Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance


Why not maybe?

I found the answer to What about maybe? and why HSBC, NatWest, Monzo and more are freezing customer accounts, closing them down and annoying customers left, right and centre. Money. Rather, it’s the money they’ll have to pay if the regulator catches them breaking the rules. From The Times: Global fines for failures related to money laundering…

The world wide web of deceit

The balance between regulation and innovation. On the one hand, a country wants start-ups to start up in their country; on the other hand, when dealing with financial services, you have to ensure that it is done in a way that protects citizens and society. That’s a delicate balance, as I’ve blogged about a lot…

Crime will never go away

I got a couple of reports in my inbox at the same time about the same thing: cybercrime. Putting this in context personally, I got an email from British Airways saying that SITA had been hacked. Dear Customer, We take the protection of your data very seriously (really?). We have been notified of a data…

The balance between data gathering and data usage

I was on a call the other day, discussing Big Data and Green Finance. It’s not an area I talk about much, although Green is more and more on the radar. Even big bank CEO’s are aware of it and the issues that go with it. So, what’s new? Well, I narrowed it down to…

The issue with Deutsche Bank

Is Deutsche Bank a scrambled egg of banking? I’ve talked about Deutsche Bank for some years. Originally with respect but, increasingly, with disdain. Most recently, I’ve used them as an illustration of a struggling bank, worth far less than an innovative start-up like Stripe. The most recent valuation of Deutsche Bank is that it is…

2020: No Vision (I thought we were an autonomous collective)

Like many, I’ve watched 2020 unfold with a mixture of shock and horror. It began with Australian bushfires followed rapidly by the coronavirus pandemic and now the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. My real shock was that there could be so many global demonstrations during a major global lockdown. Do rules matter? Not really. But then…

Massive cyberattack on the US wholesale payments system (simulation but real?)

One report you may have missed was this one: CyberRisk and the U.S. Financial System: A Pre-Mortem Analysis from The New York Fed and released in January. The paper focuses upon a co-ordinated cyberattack on the wholesale payment systems of America and can be summarised as: We (the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s academics)…

Can you recognise a fraudster when you meet one?

I’ve pointed out many times that it’s easy to scam people online and defraud them. I even once got a phone call from an elderly gentleman asking me if he had really won £1 million on the Financial Services Club lotto. I had to let him down gently, even though he was convinced that the…

Criminals in the financial system

We hear a lot about how crypto and bitcoin encourages illegal activity, drugs, money laundering and such like. The reality is that such activity today is tiny when compared with the amount of illegal activity, drugs and money laundering going through the banking system. As of 2019, $829 million in bitcoin has been spent on…

Smile to pay … and cry for credit

There were two headlines recently that arrived side-by-side: Will telephone bank passwords become obsolete? Does my new biometric bank card really mean the death of the Pin? Neither headline is particularly news – voice recognition for telephone banking and biometric bank cards have been floating around for a decade (or two!) – but it is…

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