Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

Welcome to The Finanser by Chris Skinner

Welcome to The Finanser by Chris Skinner. The Finanser discusses all things fintech, finance, banking, technology and, most importantly, the future. To make an enquiry about having Chris write or speak for you, here’s an illustration of his presentations … … Chris Skinner has regularly forecast the changes in finance driven by technology. He is…

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LATEST POSTS

The Finanser’s Week: 8th July – 14th July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … The CIO managing a $17 billion budget and $10 trillion of transactions PER DAY I just spotted a great article about JPMorgan’s CIO who manages a $17 billion budget (last time I looked, it was $11 billion). That sort of budget makes most fintechs look like small fry….

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Debanked? The regulator forced us to do it (sorry)

I met the bank I debanked the other day. They apologised to me, as they knew I was talking about them during my presentation, and explained: “we cannot serve our customers because of the regulators”. This made me wonder, as the reason why I debanked them is their interrogations of my dealings in cryptocurrencies. It made…

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People buying bitcoins are psychos

I was quite amazed to see an item across my desk last week with the headline: Investors in cryptocurrency are more likely to be psychopaths Seriously? The headline is based on a report of a survey, published in the journal Plos One, who canvassed over 2,000 Americans of whom 30 per cent said they owned…

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Reading

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The Finanser’s Week: 8th July – 14th July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … The CIO managing a $17 billion budget and $10 trillion of transactions PER DAY I just spotted a great article about JPMorgan’s CIO who manages a $17 billion budget (last time I looked, it was $11 billion). That sort of budget makes most fintechs look like small fry….

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Things worth reading: 12th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … VBS scandal: Brains behind South Africa’s $130m ‘bank heist’ jailed – BBC News Deutsche Bank settles with trader who alleged he was Libor ‘fall guy’ (ft.com) Revolut’s Rise: If Only the Fast-Growing Bank Was a Bank – Bloomberg Deutsche Bank and HSBC are winning Europe’s AI talent war |…

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Things worth reading: 9th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Customers of major UK banks hit by pay day delays (yahoo.com) ‘Enhanced Transparency and Money Management’ will define banks of the Future says JN Bank Executive – Voice Online (voice-online.co.uk) Startup founded by CBE-winning fintech pioneer reports losses of £7.5m in 2023 – Tech.eu Australian Banking Association: Open Banking…

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The Finanser’s Week: 1st July –7th July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … July 4th? It’s bank independence day! July 4 is always when my American friends give Britain the middle finger and proudly celebrate Paul Revere’s midnight ride that led to Independence Day on July 4, 1776. Great … but what about bank independence day? Most central banks, including the…

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Things worth reading: 5th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … 1 Top Cryptocurrency to Buy Before It Soars 13,000%, According to Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy | The Motley Fool Investors in cryptocurrency are more likely to be psychopaths, study claims | Daily Mail Online Revolut’s Uncertain Future in the Asia-Pacific Region | FinTech Alliance (fintech-alliance.com) China’s central bank readies…

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Things worth reading: 4th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … A data breach at Evolve is hurting its many fintech partners | American Banker How should RegTechs be preparing for DORA? – FinTech Global Wirecard’s former CFO claims limited dealings with business after 2017 EPI Launches wero, Its Innovative Digital Payment Wallet in Germany, Alongside Founding Members – DSGV…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 8th July – 14th July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … The CIO managing a $17 billion budget and $10 trillion of transactions PER DAY I just spotted a great article about JPMorgan’s CIO who manages a $17 billion budget (last time I looked, it was $11 billion). That sort of budget makes most fintechs look like small fry….

Read More

The Finanser’s Week: 1st July –7th July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … July 4th? It’s bank independence day! July 4 is always when my American friends give Britain the middle finger and proudly celebrate Paul Revere’s midnight ride that led to Independence Day on July 4, 1776. Great … but what about bank independence day? Most central banks, including the…

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The Finanser’s Week: 24th June – 30th June 2024

The main blog discussions this week include … A financial offer to die for I attended a meeting this week presenting a variety of startups and their ideas. All of them were great, but one stood out for me: Fairwill. Obviously playing on the word farewell, Fairwill provides an exit policy for humans … as…

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The Finanser’s Week: 17th June – 23rd June 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Weaponising bank branch closures The UK has an election in July. The likely winner is the left-of-centre Labour Party, after 14 years of the righter wing Conservative Party. The new leader will be Sir Kier Starmer, a guy described as a “political robot”. Nevertheless, his party has created a…

