Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 29th June – 12th July 2015

The Finanser’s Week: 29th June – 12th July 2015

This main stories over the past fortnight are …

Something better change

A true story.

The year is 1990

As robo-advisors take over, how do the incumbents respond?

Yesterday I said something better change, and it is.  This blog has covered extensively how things are changing in payments, retail and commercial banking, but I haven’t covered investment banking or asset management as much.  So here's an insight sourced from yesterday's Financial Times.  

When paying is free, what then?

What happens when the cost of payments reaches zero, the speed of payments is instant, and everyone globally can make and take a payment, what happens then?

The Fintech march into investment banking

One of the readers of the Finanser saw my write-up on asset and wealth management, and asked if I could talk about what’s happening in investment banking.  Answer: yes, I can.

Watch out Fintech, the Banks are Coming!

I was upset to be unable to join the recent debate in New York on digital banking.  The debate was framed around the theme: "This House Believes Fintech Will Eat The Bankers Lunch", and I was going to oppose the motion. It ended up that I was conflicted and had to defer to a far mightier second man, Ron Shevlin. 

Is the Uber of Finance the Blockchain?

I've recently been saying that the Uber of Finance is not a company, but the Blockchain.  Many people have tweeted and asked what I mean, so here's the explanation.

How to crack anonymous: the Silk Road story

For the past two months, Wired has published a detailed account of how the FBI, DEA and other US authorities tracked and traced Ross Ulbricht, the libertarian founder and owner of the Silk Road.  It’s a fascinating story and demonstrates the libertarian versus statist stand off. 

Why it's so difficult to compete with incumbent banks

I presented at a great conference last week on how ot start a bank.  The conference featured some fine discussions of the challenges and opportunities of opening a new bank in Britain, and included a presentation from Victoria Raffé. Victoria was, until recently, the go to person for processing bank licence applications with the Financial Conduct Authority, and is now independent.

The danger for banks is not digital, but not thinking

I picked up a few amazing quotes this week.  The first was someone telling me about the payments conference they attended where one of the large UK banks (HBOS, part of Lloyds Banking Group) said that their customers were now moving to mobile only.  Apparently, in the last year, one in five of their customers have only accessed the banks’ service via mobile.  They haven’t used branch, call centres or even internet banking.  Just mobile only.

The Changing Face of Payments – Free Research Report

In the spring of 2015, the Financial Services Club ran an online survey, in collaboration with Cognizant and VocaLink, about the nature and state of the world’s largest payment processing infrastructures and whether they are fit for purpose.


The major general news stories of the past week include …   

Aiming for the net – The Economist
TEXTBOOKS say that banks make money by raising deposits relatively cheaply from savers and lending them, at a higher rate, to borrowers. The difference between the two rates is known in the trade as the “net interest margin” (NIM), and its size is an important factor in banks’ profits. But

Barclays has staged its own Shakespearean tragedy – The Independent
There has often been something of the Shakespearean tragedy about events at Barclays. The assassination of Antony Jenkins, the chief executive, looks to be firmly in that tradition, with the deputy chairman, Sir Mike Rake, having been cast in the role of Brutus.

Antony Jenkins fired: Investors cheer Barclays' shock move to get rid of chief executive – The Independent
Shares in Barclays surged after the shock sacking of chief executive Antony Jenkins just hours before the Budget, in a move worth nearly £1bn to the bank’s shareholders.

Bitcoin could destroy the global financial system, one of world’s biggest banks admits – The Independent
Bitcoin , the electronic payment system, could create a “total disruption” in the financial world that could render much of it “redundant”, according to one of the world’s biggest banks.

HSBC sacks staff over mock IS video – BBC
HSBC sacks employees who made an "abhorrent" video in which they pretended to be Islamic State militants carrying out a beheading.

Is This a Coffee Shop or a Bank? – Wall Street Journal
Some newer Capital One locations resemble cafes more than they do traditional bank branches.

Bankers sacked after filming mock IS execution of Asian worker – The Sun
SIX bankers were sacked yesterday for pretending to behead an Asian workmate in a mock IS execution — while yelling “Allahu Akbar”. The HSBC workers filmed the sick stunt while on a team-building exercise then posted it online.

UK banks in digital payment app tie-ups – Financial Times
Deals designed to retain customers as mobile systems gain ground

Greece debt crisis live: Varoufakis in shock resignation after Greeks reject EU bailout offer – The Independent
Here are the latest updates: Yanis Varoufakis resigns after being 'forced out'   Greeks say ‘No’ to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis   EU facing biggest crisis in history   Germany hits back at Greek ‘terrorism’ claims   Nigel Farage hails Greeks' choice against ‘dying’ EU project   What

Banks furious at change to deposit protection – The Telegraph
Regulators told banks to train their staff on the guarantee by last Friday – then changed the limit on the same day.


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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