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Opinion

Banks cannot avoid politics

It shows what a complex world we live in within our financial markets. We debate whether companies should get involved in politics, but banks cannot avoid politics. Banks are integral to governments and economies and, as such, are a political tool. Equally, banks choose to operate in markets that could be …

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This House believes that companies should avoid politics

There’s an interesting debate about the corporate world: should it be apolitical or take a stance? Actually, in the form of a formal Oxford debating society version of this debate, I should say that: This House believes that companies should avoid politics Our first speaker is Brian Armstrong, CEO of …

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Are our payment systems irrelevant?

I bumped into this article on The Economist the other day, which postulates that the existing financial system could be replaced. SWIFT, VISA, MasterCard and other regional and national systems like BACS, CHAPS, CHIPS, Fedwire and such like, were all created in the 1970s or thereabouts. They’re fifty years old. …

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Change the System (#FinCEN)

I got this endorsement from the one and only Alice Cooper the other day …  … it was sent by a friend to cheer me up and it surely did. A lot. Love Alice Cooper. But it made me reflect too on the message: “change the system”. Change the …

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Why are banks so easy to dislike?

I’ve realised over the last few weeks that my FinTech Karaoke is generally having a dig at bad bankers. It’s easy to have a go at bad bankers or, as the 99% call them, banksters. It’s because there’s a lot of bad practices historically in banking from ripping off customers …

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Does management theory work anymore?

After blogging the other day that big banks will never be replaced and they’re just playing a game of Pac-Man, I was watching this two-minute explainer of Michael Porter’s five forces from Harvard Business Review (a two-minute video):  The five forces are buyers (customers), suppliers, substitutes, new entrants and existing …

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What’s next, after digital?

I was invited to do a keynote for a Canadian conference the other day, but on a subject different to my normal digital stuff. The theme was sustainable finance. I decided to take a different tack and talk about my other big passion: purpose-driven banking. Here’s the presentation and transcript. …

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Should we gamify banking?

OK, no more politics … unless it’s important to banking, technology and fintech … and back to my usual boring diatribes. There’s been a discussion a while ago about making banking fun, gamifying finance and giving rewards for smart spending and saving. I was an advocate of such ideas, but now …

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Am I wrong about Hong Kong?

I got an amazing reply to my post yesterday. I cannot say from whom – that’s part of the thing – but it’s such a good reply, I’m sharing it here. For me, it shows how the internet has changed the world – I can write a blog from Poland, …

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