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The Finanser’s Week: 10th June – 16th June 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … What the Finternet? The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the guys who create the Basel rules and control much of the way the global banking system works, released a paper the other day about the Finternet: “the financial system for the future”. The idea is that all of…

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The Finanser’s Week: 3rd June – 9th June 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … What’s hot and what’s not in fintech? In a long strategy session yesterday, we were trying to list the things that are hot and what’s not in fintech. So, what’s hot? Obviously crypto and AI. However, those are the headline buckets, what’s the detail? The detail is the…

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The Finanser’s Week: 27th May – 2nd June 2024

The main blog discussions this week include … One account to rule them all? I was having a chat with some friends about the good old days, where everything was domestic and local. We had passbooks, cheques, cash and branches. Ah, those were the days. Life was simple, money was all in one place and…

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The Finanser’s Week: 20th May – 26th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is this the bank that JK Rowling based Gringotts on? I found a great interview the other day with Bella Hoare, a partner and director at the world’s oldest privately owned bank, C Hoare and Co. The bank has been run by the Hoare family for 12 generations,…

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The Finanser’s Week: 13th May – 19th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … What would Taylor Swift’s bank look like? Trust and money and day-to-day life go hand-in-hand. It’s all about who you deal with, how and the outcomes. Recently, I’ve lost trust with Apple, my bank, my friend and my brother. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? But who do I…

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The Finanser’s Week: 6th May – 12th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … It’s all about trust Building upon my blog about Revolut the other day, and their need for a banking license, I’ve been accused many times of coming back to a theme that you can only be a bank if you’re a bank with a license. Why do I…

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Future

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Why women get a raw deal from banks

Being debanked is pretty awful … just ask Nigel Farage or Chris Skinner … but what about if you’re a woman? As money controls life, do women get a good deal? Not really. Everywhere around the world, women have less access and use of banking, and yet women are the global influencers of finance. What’s…

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Banking 2034: where will you be?

Thinking about banking conferences over the years, there are three main messages that are presented by people on stage: Banks won’t exist in ten years Banks will exist, but it’s all going to be very different Banks will exist, and it’s going to be a lot like today Let’s take #1: Banks won’t exist in…

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How to digitally refresh to be fit for the future

I recently wrote a white paper for XBP Europe, which you can download (see later). It’s all about how to be fit for the future and digital transformation, my usual subjects. Just to give a taste of the paper, here’s a small extract: The obvious answer is to digitise the corporation. The harder question is:…

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The pros and cons of digital identities

Thirty years ago, I presented at a conference with the theme being the end of cash. Thirty years later we are all gradually going cashless. Twenty-five years ago, I presented at a conference, with the view that bank branches weren’t needed. Twenty-five years later, most bank branches are going, going, gone. Twenty years ago, I…

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3 out of 5 frauds come from Meta

Appearing in a Parliamentary session the other day, Woody Malouf, Revolut’s head of financial crime, said Meta platforms were “being used as a hotbed for scams” and estimated that 3 out of 5 scams are being generated by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp I’ve no idea about your experience but my experience is that anything I…

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Is the future frightening or great?

My partner called me and said she was in trouble. She had just been to the bank and was overdrawn by $1,500. Could I send $4,000 quickly to stop the bank from freezing her account? Of course, I did … only to discover it wasn’t her. People are warning us that quantum computing, deepfake and…

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Do you need to be a bank in real life to be a bank in virtual life?

Vitalik Buterin, the guy who created Ethereum cryptocurrency and smart contracts, blogged the other day about what happens when AI and blockchain collide. Funnily enough, that’s the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. Vitalik cites four major areas where blockchain and AI will make a difference, and each has different ramifications. The focal point…

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Can you close the gate after the horse has bolted?

We need global regulation of all technology … but can we? Building on yesterday’s piece, there is a call in many circles for the global regulation of Big Tech. In fact it goes far further than Big Tech. It’s a call for regulating everything online. From cryptocurrencies to social media to artificial intelligence … it…

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Does ESG matter?

Two years ago Stuart Kirk, the then head of responsible investing for HSBC, delivered a mic dropping speech at the FT Moral Money conference. What did he say? Here’s a few quotes: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a really…

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Crypto

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Debanked? The regulator forced us to do it (sorry)

I met the bank I debanked the other day. They apologised to me, as they knew I was talking about them during my presentation, and explained: “we cannot serve our customers because of the regulators”. This made me wonder, as the reason why I debanked them is their interrogations of my dealings in cryptocurrencies. It made…

Read More

People buying bitcoins are psychos

I was quite amazed to see an item across my desk last week with the headline: Investors in cryptocurrency are more likely to be psychopaths Seriously? The headline is based on a report of a survey, published in the journal Plos One, who canvassed over 2,000 Americans of whom 30 per cent said they owned…

Read More

July 4th? It’s bank independence day!

