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Shaping the future of finance


Where is Wirecard’s Jan Marsalek?

After yesterday’s chat with Dan McCrum of The Financial Times who broke the Wirecard story, wrote the book about it, helped create the documentary on Netflix and is an all round good guy, I wondered whatever happened to the key instigator, organiser and mastermind behind the fraud, Jan Marsalek. Dan: It did feel quite dangerous…

KYC is like boarding a flight – a lot of processing to find one in a million

I’m talking about KYC and client onboarding again in a February 1st webinar, hosted by American Banker. The onboarding of clients is the worst part of financial services, because it has an overly onerous requirement to gain proofs. Proof of address, proof of identity, proof of existence, proof of life. You name it. It gets worse…

Privacy versus Identity?

For years, we have debated privacy versus identity. I am all for privacy, but governments are all for identification. If we can identify you, we can tax you. If you are private, you’re off the grid. It’s a balance. The most private way to deal with money is with cash. Cash can be transacted off the…

Old bankers don’t retire … they just lose interest

Fifteen years ago, I had a presentation entitled All Bankers Are Criminals. It’s a great title, and was basically all about corruption in the City and how to stop it. Corruption takes place every day. Just as criminals and cybercriminals are trying to steal the money, so are employees and partners. These are the things…

What happens when the bank robber is the bank?

We’ve seen failures of systems in Zimbabwe, Venezuela and other nations. What if it was here? You think everything is stable, secure, reliable and resilient, and then suddenly it isn’t. Does this sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not. It could happen anywhere. I’ve been lucky enough to be in mostly positive worlds, where governments have ruled well…

Don’t trust anyone

UK Finance recently released its latest fraud report for 2021. The report shows a total of over £1.3 billion was stolen. Unauthorised fraud was £730.4 million and authorised push payment (APP) fraud was £583.2 million, with nearly 40% of APP losses due to impersonation scams. The banking and finance industry prevented a further £1.4 billion of unauthorised…

What happens if bankers use WhatsApp for insider dealing?

Since records began, humans have tried to find a way around the rules. Drive slow, drink less, don’t fight, avoid drugs … there are always a few who want to get around the rules. I grew up in an era of massive football hooliganism. I saw someone stabbed with a knife at a match. My…

European banks prove to be worst offenders for money laundering

For some years, I’ve been close to many of what are now European FinTech unicorns. One of them is a firm based in Dublin, Fenergo. Nice people and, back when I first met them, hungry for business in the regtech and client lifecycle management (CLM) space. Now, they are a leader in that space, valued…

Turning fact-based news into opinion-based gossip

I was surprised to see Prince Harry – or is that just Harry these days? – pop up on the news talking tech. Apparently he warned Dorse and the Zuck that their platforms could incite violence just hours before the January storming of the US Senate. But he made one comment in the 30-minute appearance…

Is George Orwell’s vision coming true?

1948, 1984, 2030 We talk a lot about FinTech. Some of us then break it down and talk about InsurTech, WealthTech, TradeTech and more. But do we ever zoom out? What about just tech? What about just a digital world? It’s funny as I see HealthTech, FarmTech, GovTech and more, and sat back the other…

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