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The Finanser’s Week: 8th June – 14th June 2015

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This week's main stories are ...

Banks question Fintech disruption ... and ask the wrong question

I recently attended a conference in America, where the audience of mainly bankers could post questions to the speaker.  During the digital bank discussion, here are the questions that came in and, purely because they are fairly common in everyday dialogue, I thought I would post and answer the questions here.  Most are related to regulatory stuff – it was a banking audience – but there are also some interesting nuances.

If banks are asking the wrong question, what's the right one?

If asking what should we do about the Fintech disruption is the wrong question, what’s the right question?  I would claim it is how can we change the bank to be a Fintech platform?  A good illustration of this is HSBC and its past, present and future.

Klarna chameleon: you know something works when it's copied

I was recently talking with a few payments folks, and a hot debate began between two folks about banks having the wrong focus.  The banker disagreed, of course, but the debate went something like this:  “You make things too difficult and complex”, said the protagonist.  “We have to do that, as we are a regulated industry”, said the banker.  “No you don’t”, answered P.  “You just do this because you’ve built a complex business.  It’s nothing to do with regulation.”

The Finanser Interviews: Dave Birch, Digital Money and Identity Guru

Following our regular weekly interview, the Finanser talks this week with leading commentator on all things to do with digital money and digital identity: David G.W. Birch.  Dave is well known as one of the leading voices in the field of developments in new forms of payment and money.  

The top selling books on banking

Having written a book that features in the Amazon Bank charts regularly, I’ve noticed that my companions in those charts are interesting titles.  Apart from Brett King’s Bank 3.0, here are the others that regularly appear in the Top 100:


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

HSBC to shed 50,000 jobs in quest for higher payouts - Reuters
HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC pledged a new era of higher dividends on Tuesday, laying out plans to slash nearly one in five jobs and shrink its investment bank by a third to combat sluggish growth across its sprawling empire.

HSBC to cut up to 25,000 jobs worldwide, including 8,000 in the UK - The Independent
HSBC has said it will cut 8,000 jobs in the UK as part of 25,000 job losses worldwide as it looks to reduce costs.

HSBC has a new plan. Will it work? - The Telegraph
The bank has cut costs before, but an unexpected wave of conduct charges has thrown it off course

HSBC Q&A: The rationale behind the bank's restructuring - The Independent
Q | What has the HSBC hierarchy announced?

HSBC takes new step towards UK exit decision - The Telegraph
Bank to reveal details of review into domicile as it cuts thousands of jobs

Has HSBC already decided to leave the UK? - The Telegraph
Reading between the lines it looks like the bank is already leaning towards Asia. Is there anything that the Chancellor could say in Wednesday's Mansion House speech to change its mind?

'I want Britain to be the best place for global bank HQs' - George Osborne's Mansion House speech in full - The Telegraph
George Osborne put the financial sector at the forefront of his Mansion House speech on Wednesday night

Britain's £100bn-a-year money-laundering problem: out of 14,000 tip-offs, police acted forcefully on seven - The Independent
Britain is failing to prosecute corrupt officials and criminals laundering their money through front companies, banks and luxury houses here, because the police lack the resources and the legal processes are woefully inadequate.

Renault Group launches new bank in the UK - Money Wise
French carmaker Renault has launched a new bank in the UK – RCI Bank – promising market-beating savings rates.

Barclays banker who wrote punishing 'commandments for interns' leaves bank - The Independent
A Barclays banker who wrote a punishing list of commandments for interns titled 'Welcome to the Jungle' is leaving his job.


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


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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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