July 4 is always when my American friends give Britain the middle finger and proudly celebrate Paul Revere’s midnight ride that led to Independence Day on July 4, 1776. Great … but what about bank independence day? Most central banks, including the Federal Reserve, are independent of government control. Why and, more importantly, why is…

Read More

What’s hot and what’s not in fintech?

In a long strategy session yesterday, we were trying to list the things that are hot and what’s not in fintech. So, what’s hot? Obviously crypto and AI. However, those are the headline buckets, what’s the detail? The detail is the use cases of crypto and AI. This is something I say often, as you…

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What’s the future of card schemes?

I got into a new debate yesterday, talking with two guys who are formerly with big card companies (shush, you know who), and we started debating the four-pillar model that’s been around for the last half century. The model is the basis of the card industry and involves acquiring merchants, issuing cards through banks, and then…

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What if I am the token?

Just been having a few meetings about the future of payments. Funnily enough, that sounds like the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. The message? Money is embedded, invisible and intelligent. It is ubiquitous, everywhere, anywhere. It is just part of the fabric of the world we live in. But then I thought further, talking…

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Has the G20 agreed to launch a global CBDC?

The G20’s central banks announce a global alliance for digital currencies It’s been bubbling away for a while but, as central banks are launching CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currency) all over the world, there is now a G20 agreement to create a global digital currency. Initiated by Christine Lagarde at the European Central Bank (ECB),…

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Fintech

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People buying bitcoins are psychos

I was quite amazed to see an item across my desk last week with the headline: Investors in cryptocurrency are more likely to be psychopaths Seriously? The headline is based on a report of a survey, published in the journal Plos One, who canvassed over 2,000 Americans of whom 30 per cent said they owned…

Read More

I bet you’re not dismissing challenger banks now

I remember ten years ago when fintech was emerging from under the hood and challenger banks become a new phrase. Most of the bankers I spoke to back then said they would never be really challenging. Ten years later, the situation is rather different. Revolut has over 40 million customers and is profitable; Monzo has…

Read More

Evolve Bank & Trust + Synapse = a perfect storm

I got an email the other day about a data breach at Evolve Bank. Who? I don’t deal with Evolve Bank. What’s going on? The email came from Wise and reads as follows: There’s been a data breach at Evolve Bank & Trust. Evolve Bank & Trust is a regulated bank that we worked with…

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A new British Government: what does it mean for fintech?

July 4th – traditionally the day I think of as American independence – is, this year, the day of British independence. A revolution caused by a sloppy government, who had little competence to run the country, has been over-turned by a leftish political party called Labour. We have swung from right to left after fourteen…

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So you think digital banking is done?

I was thinking about whether we need another digital bank in Britain the other day. I know that’s UK-focused and am very aware of digital banking developments in other countries, but the UK kind of led the way with the launch of Monzo, Starling, Wise and Revolut a decade ago. They may be the headline…

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A financial offer to die for

I attended a meeting this week presenting a variety of startups and their ideas. All of them were great, but one stood out for me: Fairwill. Obviously playing on the word farewell, Fairwill provides an exit policy for humans … as in death specialists. It sounds morbid but there’s only two certainties in life: death…

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AI is a huge mistake (if you don’t understand what it’s for)

It does amaze me how many people in banks and technology firms talk about Cloud, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Blockchain, Apps, 5G, Analytics, APIs and more as though they are all buckets. They are buckets of technology, but in each bucket is a use case and, in many, hundreds or even thousands of use…

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If you are data-dumb, you cannot compete

Whilst I was in South Africa, they couldn’t help talking about Rugby  (could they?). You may remember that South Africa won the Rugby World Cup last year* for the second time in a row – a rare feat – and are the top-ranked world rugby team right now. So, it’s not surprising they would talk about…

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What the Finternet?

