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Welcome to 2015!

Welcome to 2015!

Hello to a whole New Year and we trust you had a fantastic holiday break.

Back with a bang, we will have lots of news, predictions, forecasts and ideas to share over the next few weeks but, to start the New Year, here are a few special pieces of news.

First, we have a new season of the Financial Services Club.  Full details are at the end of this blog post but the first quarter includes a dinner with Craig Donaldson, CEO of Metro Bank, as well as a keynote speech from Mark Mullen, CEO and co-founder of Atom Bank.  A new era of banking is just around the corner.

Second, we kick off the New Year with our fourth annual payments infrastructures survey.  The third survey found some fascinating views, particularly that regulation was gradually lessening as an influence with innovation taking over.  Will this year be the same?  Join the survey to find out.

To join in the survey click here.

By participating in this year’s survey, you will not only be given a free copy of the results when they are issued in May, but you will also enter a draw for a free copy of Digital Bank.  It’s also worth noting that all survey responses are anonymous, and none of your responses will be shared publicly with attribution.

To join in the survey click here.

Third, we are partnering with Finovate once more, so you can get a 20% discount on attendance.   Just enter FSClub20 when registering.  This year’s Finovate is bigger and brighter than ever with over 70 handpicked companies taking the stage at FinovateEurope in London on February 10th and 11th, to demo their latest financial and banking technology innovations.

These companies include AdviceGames, Aire, Akamai, AlphaPoint, Avoka, Backbase, Barzahlen, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, BizEquity, C24, CashSentinel, CPB SOFTWARE, CREALOGIX, Delta Bank, ebankIT, Encap Security, eRipple, EVRY, Financial Media Solutions, Fiserv, Five Degrees, FOBISS, IDmission, Intelligent Environments, investUP, Invoice Sharing, iSignthis, Ixaris Systems, Luminous, mBank & i3D, Meniga, Mobino, MoneyHub, mydesq, Nostrum Group, Novabase Business Solutions, onlinepay.com, PhotoPay, Pirean, Quantitative Credit Research    , Quisk, Revolut, SAS Games, Sedicii, SOFORT, Strands, StreetShares.com, Taulia, Telenor Banka powered by Asseco, Temenos, Topicus, TradeRiver Finance, TransferTo, Trunomi, VIPERA, Wipro, WS Integration, Xignite, Xsolla and Yoyo.

If you want to attend remember, just put ‘FSClub20’ as a promo code when you reach the registration link.  And if you register before JANUARY 10, you save an additional 20% or £349 in total, bringing your ticket price down to just £956 for this packed two-day experience in fintech innovation, the hottest space to be right now!

Finally, as promised, here’s the outline for the Financial Services Club London’s Q1.  You can join the club or register for any events by heading over to www.fsclub.co.uk.

12th January 2015
An update on EU financial services legislation and associated initiatives
Dr. David Doyle, EU Policy Advisor on Financial Markets

David spoke at the Club a year ago, and gave an in-depth analysis of the progress of the Banking Union, MiFID2 and other matters of import.  The big news was that the European Parliament was about to change the chairs around, with Michel Barnier moving out of office and a Brit, Lord Hill, taking over the mantle.  How will this change things and are the big issues of the Liikanen report likely to be implemented under the new regime?

David is known across Europe as a leading expert on EU financial market regulation.  A former diplomat with over 20 years of service on mainland Europe and now acts as an EU Policy Advisor between Brussels, London and Paris, specialising in EU Financial Services. He is a member of the Executive Board of the joint MEP-EU industry “The Kangaroo Group” at the European Parliament, the Board of Directors of the Genesis Initiative at Westminster, and sits on the Transatlantic Business Dialogue Taskforce on Capital Markets and the Corporation of London EU Regulatory Working Group.

27th January
What is Money?
A debate at Barclays Escalator with David Birch and Vinay Gupta

Continuing our meetings at the Barclays Escalator on the subject of disruptive change and cryptocurrencies, we meet early to kick-off the year with a debate about money.  What is money?  In traditional terminology, it’s been predominantly fiat currencies issues by governments but, in the new world, bitcoin is money without government.  Can we really have money without government?  To find out, a group of advocates and protagonists for and against the new world of money have been assembled to tickle you grey cells.  These include Dave Birch, a Director of Consult Hyperion; and Vinay Gupta, author of The Future We Deserve, a new book project about collaboratively creating the future we deserve.

11th February
The new world of Regulatory Reporting
A discussion of the Financial Markets Group with Chris Pickles, Chair; John Tanner, Derivatives Reform Markets Division of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); and Chris Smith, Head of Post Trade Services with TRAX (ARM)

New regulations are coming into force across the EU, the USA and other markets, and regulators are recommending and requiring new ways of reporting.  ESMA is in the middle of a consultation on EMIR reporting; the CFTC and the FSB want to see Unique Trade Identifiers (UTIs) and Unique Product Identifiers (UPIs) for reporting; and then there are the Basel Committee's BCBS239 principles for risk reporting to take into account as well.  Regulatory Reporting is a major generator of change for investment firms in terms of their business conduct, operations and IT.  This meeting will bring together a panel of industry experts to discuss how best to address these changes.

27th February
Creating the UK’s first truly digital bank
Mark Mullen, CEO and Co-Founder, Atom Bank

Atom Bank is a new digital only bank that plans to open for business late in 2015.  The bank will be different as it doesn’t even have a call centre, or not for general customer service calls anyway.  The bank aims for everyone to be able to do everything from the comfort of their screen, whether that be mobile, laptop or even worn.  Mark Mullen is the Co-Founder of Atom Bank alongside Anthony Thomson, the man behind Metro Bank.

Mark Mullen is the new CEO of Atom Bank, and formerly headed up First Direct, another non-branch based banking organisation.  With the bank building its base in Durham and already well down stream on licences and recruitment, this evening plans to be a particularly remarkable one, as Mark provides us with his vision of the UK’s first truly digital bank launch.

10th March
Q1 dinner with Craig Donaldson, CEO of Metro Bank

When Metro Bank opened for business in 2010, it was the first new high street lender to open in the UK in a century. It declared war on the “big four” that had a stranglehold on British banking and initiated a wave of other so-called “challenger banks”.   Since then, Metro has clocked up 406,000 customer accounts and total deposits have reached £2.3bn, a 118% rise in a year. The bank has 28 stores – its word for branches – and aims to have up to 200 by 2020. 

Yet it has a long way to go if it is to loosen the grip of the big four. Lloyds, RBS, HSBC and Barclays have a combined market share of around 77pc. In comparison, the total market share of UK challenger banks including Metro, TSB and Handelsbanken, is around 2pc for both deposits and loans.  Craig Donaldson, Metro’s chief executive, says it’s a long battle but is bullish about the challenge ahead and will share his vision of how Metro Bank will move from new start up to one of the biggest banks in Britain by 2020.

As CEO of Metro Bank, Craig Donaldson is responsible for providing executive leadership to the bank’s rapidly expanding team.  He is chartered with guiding the bank’s evolution from fresh, new entrant in retail banking to trusted financial services partner to millions of UK customers.

From helping define Metro Bank’s brand values, to hiring its inaugural employees and ensuring that the bank’s staff deliver daily customer delight; Craig has been instrumental to Metro Bank from day one.   Craig has more experience in the banking industry than he can remember. His prior roles included Managing Director of retail products at RBS, as well as senior roles with Barclays and HBOS. He has a degree in management and technology from the University of Bradford.   Craig is a keen supporter of Sunderland AFC and is lucky enough to have a young family to enjoy.

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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