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The FinTech Karaoke Challenge: Umbrella

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Now I'm no Jay-Z and definitely a million miles from a Rihanna, but there is an old saying attributed to Mark Twain that "a banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

This persists generally as a view around the financial industry. They're very happy to take your money in the good times, but give zero support in the bad times. I first heard this years ago when dealing with the insurance industry. You pay insurance premiums for years and finally have to make a claim. What happens? They first of all tell you your claim is not valid and then charge you twice the premiums in following years because you made a claim. So much for acting in the customer's interests.

In banking, the view pervades that they are happy for you to keep your money there in the good years but then you lose your job, you can't pay your mortgage, you have bills that need postponing and they couldn't care less. You lose your house and your family, all thanks to a bank manager who cannot see the good in you in the bad times, even though they love you in the good times.


Anyway, in the spirit of such sentiment, I realised that Rihanna's Umbrella was a perfect song for the times we live in now, where many people cannot pay bills, have lost their jobs and face eviction.


Umbrella from Chris Skinner 


Uh-huh, uh-huh

Uh-huh, uh-huh

Uh-huh, uh-huh

Uh-huh, uh-huh


No clouds in my banks

Even though there’s data and apps

It’s going down like Dow Jones

And the cloud comes, thanks to COVID

We spend money in all weather, in bitcoin even better

You know the type

In anticipation for isolation, withdraw cash for every day

Jamie Dimon’s got your back

With no sunshine in sight, where you at?


You have my cash

But we’re worlds apart

Maybe in bank branches

You'll still be a star

Banker, I’m in the dark

No idea what I have

And that's when I need you there

To pay the bills I bear


When the sun shines, we shine better

You told me you’d be there forever

You said you'll always be my friend

I thought that’d be right to the end

Now that I feel I’m locked in forever

I got no job, no money left to be clever

You take away my umbrella

You take away my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh

You take away my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh

You take away my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh

You take away my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh-eh

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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