Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance


Change the bank or change the leadership

I’m likely to be blogging about leadership all this week, as that was the theme du jour of our Nordic Finance Innovation meetings in Copenhagen and Oslo last week. Saxo Bank, DNB, Danske Bank, Nordea and more were discussing the challenges of digital transformation and the leadership challenge, and I’ve already started this series of…

Are you really ‘doing digital’?

I’m regularly asked why I don’t think banks are doing digital yet, and my answer consists of a series of steps. First, does the banks’ leadership team talk about digital, digital banking, digital investment and digital transformation? Invariably, all bank people tell me yes. OK, second, has the bank actually made any visible changes to…

Will Ripple replace SWIFT?

It’s a big week of FinTech in Asia with Money 2020 China and the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) all taking place in the same week. One of the headlines emerging from SFF was an interview with Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. The headline is from a Bloomberg interview and reads: Ripple Is Aiming to Overtake…

Teach children the things that machines cannot learn

I often talk about teaching children to learn what machines cannot learn. Our system of education was created in the Industrial Revolution, and is based upon kids being stuffed with facts, stats and dates. They learn to parrot-fashion repeat things, and are tested to see if they can remember. It’s a very poor state of…

In China, buy the wrong things and go to jail

As I travel around, I find different cultures fascinating Some are open, some are closed; some are welcoming, some are distrusting; some feel comfortable, some feel weird; some feel nice, some feel strict; and so on. A lot of the feeling you have about a country is a mixture of media headlines and language challenges….

Ring out the old, ring in the new

Like many of us, I have several pet hates about banks. My main one is when they sting you with charges you don’t expect. I always remember getting a £50 charge for an unauthorised overdraft a few years ago. I’d been with the bank for over twenty years and never been overdrawn before. This instance…

Are challenger banks challenging?

I keep seeing headlines about Amazon opening a bank, challenger banks pulling the crown off the incumbent banks heads, the end of old banks, the disruption of the system and the end of all traditional financial services. I guess some would say that I fall into this camp and, on occasion, I do write things…

The digital divide: inclusion must not create exclusion

I have one slight concern as we go cashless, having experienced it myself. You cannot go cashless if it does not include everyone. I had this experience in China. Arriving on a Sunday lunchtime at the Holiday Inn Express hotel, I successfully checked in and had a nice room with an empty fridge. Downstairs, being…

Research lays bare the banking issue

A new study of the 50 largest banking groups in the UK and Europe has revealed that although profits have increased, future profitability is at significant risk. The UK & European Banking Study (EBS), shows that banks are operating in unstable market conditions fuelled by unsustainable profit-taking, crisis level valuations and dwindling market share. While…

If you think it’s evolution and not revolution, think again

Another regular argument I’m having is whether digital is a revolution or evolution. I firmly believe it is revolutionary. When industries are being rebuilt from the ground-up with new technologies and new business models, then it is a revolution. When we are living in an age where every human on earth can be connected through…

What is the future?

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