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

Is Trump the killer of the slippard?

I recently read a book to my kids. It was Dr Seuss’ I Had Trouble In Getting to Solla Sollew which, if you don’t know the book, involves an arduous journey to Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles! At least, very few”. Solla Sollew is believed to be a place of hope and wonder,…

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A new American Government? What will that mean for Fintech?

I blogged the other day A new British Government: what does it mean for fintech? and asked the question of how the new Labour government could maintain the UK’s leadership in this space. Today, I’m asking the other question about our special relationship with America, and what a new American Government would mean for fintech. The…

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Is Europe failing due to regulations? #Microsoft #IT #Outage

There’s been a meme going around for a while now that America is great at invention and innovation; Asia is great at industrialising and maximising America’s inventions; and Europe is fantastic at blocking all of it through regulations. The Eurocrat regime rules. What’s the reality? Well, it certainly is true that America led the way with…

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With great power, comes great threat #Revolut #PayPal

With great power, comes great responsibility. It’s a quote from Spiderman, but actually not. It’s from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. Well, it’s not tbh. It’s from Voltaire … or is it? Wherever it is from, it’s a great phrase. So, here’s a new one. With great power, comes great threat, and that one is from me….

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Reading

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Things worth reading: 25th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include: Third of UK adults use mobile contactless payments at least every month | Evening Standard More UK consumers turn to cash in cost-of-living crisis | The Herald Santander promises to become ‘digital bank with branches’ despite closures and profit slump (gbnews.com) Temperature Check on 4 Fintech Trends in 2024 –…

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Things worth reading: 24th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … UniCredit to Buy Vodeno, Aion Bank for €370 Million in Digital Push – Bloomberg Does the Bank of England have a plumbing problem? (ft.com) Expert warns anyone with smartphone risks being locked out of bank account – Birmingham Live (birminghammail.co.uk) The next fintech to go public may not be…

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Things worth reading: 23rd July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Microsoft says EU to blame for the world’s worst IT outage (msn.com) Central Bank Digital Currencies to transform the financial landscape (cms-lawnow.com) Can Eurozone Banks Continue Their Rally in Q3? | Morningstar Meet European fintech’s most active investors | Sifted 10 fintech companies to watch in 2024 – Help…

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Things worth reading: 22nd July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … European banks’ earnings in spotlight after big share price gains | Reuters London banks lose patience with ‘crazy’ French and German workers’ rights (telegraph.co.uk) ECB Is Pushing UK Fintech Revolut to Bolster EU Bank Controls Amid Review – Bloomberg Revolut Gets More Complaints About UK Scams Than Rest of…

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The Finanser’s Week: 15th July – 21st July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … The CrowdStrike issue and its impact on Microsoft I was talking with my 8 year-old son and said that the whole world had just stopped. He asked what do you mean? I replied that everything stopped. Airlines, banks, shops, trains, hospitals and more. He asked what happened? I…

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Things worth reading: 19th July 2024

Things we’re reading today include … ‘I will kill you’: abusers use 1p bank transfers to send death threats (telegraph.co.uk) Synapse Collapse Raises Questions About a Hot Fintech Business Model – Bloomberg Canary Wharf Group to carve chunks out of HSBC tower after bank leaves | Commercial property | The Guardian Bank of England hit…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 15th July – 21st July 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … The CrowdStrike issue and its impact on Microsoft I was talking with my 8 year-old son and said that the whole world had just stopped. He asked what do you mean? I replied that everything stopped. Airlines, banks, shops, trains, hospitals and more. He asked what happened? I…

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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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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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Future

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Is Europe failing due to regulations? #Microsoft #IT #Outage

There’s been a meme going around for a while now that America is great at invention and innovation; Asia is great at industrialising and maximising America’s inventions; and Europe is fantastic at blocking all of it through regulations. The Eurocrat regime rules. What’s the reality? Well, it certainly is true that America led the way 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…

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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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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…

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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

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…

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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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Is Trump the killer of the slippard?

I recently read a book to my kids. It was Dr Seuss’ I Had Trouble In Getting to Solla Sollew which, if you don’t know the book, involves an arduous journey to Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles! At least, very few”. Solla Sollew is believed to be a place of hope and wonder,…

Read More

A new American Government? What will that mean for Fintech?

I blogged the other day A new British Government: what does it mean for fintech? and asked the question of how the new Labour government could maintain the UK’s leadership in this space. Today, I’m asking the other question about our special relationship with America, and what a new American Government would mean for fintech. The…

Read More

With great power, comes great threat #Revolut #PayPal

With great power, comes great responsibility. It’s a quote from Spiderman, but actually not. It’s from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. Well, it’s not tbh. It’s from Voltaire … or is it? Wherever it is from, it’s a great phrase. So, here’s a new one. With great power, comes great threat, and that one is from me….

Read More

Stripe strikes

There’s been a lot of activity around Stripe this week, who are now valued at $70 billion (slightly down from 2021 but up from 2023). Stripe’s valuation has edged up to $70 billion as Sequoia Capital offers to buy shares from its investors looking to cash out of the fintech that helps merchants process customer payments. Source: Marcel…

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We are in a Strategic Inflection Point … have you got that?

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that artificial intelligence (AI) is the big news of the last year, but have you been watching Nvidia, the chip maker that drives AI? It’s now bigger than Intel and about to exceed Microsoft and Apple in market valuation. Here’s an analyst’s view from Barrons: Nvidia Has More Than Doubled…

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Every country in the world is being transformed by fintech

I travel the world a lot and am amazed about the wave of changes technology has introduced into banking. In almost every country I visit, fintech has grown from an ember to a burner, and almost every country is being transformed. From Taiwan to Timbuktu, everything is changing. Therefore, just to give one more example…

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

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…

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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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Digital Bank

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Is Trump the killer of the slippard?

I recently read a book to my kids. It was Dr Seuss’ I Had Trouble In Getting to Solla Sollew which, if you don’t know the book, involves an arduous journey to Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles! At least, very few”. Solla Sollew is believed to be a place of hope and wonder,…

Read More

With great power, comes great threat #Revolut #PayPal

With great power, comes great responsibility. It’s a quote from Spiderman, but actually not. It’s from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. Well, it’s not tbh. It’s from Voltaire … or is it? Wherever it is from, it’s a great phrase. So, here’s a new one. With great power, comes great threat, and that one is from me….

Read More

The day the digital died #Crowdstrike #Microsoft

I was talking with my 8 year-old son and said that the whole world had just stopped. He asked what do you mean? I replied that everything stopped. Airlines, banks, shops, trains, hospitals and more. He asked what happened? I said that an update from a company to the core of the computer systems of…

Read More

We are in a Strategic Inflection Point … have you got that?

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that artificial intelligence (AI) is the big news of the last year, but have you been watching Nvidia, the chip maker that drives AI? It’s now bigger than Intel and about to exceed Microsoft and Apple in market valuation. Here’s an analyst’s view from Barrons: Nvidia Has More Than Doubled…

Read More

Every country in the world is being transformed by fintech

I travel the world a lot and am amazed about the wave of changes technology has introduced into banking. In almost every country I visit, fintech has grown from an ember to a burner, and almost every country is being transformed. From Taiwan to Timbuktu, everything is changing. Therefore, just to give one more example…

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…

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

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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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

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