Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 29th July – 11th August 2019

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The main blog headlines are …

Eyes wide open

I sat through a soul-destroying meeting the other day. The meeting was with a C-level decision maker in a bank, and we were brainstorming. Ideas were flowing and, at the end of the ideation process, we went to see the C-level person to get his …

Banks need a purpose other than making money

I wrote a couple of recent blogs about the issue with finding good developers and attracting them to banks. The first, about the war for talent, made the statement: the main motivation of developers joining a firm is to solve interesting problems. The second, titled When …

Three Commerzbanks are worth less than One Stripe

The big news yesterday is that Klarna is now Europe’s largest FinTech unicorn, valued at $5.5 billion, and the sixth largest FinTech unicorn worldwide (discounting Ant Financial, Ping An and co). According to CB Insights, Stripe is the largest FinTech unicorn (USA, $22.5 billion), followed …

Are these FinTech unicorns worth it?

There’s a regular itch that I feel in the back of my neck. I scratch it, but it won’t go away. The itch is an alarm call really, and it’s asking whether all this FinTech investment is worth it. Last year, $111.8 billion was invested …

How does MiFID II and FinTech work?

Over a decade ago, I curated a book about MiFID – the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. I don’t blog about this much these days, as my audience is firmly in the retail and payments technology space, but I still keep close track of the …

My worst prediction ever

I was asked the other day about my worst prediction ever made. My answer may surprise some, but it was the view that intermediaries would disappear as technology takes over. I made that prediction about independent financial advisors back in the 1990s as call centres …

Change is the only constant

As banks embrace digital transformation, there is a high level of discomfort amongst bank staff around the change. First, they hear almost every day that artificial intelligence and machine learning will automate their jobs. They fear the future. They fear losing their job. How can …

Everything is open to change

It’s the holiday season, so my wife dragged me off to Disneyland with the children. It was a great experience but, halfway through, I saw this t-shirt: “It was all started by a mouse” Now it wasn’t. It was started by Walt and his brother …

There are always questions about the future

There are always questions about the future. It’s the only thing we don’t know. We don’t know what will happen in the future, so we ask lots of questions. What will happen when Amazon opens a bank? Will regulators create new rules about data sharing? …

Who governs the internet?

I have this debate often: Why governments will fail to block the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Can you have decentralised exchange without centralised control? Is the world being democratised through technology? How do governments regulate a networked world? A world without money A …


And the top news headlines this week are …

Core elements of the global banking industry are moving to India - Economist
Statistics, data management and cloud-based operations are among its strengths

Banker drowns himself in private swimming pool after becoming convinced he was going to prison - The Telegraph

Mastercard buys Nets Group’s unit for $3.2bn - Financial Times
Card network strikes its biggest deal in further effort to be ‘one-stop shop for all payments’

Sweden's Klarna becomes biggest fintech firm in Europe - Guardian
‘Shop now, pay later’ payments operator valued at $5.5bn after fresh round of investor funding Klarna, the Swedish payments company with a “shop now, pay later” model, has become the largest private fintech firm in Europe after a fresh round of investor funding increased its value to $5.5bn (£4.5bn). The

No-deal Brexit: How might it affect the EU? - BBC
The BBC's Adam Fleming explains what a no-deal Brexit might mean for the 27 EU countries.

HSBC CEO Flint leaves abruptly after only 18 months in role - Reuters
HSBC announced the shock departure of Chief Executive Officer John Flint after just 18 months in the role, saying the bank needed a change at the top to address "a challenging global environment".

Monzo urges 480,000 customers to change their pin numbers - Guardian
Digital bank says ‘bug’ meant unauthorised staff had access to numbers for six months The digital bank Monzo has urged nearly 480,000 customers to change their pins after it left banking information exposed to unauthorised staff for six months. The bank, which is now valued at £2bn, said it usually

HSBC boss John Flint resigns 'by mutual agreement' - The Guardian
Despite reporting a rise in first-half profits of 16%, the bank says change was needed to combat increasingly complex challenges HSBC chief executive John Flint has stepped down after the bank said it believed a change was needed “to meet the challenges” it faces. The bank said in a statement

HSBC chief executive out in top level reshuffle - BBC
The bank says it needs a change in leadership to tackle a "challenging global environment".

How a shadow banking crisis sent India's autos sector into a tailspin - Reuters
Sudhir Gharpure and his sales team sat chatting at a big Maruti Suzuki dealership on the outskirts of Mumbai some two hours after its doors were opened on a recent Saturday morning - not a single customer was in sight.


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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