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The Finanser’s Week: 10th August – 16th August 2015

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Invest Northern Ireland

Our main stories this week include ...

Do you believe in Unicorns?

It’s mid-summer and quiet, but there is some interesting stuff still happening, particularly when we talk about Unicorns.  Do you believe in Unicorns?  Unicorns, in technology terms, are companies with valuations of more than $1 billion that have launched since 2000.  There are quite a few of them out there including Uber, Airbnb, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Pinterest and more.

Does anyone really think banks aren't aware of the Fintech challenge?

I find it interesting that so many bloggers on Fintech deride the banks for being slow, clueless or stupid.  So many blogs talk about how banks don’t do this, don’t do that; fail at this, fail at that; have no idea, cannot change; are stuck in the past or have their heads up their arse. 

Banks could change, but the regulator won't allow it

I mentioned yesterday that a bank CEO asked me the three things I would do if I were him.  My response was: create the dream, live the dream, deliver the dream.  A bit cheesy, but you need to read the context if you want to know more about the background to this.  He responded by saying: but what if the regulator won’t allow it.  Oh no.  Not that old chestnut.

The Finanser Interviews: Kosta Peric, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Following our regular weekly interview, the Finanser talks this week with Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition (unless you call your bank)

I just got a letter from my bank (NatWest). The fraud team wanted to ask me some questions.  I wondered why they had sent a letter, which takes a week to arrive, when they urgently needed to talk with me?  Anyway, as you can see, they want me to call them about my account and so I called.


This week’s major news headlines include … 

French are stingiest tippers in the world (and Brits are not far behind) - The Independent
French tourists have been voted the worst tippers in the world. re the worst tippers in the world and Britons are not far behind, according to a new study.

A rather disturbing benefit of having a good City job - The Independent
When Edward Drew, 25, lost his rag in a nightclub, he pushed a woman to the floor and glassed a man in the face when he tried to intervene.

China's radical steps leave the UK ticking over nicely - The Independent
The Treasury must be rather relieved by China’s dramatic action on the yuan.

China's currency devaluation sends global exporters reeling - The Independent
China has fired a powerful salvo in the global currency wars with the biggest devaluation of its currency in two decades, in an effort to shore up a spluttering economy.

Warren Raises Alarm Over Encrypted Bank Messaging System - Bloomberg
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants financial regulators to examine whether a group of banks’ new messaging system can be used to circumvent compliance.

UK’s oldest private bank C. Hoare & Co finally goes digital - Financial Times
The UK’s oldest private bank, C. Hoare & Co, is finally edging into the 21st century with the launch of contactless cards and a mobile banking app.

Japanese bank Nomura just wiped out a load of traders - Business Insider
If you remember Nomura’s results, you’ll remember that the Japanese bank’s fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) trading division, which was once doing so, so well, suddenly isn’t.

The lessons from Quindell, or how investors can save millions and sleep safely - The Telegraph
Retail investors have been badly burnt by the debacle that is Quindell, but there are some valuable lessons to be learnt

P2P ‘land grab’ draws more than 100 startups - Financial Times
City regulator has not included P2P in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Small Talk: Financial technology can rejuvenate Britain – and be a force for good - The Independent
Is it pie-eyed to think Britain’s economy could one day recapture its glory days – that our export sector might once again dominate world trade? Absolutely, if we’re talking about the kind of heavy industry where the UK once excelled – but there is another revolution going on today, and


If you like the Finanser, check out our latest book: Digital Bank


The Financial Services Club is sponsored by:

Invest Northern Ireland 

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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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