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Looking back at 2023

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As usual at the end of the year, I look back and see what was of most interest in the blog over the last 12 months. So, here goes:


Will Silicon Valley Bank kill the FinTech industry?

“When you’re not working, what do you do to de-stress?” was the last question Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), took at an investor conference on Tuesday last week. “Cycling is my advice,” he replied. Three days later he was on his bike as his bank went into receivership.


2023 according to 11FS, IBM, McKinsey, Accenture, PwC, EY, KPMG, Deloitte and me

I just got pinged by a bunch of reports about 2023 looking forward and felt it worthwhile to share those that hit top of my desk. I guess the first one I’ll pick is from Deloitte, who cover all aspects of the main financial markets …


Stripe devalued by 75% and Klarna makes unicorn losses!

The fintech bloodbath continues as three really interesting articles came across my desk last week. The first, from Reuters, talked about the valuation of Stripe, my favourite FinTech. Why are they my favourite? Because they expanded massively from a new entrant in 2011 to a multinational unicorn in just  a few years based upon seven-lines of code.


The best challenger bank in the world?

Brazil's FinTech giant Nubank just crushed its 2Q 2023 earnings. We have never seen growth like NU's in any challenger bank. In fact, some would claim – including me – that this ten-year-old company is not only the strongest neobank in the world, but one of the best-run digital banks ever, maintaining solid profitability. Here are the key takeaways.


Netflix to launch "A Fried Bankman" starring Sam Bankman-Fried?

Sam Bankman-Fried or, as those who know him call him SBF, sat in his room, looking out of the window at the beautiful Caribbean Sea. He knew his time was up. He had asked himself many times: should I stay or should I go? But he always ended up in the same place. In his office, looking out at the Caribbean Sea. He felt the need for flight but, more importantly, he felt the need to do right. So, he stayed.


ISO 20022 ... or is it ISO 20023 ... 20024 ... 20025?

Anyone who has attended a Sibos conference or similar payments meeting will have heard the buzz about ISO 20022 for years. The idea is that this will unite the global banking industry with a new standard for all payments messages. What is ISO 20022?


Why digital transformation fails

What’s the problem? We need to be digital. What’s the solution? Let’s get a project underway. How? We will appoint a Chief Digital Officer who we can hire from a firm like Spotify or Meta and give them $500 million to make this happen. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!


#Revolut is crying because Britain doesn't love them

After Brexit, I hear and read a lot of negative things about doing business with Britain these days. The latest is Revolut complaining that Britain doesn’t like them. That’s not true. It’s more to do with Revolut cannot deliver their accounts on time (they blame the regulator for this) and cannot get the banking licence they want (they blame the regulator for this).


The Lego Bank arrives

Years ago, I talked about Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS). More than six years ago, I urged financial providers to become conductors and curators of the financial ecosystem. Now, we are in 2023, and it’s all about building what I call the Lego Bank.


Most banks will disappear (Part One)

Five years ago, Gartner published a report stating that 80 percent of financial institutions would disappear by 2030. At the time, I said this was trash forecasting. Was it?

Part Two of this discussion is also worth checking out.

I guess the past year has been one of turmoil and change. Lots of ups and downs in the fintech and cryptocurrency markets but, more importantly, in the banking markets too. Interest rates up, Credit Suisse down. 2023 is the year where most of thought, coming out of the pandemic, everything would be a bed of roses. Well, it wasn’t. Let’s hope 2024 is better and wishing you a happy holidays and a fantastic New Year.

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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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