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The Finanser’s Week: 17th August 2020 – 23rd August 2020

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This week focused upon the challenges for challengers:

[Monzo + Starling + Revolut] – Pandemic = The End?

Over the past week or two, the neobank and challenger bank sector has been issuing financial reports. If you haven’t noticed: WHERE WERE YOU? Monzo got a particular hammering for warning that the coronavirus pandemic could impact the company as a going concern. Some argue …

Forget about Monzo and Starling, what about Metro Bank, Tandem, Tide, OakNorth and all the other challengers?

Someone asked me about the other challenger and neobanks after yesterday’s blog. I guess we focus upon Monzo, Starling and Revolut, because they are the front-runners. But there’s also Aldermore, Atom, Tide, Tandem, Lintel, Metro, Monese, OakNorth, Zopa and more. Well, I don’t have enough …

Are challenger banks doing anything different?

After the last two blogs, various comments highlight other questions, with the commonest one being: will any of these new banks make a profit? The answer to that is yes. Some already are, such as Shawbrook, OakNorth, Aldermore … the ones you hear less about. …

What’s the difference between challenger banks 2020 and challenger banks 2000?

Carl Howard asked me to look at the challenger and neobanks we discuss today and those of twenty years ago … Have you ever done a piece comparing Smile, IF and FD with latest challenger banks. The cynic (cynic moi?) in me feels intuitively there’s …

Challenging: Why BaaS, Open Banking, APIs is all a confusion

I saw an article the other day: Top 10 startups offering ‘banking as a service’ in Europe by Silicon Canals. It’s an interesting article that completely misunderstands what Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is, as most of the firms listed are companies offering just an API or a …


Oh, and just for fun ...

The FinTech Karaoke Challenge: Islands in the Stream, with Barb MacLean

This week’s challenge was created by various tweets between myself and Barb MacLean. She offered to duet with me but, considering I’m here in Poland she’s in Canada, that could be difficult. Anyways, the song we picked was Island in the Stream or, as it …


And the main news headlines are ….

These banks will raise overdraft charges to nearly 40% next week - Daily Express
OVERDRAFT charging rules have been updated and adapted several times over the past year or so. In June 2019, the FCA made the "biggest shake-up" to the overdraft market for a generation and banks were forced to adapt and make changes of their own.

Sajid Javid: Why has the ex-chancellor been allowed to work for JP Morgan? - BBC
The ex-chancellor has taken a job with the US bank, six months after resigning from government.

Bank of England to consider digital currency in key meeting - Verdict
The Bank of England will consider the potential of a digital currency in a key meeting of central banks being held tomorrow.

Monzo tops latest official banking league table - Money Savings Expert
Monzo has topped the latest official banking service league table, narrowly beating Starling Bank, while Tesco Bank took the wooden spoon.

Former Chancellor Javid returns to JP Morgan - BBC
Sajid Javid quit as chancellor in February after refusing to sack his advisers.

Banks step up plans to close branches and cut jobs - The Telegraph
A major shift online and declining use of cash threaten to deal another hit to the high street

Best and worst banks - based on service, satisfaction and overdrafts - The Mirror
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has named and shamed the best - and worst - banks and building societies for customer service, overdrafts and online services

Citigroup sues hedge fund after mistakenly wiring $175m - Financial Times
Brigade Capital accused of keeping money sent in error and threatening ‘trust in the banking system’

EU warns City it faces longer wait for market access after Brexit - Financial Times
Financial services chief says changes to Brussels regulations will delay process of awarding equivalence

Making billions v making ends meet: how the pandemic has split the US economy in two - Guardian
US billionaires’ wealth is soaring while millions remain unemployed, creating a country with two economies and increased inequality It’s only a hundred miles from Manhattan to East Hampton but as the city swelters the Long Island town can seem a world away. Cool Atlantic breezes take the heat off long


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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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