Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 2nd December – 8th December 2019

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The main blog headlines are …

Treating Customers Unfairly (#HSBC)

I’ve blogged many times that so called free banking is a fallacy.  It’s something I have blogged about for a decade, and the recurring theme is free banking should be banned by the regulator as it’s only free as long as you don’t go overdrawn. …

Banking in the 1990’s … even then, the writing was on the wall

Back in 1997, I was tasked with writing a strategy for NCR. The strategy had to review the likelihood that other industries would enter banking and what threat or opportunity this offered. I spent a long time on this and concluded that the most likely …

The Case for a Bitcoin ETF

I’ve noted that the bitcoin swings and roundabouts tend to often cycle around the hope and expectation of the US SEC giving approval to a bitcoin ETF … only to find that they never do and so it goes around. In an interesting article by …

Financing fossil fuel firms fracks our future

I’ve said on a number of occasions recently that banking and finance is at the heart of the climate crisis. Banks provide the financing for fossil fuel firms who are destroying the planet. The key numbers: Coal supplies a third of all energy worldwide, with the top coal consumers …

China’s Singles Day is five times bigger than Black Friday … and it’s all down to Cloud and AI

Regular readers of the blog know that I’m a fanboy of Alibaba and their financial firm Ant Financial which operates Alipay, the major payments system of China. On November 11, they had their Singles Day jamboree. The equivalent in China of Black Friday, some say, …


And the top news headlines this week are …

HSBC customers could see overdraft fees quadruple under new regime - The Telegraph

Metro Bank chief to step down two months after chairman - Guardian
Craig Donaldson to leave this month after steering lender through ‘challenging period’ The Metro Bank’s chief executive is to step down only two months after the departure of the longtime chairman. Craig Donaldson, who has been in the role since the lender was founded in 2009, agreed to leave at

Bank gives thumbs up to innovative payment method - Scotsman
Today sees the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) piloting an innovative payment method which only needs a customer’s fingerprint for security.

How robust is the world's financial plumbing? - BBC
The Swift system has securely transferred data for decades, but faces growing geopolitical pressure.

Britain's Best Bank Accounts - Which?
First Direct is back on top while digital challenger bank Starling has been named a Which? Recommended Provider for the first time

UK's six richest people control as much wealth as poorest 13m – study - Guardian
‘Extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks,’ says the Equality Trust The UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million, according to research into the gaping inequality in British society. Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a

How big tech is dragging us towards the next financial crash – podcast - Guardian
Like the big banks, big tech uses its lobbying muscle to avoid regulation, and thinks it should play by different rules. And like the banks, it could be about to wreak financial havoc on us all. By Rana Foroohar Continue reading...

EU chief issues Brexit warning over City of London access - Financial Times
Dombrovskis says UK could be cut out if it diverges from Brussels standards

Billionaires only, please! London vault for the ultra-rich opens - The Guardian
Exclusive safety deposit bank near Harrods angles to be world’s most expensive Welcome to the billionaires’ new piggy bank. A bank vault in a grade-II listed 120-year-old former mansion next to the Dorchester Hotel on London’s Park Lane will open for business next week. This is no ordinary bank. This

Culture of impunity: how Australia dropped the ball on policing the banks - The Guardian
The Westpac scandal highlights the problems Australian institutions have with detecting and reporting dodgy transactions Westpac’s money laundering and child exploitation crisis has rocked the bank and thrown harsh light on the behaviour of the rest of the financial services sector. It’s also raised questions about why Australia lags in

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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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