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the guys who create the Basel rules and control much of the way the global banking system works, released a paper the other day about the Finternet: “the financial system for the future”. The idea is that all of the financial world will connect through unified ledgers integrated by…

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Digital Bank

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I bet you’re not dismissing challenger banks now

I remember ten years ago when fintech was emerging from under the hood and challenger banks become a new phrase. Most of the bankers I spoke to back then said they would never be really challenging. Ten years later, the situation is rather different. Revolut has over 40 million customers and is profitable; Monzo has…

Read More

Evolve Bank & Trust + Synapse = a perfect storm

I got an email the other day about a data breach at Evolve Bank. Who? I don’t deal with Evolve Bank. What’s going on? The email came from Wise and reads as follows: There’s been a data breach at Evolve Bank & Trust. Evolve Bank & Trust is a regulated bank that we worked with…

Read More

Why women get a raw deal from banks

Being debanked is pretty awful … just ask Nigel Farage or Chris Skinner … but what about if you’re a woman? As money controls life, do women get a good deal? Not really. Everywhere around the world, women have less access and use of banking, and yet women are the global influencers of finance. What’s…

Read More

So you think digital banking is done?

I was thinking about whether we need another digital bank in Britain the other day. I know that’s UK-focused and am very aware of digital banking developments in other countries, but the UK kind of led the way with the launch of Monzo, Starling, Wise and Revolut a decade ago. They may be the headline…

Read More

A financial offer to die for

I attended a meeting this week presenting a variety of startups and their ideas. All of them were great, but one stood out for me: Fairwill. Obviously playing on the word farewell, Fairwill provides an exit policy for humans … as in death specialists. It sounds morbid but there’s only two certainties in life: death…

Read More

AI is a huge mistake (if you don’t understand what it’s for)

It does amaze me how many people in banks and technology firms talk about Cloud, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Blockchain, Apps, 5G, Analytics, APIs and more as though they are all buckets. They are buckets of technology, but in each bucket is a use case and, in many, hundreds or even thousands of use…

Read More

Banking 2034: where will you be?

Thinking about banking conferences over the years, there are three main messages that are presented by people on stage: Banks won’t exist in ten years Banks will exist, but it’s all going to be very different Banks will exist, and it’s going to be a lot like today Let’s take #1: Banks won’t exist in…

Read More

Innovation is being damaged by lack of confidence in governance

I just got a report on trust from The Institute of Business Ethic’s (IBE’s) (attitudes of the British Public to Business Ethics 2024 survey) in business and politicians. Headlines? Only 14% of 2067 UK adults polled trust that politicians behave ethically in 2024. Charities, businesses, media and politicians, have all experienced a three-point decrease in trust from 2023. Corporate…

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Does ESG matter?

Two years ago Stuart Kirk, the then head of responsible investing for HSBC, delivered a mic dropping speech at the FT Moral Money conference. What did he say? Here’s a few quotes: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a really…

Read More

Creating the world that is the best it can be

Attending a dinner with family the other night, we got into a kind of argument or debate that had me in one corner as the boomer and my friend, a young parent, as GenZ. It was a heated debate and I don’t think either of us won. What do you think? Summarising the discussion, I’ll…

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60 seconds to midnight

I grew up with lots of things, but one that struck me in the heart was a song Seven Minutes to Midnight that came out in the late 1970s (showing my age). What did the song mean? I discovered it related to the Doomsday Clock, the clock that measured the threats to our planet and…

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A three-sided bank: customer, community and the planet

I recently was introduced to VDK Bank, a community bank based in Ghent, Belgium, by Rik Coeckelbergs. The bank has done something interesting, launching a three-sided coin. The idea is to triple your thinking. The three-dimensional bank focuses upon customer, community and then the third dimension is to think about how money impacts the planet….

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The Earth is on fire … is it your fault?

During the summer, we are struck by massive wildfires taking place across the Americas and Europe. The devastation to Hawaii is specifically notable, but what about Greece, Tenerife and Canada and the rest. This is not normal. Then you go from wildfires in California to floods and mudslides in the same place. This is not…

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50 shades of green – is your bank sustainable?

I was recently wondering which banks are the most green. Names come to mind like Co-operative Bank (UK), Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Alandsbanken (Finland), MyBank (China), Amalgamated Bank (America) and more, but they are few and far between. Some are committed and some are just paying lip service or, as we say, greenwashing. The difference is…

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Make my money matter … an interview with Richard Curtis

I spotted an interview with Richard Curtis the other day about his campaign to change how pensions funds invest. The campaign is called Make my money matter and asks institutional investors, pension funds and banks to ensure that they invest in a sustainable way. Discussing this in an interview with Akshat Rathi in the podcast…

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Who will head the World Bank, and what do they think?

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expected former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga to be elected president of the World Bank as nominations drew to a close. It is not surprising as, when nominations closed at 6pm in Washington yesterday, there were no other publicly declared candidates. Who is Mr. Banga? According to Wikipedia, Ajay…

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Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

What is the future?

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About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

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