The Finanser's Week: 19th April 2015 – 26th April 2015

Our biggest stories of the past week are ...

Rip it up and start again …

I’m having so many conversations about so much stuff that my head is spinning these days.  Fintech, digital, transformation, change … it seems to be on the lips of everyone I meet.  Yet the one thing that stands out is that it’s not necessarily happening.

Digital channels are just lipstick on a pig

I just sat through a nice presentation from Cognizant President Prasad Chintamaneni at the CEB Summit in Boston and was pleased to see others referring to channels and front-end investments as sticking lipstick on a pig.  

The Finanser Interviews: Matthias Kröner, CEO, Fidor Bank

Following on with our regular weekly interview the Finanser talks this week with Matthias Kröner, CEO and founder of Fidor Bank, Germany. 

I didn’t say that banks are “too big to be disrupted” but “too regulated to be disrupted”

Quite often, with attribution, I let other websites cut and paste this blog onto their own.  American Banker did that recently but changed the title of the blog from  The reports of my bank’s death are greatly exaggerated to Like Airlines and Pharma, Banking’s Too Big to Disrupt*.  In so doing, the intent of the original became slightly distorted and has led to some interesting responses.  

What is Chris smoking? Of course, we’re being disrupted!

Just to finish off my contention that banking is not being disrupted, just evolved or adapted if you prefer, it’s worth a thought about what would it take to cause a disruption.


The major general news stories of the past week include … 

Metro Bank may grow into more than just a mosquito – The Independent
Outlook Another company that has made deft use of PR stunts and branding is Metro Bank, but I’m not about to throw any bricks in its direction. It was a bit hard to take seriously when it launched, what with the gaudy merchandise and the free dog biscuits on offer

Credit Suisse’s new boss Tidjane Thiam dealt tough hand as bank reveals capital fall – The Telegraph
Decline in capital ratio at Swiss bank takes shine off profits and raises prospect of fund-raising early into new chief executive’s tenure

What happened during the Flash Crash? – The Telegraph
A British day trader has been arrested after allegedly sparking a stock market collapse that wiped billions off some of the world’s biggest companies. Here is what happened on Thursday May 6, 2010

The biggest US-EU free trade agreement in history is advancing – in secret – The Independent
Secret negotiations between the US and EU for a the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated resume on April 20 in New York. The talks are attracting increasing criticism as activists guess at the proposals while politicians keep the details behind closed doors.

HSBC chairman warns Britain’s biggest bank could leave for Asia as taxes bite – The Telegraph
Douglas Flint, the chairman of the UK’s largest lender, has said that HSBC could soon consider a move away from its London base

Metro Bank plots £1bn London float next year – The Telegraph
Challenger bank is looking to list after holding talks with the London Stock Exchange

Wonga set to post loss amid clampdown on payday lenders – The Telegraph
Wonga, the controversial payday lender, will announce it has fallen into the red, while an industry-wide crackdown on short-term lenders threatens its recovery

Britain’s bank tax jump threatens to push HSBC, StanChart to new home – Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC and Standard Chartered are looking at the viability of quitting London for a new home in Asia because a big jump in a tax on UK banks makes staying in Britain increasingly painful.

How Santander’s affordability tests are forcing rates rises – and arrears – The Telegraph
The bank is making some borrowers pay its high SVR at a time when mortgage rates are at historic lows, and complaints are mounting

Deutsche Bank prepares to spin off Postbank – Financial Times
Strategic review set to unwind €6bn deal done during financial crisis


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