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The FinTech Poetry Challenge: I wandered lonely on the cloud

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There are some iconic lines in films.

And, right now, during these lockdown no travel times, it often feels like some surreal movie moment. You wake up and every day is Groundhog Day. Every day feels the same and you start to think about getting back to normal – taking a flight, going to the shops, getting a haircut, having a nice meal out, etc – and then think, nah. Sure., I know there are many out there who couldn’t care less, but I’m here and thinking: I need to avoid anything that is not absolutely necessary.

Then you ask: what is not absolutely necessary?

  • It is not necessary to go out to eat.
  • It is not necessary to travel anywhere.
  • It is not necessary to go out and buy anything.
  • It is not necessary to have my haircut.

In fact, very little is really necessary, and that’s what many of us have learned during this crisis process. What felt routine, usual and normal, was not the way things were at all. It was just us being liberal and free. When you take away all of those freedoms and say: you must avoid everyone, you realise  how unnecessary so many of those necessary things were.

Now, what’s necessary is family and the freedom to enjoy being at home without interruption. For some, this is terrible news, as home is a small flat with no garden and kids that need home schooling; for others, this is great news, as home is a place with a large garden and time to learn new skills, read and learn.

Whichever of these extremes you are, I thought I would share a poem today, rather than a karaoke. So, in my best luvvie accentation, here goes …

I wandered lonely on the cloud

That floats on high o'er software and servers,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of fintech observers;

Beside the City, beneath the governors,

Supported and encouraged by the regulators.


Working within investment terms

They shine on the ecosystem way

These fintech and start-up firms

Are building a new energy

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their ideas in a sprightly dance.


The banks beside them danced; but they

Could not keep up with their energy.

For a bank is stuck in the old way

And cannot join in their company:

That’s why Open Banking is really hard

As banks fall behind, failing the card.


For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

Banks and start-ups hit my eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances in the start-ups' hills.

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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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