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The Finanser’s Week: 24th February 2020 – 1st March 2020

The main blog headlines are …

“I was the first knowledge worker whose job was threatened by a machine”

Really interesting interview with Garry Kasparov in Wired magazine about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the future. Garry Kasparov is perhaps the greatest chess player in history. For almost two decades after becoming world champion in 1985, he dominated the game. Then, in …

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

There’s a growing lament amongst the few, who are worried our analogue world is crumbling around them. They see the loss of bank branches, high street shops, use of cash and such like as the end of their world. They hate the idea of electric …

Purpose? We need actions, not words!

I guess my discussions of purpose-driven banking are growing. Maybe I just picked up the vibe or created it, but more and more I’m seeing bank CEO’s talking about purpose. Tom Blomfield, CEO and co-founder of Monzo, in Wired magazine: “Why do companies even exist? …

Customer and employee activism will change banking even if the banks don’t want to change

I know a few of you have spotted that I have a regular theme these days about sustainable finance, purpose-driven banking, the climate emergency and more. It’s a reflection of the world at large and how people like Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough are …

Coronavirus: what it means for trade and finance

I was quite relaxed about the coronavirus thinking it would blow over (no pun intended). Yet, as the days and weeks went by, it’s obviously a lot more serious than first thought. I first thought, Oh, it’s Wuhan. It’s not over here. It will sort …

 

And the main news headlines are …

B-Social raises £7.8m to become a fully licensed bank – Techcrunch
B-Social, the London-based fintech building what it calls a “social bank,” is announcing that it has raised a further £7.8 million in seed funding. It brings the total capital raised by B-Social to £13.25 million, as the company continues the journey to becoming a fully licensed bank. It also plans to re-brand next month to the new name “Kroo.”

BCR’s £120m handout to Metro bank has turned out to be a colossal waste – Guardian
Taxpayers will feel short-changed over the failure of a leading challenger bank to deliver improvements You’d think Banking Competition Remedies (BCR), the body in charge of dishing out £775m of subsidies to “challenger” banks, would be embarrassed. Its top pick for a handout a year ago was Metro Bank ,

Metro Bank scales back expansion plans after £131m loss – Guardian
Bank takes £27m hit to cover costs of investigation into accounting error Metro Bank is significantly scaling back expansion plans after recording a loss of more than £130m caused partly by an accounting error. Metro is also handing back nearly half of a £120m award it received last year from

Buy now, pay later ‘growing fast’ amid debt fears – BBC
A report says services such as Klarna are booming among online shoppers despite concerns for young consumers.

Gina Miller demands review of Andrew Bailey as Bank of England governor – Guardian
Campaigner says his tenure at FCA marked by ‘negligence, incompetence and indifference’ Campaigners led by Gina Miller are demanding the chancellor launch an independent review into Andrew Bailey’s appointment as Bank of England governor, saying the Financial Conduct Authority during his time as its chief executive was characterised by a

Barclays/Jes Staley: Europe’s last investment banker – Financial Times
CEO’s trademark errors seem to be ill-judged loyalty and insensitivity to criticism

British fintech Revolut hits $5.5 billion valuation after funding round – Reuters
Digital banking app Revolut has raised $500 million in a fresh funding round, confirming the British-based business as one of the world’s most valuable financial technology firms with a valuation of $5.5 billion.

Barclays set to kick off hunt for next chief executive – Financial Times
Bank preparing to appoint headhunters as it plans for life after Jes Staley

Cruel lottery as banks play blame game over push-payment fraud – The Guardian
Reforms have been brought in, but more is needed to protect the victims of scams that netted £200m in the first half of last year Elena Rossi* was quoted £2,400 by her plumber for repairs to her boiler. The bill was duly emailed and Rossi transferred the sum. Only when

JPMorgan lines up ex-regulator to lead UK digital bank – Financial Times
Clive Adamson was previously senior official at Financial Conduct Authority

 

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.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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