his impressions of banking in Poland (see my blog from SIBOS for more background).

Simplification? No, let's double the complexity (from four pillars to eight)

Some of you may remember that I had a fraud alert involving Braintree a month ago.  The alert was raised by my credit card provider, after they detected a suspicious transaction for $699 via Braintree.  Luckily, as I’m a little bit in the know, I knew that Braintree is part of PayPal but, even so …

Suits or jeans, canapés or pizzas? The fintech shuffle moves on …

I had a realisation over the past two weeks of conferences.  Having attended Finovate, SIBOS, Innotribe, a Financial Services Club meeting on cryptocurrencies and several dinners with bankers, we are at an impasse.  It’s the meeting of two tribes, and the tribes do not mix well.

Walking the City of London

I just found a lovely free book that serves as a guide for walking around the City of London.  It has four sections covering insurance, banking, markets and shipping, and I can recommend this to any overseas visitors to London who are interested in what we do here.

 

The major general news stories of the past week include …

ATM hack 'gives out wads of cash' – BBC
Interpol issues a warning as a flaw in cash machines that allows criminals to quickly steal wads of cash is discovered.

More French bankers are looking for jobs in London – The Telegraph
A growing exodus from Paris has helped to boost the number of financiers vying for City roles

Norway unveils amazing art designs for new banknotes – The Telegraph
Norway's central bank has unveiled what its new banknotes will look like, including an amazing pixellated design

More must be done to help the people desperate for short-term cash – The Independent
Britain’s biggest payday lender, Wonga, has had a disastrous few days. First it announced a catastrophic 53 per cent fall in profits, mainly due to the costs involved in this summer’s fake legal letters scandal.

James Moore: Good riddance to bankers who can’t comply with reasonable requirements – The Independent
Outlook A matter of principle. At least, that’s how the impending resignations of John Trueman and Alan Thomson from HSBC’s UK bank are being cast. It seems that they are unhappy with rules being proposed by the Prudential Regulation Authority that could, in theory, result in bankers being jailed if

Exclusive: BNP asks other banks for help as dollar clearing ban nears – Reuters
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – BNP Paribas has asked at least three banks to help it clear certain energy transactions in U.S. dollars next year to make sure it can keep its energy trade finance division operating after a ban imposed for violating U.S. sanctions, sources said.

Goldman Sachs 'charmed Gadaffi-era sovereign wealth fund employees with girls and alcohol' in trip to Morocco – The Independent
Goldman Sachs took naive employees of the Gadaffi-era Libyan sovereign wealth fund on an all-expenses paid visit to Morocco where lavish entertainment included “heavy drinking and girls”, an independent lawyer testified in court today.

P2P lenders lured into treacherous seas – Financial Times
Hedge funds identify means of investing directly in debt markets

New financial chat platform could be bigger than Bloomberg – The Telegraph
More than half a million people have applied to use Symphony, which is backed by 14 financial firms

Strong growth in UK financial services – Financial Times
Sales reported close to levels last seen in 2007

 

If you like the Finanser, buy Chris Skinner's latest book: Digital Bank

 

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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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