The Finanser's Week: 2nd March 2015 – 8th March 2015

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

Is the Fintech bubble about to burst?

I recently recorded a video for Meniga to show at their conference in London for Next Bank Europe.  We had to do this as I was in New York on the day of the conference, and the organisers wanted me to present so badly they agreed to come to my house to do record my presentation. A bit unusual but, there you go.

Crime-as-a-Service: pay-as-you-blow with #bitcoin

So I’ve talked about Banking-as-a-Service for some time, but what about Crime-as-a-Service?  It does exist on a pay-as-you-blow basis.  Europol were one of the first to note this trend, in a report published late last year (from ITPro):

The Finanser Interviews: Soner Canko, CEO of BKM, Turkey

Following on with our regular weekly interview, the Finanser talks this week with Soner Canko, CEO or BKM (Bankalararası Kart Merkezi), the ACH for Turkey. BKM was established in 1990 as a partnership of public and private banks. Today, all the banks that issue a card and own a POS are members of BKM.  The ACH is notable for being a key promoter of contactless payments and, more recently, launching its own mobile payments wallet for the banks to leverage to their clientele.

You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet

I hosted a dinner the other night, talking about how technology has changed banking.  We had a great conversation and I wrote down 26 points from the 14 contributions made in the opening round robin.  These points are summarised below and may be summed up by one word: change. Things are changing fast and, as one person stated (bearing in mind Chatham House Rule), if you think things are changing a lot today, you ain’t seen nothing yet! 

Is there a digital divide in banking?

So I’m just going to close off the branch debate (this time around, it comes up often) by talking a moment about demographics.  In my gut, I hate the use of demographics as, when it comes to digital, I prefer psychographics.  As a baby boomer, I feel more like a digital native, having grown up in the technology industry as my career, than a digital immigrant but, according to demographics, I’m an immigrant.


The major general news stories of the past week include … 

The UK won a key victory in Europe that goes to the heart of the EU’s future – The Telegraph
The ECB’s proposals threatened to exacerbate the divide between those EU members that are inside the eurozone and those on the outside

Andrea Leadsom: ‘I was a little stern, but he paid up and we’ve recovered £1.3bn’ – The Independent
Right, says Andrea Leadsom, let’s get straight to the point: “I want the taxpayer to know four things about what we are doing to restore trust in banking.

RBS cutting up to 14,000 investment banking jobs by 2019 – Fortune
The move, reported by Financial Times, comes as the struggling U.K. bank backs away from its investment banking business.

Rothschild did employ banker who squandered von Schonau fortune – The Independent
The exclusive Swiss private bank Rothschild did employ the aristocratic financial adviser who lost a Novartis pharmaceuticals heiress $44m of her inheritance through disastrous investments, new court filings allege.

Barclays’ 30-year attempt at taking on Wall Street is coming to an end – The Telegraph
The rise, fall, rebirth and final decline of Barclays’ investment bank is a tragic tale. It means that US and Chinese banks will eventually dominate the sector

Growing number of Britons switching bank accounts – Money Market
The number of Britons switching bank accounts grew by 12 per cent to 1.16 million in 2014, marking progress in the government’s push to boost competition, the Payments Council said.

Co-op Bank executive leaves in latest high-profile exit – The Telegraph
Chief operating officer Bob Rickert departs bank after less than 18 months

Data thieves raid TalkTalk customers’ bank accounts – Daily Mail
Thousands at mercy of fraudsters after addresses and phone numbers were stolen from firm’s computers

Lloyds v RBS – two banks with different problems and very different results – Guardian
The contrast between bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland was thrown into sharp focus as the former paid out its first dividend since the banking crisis (and handed its boss an £11.5m pay deal) while the latter reported its seventh consecutive year of losses (and its boss waived his bonus).

Banker bashing wins votes but real culprits go unpunished – The Telegraph
British banks are an easy target for politicians but are these attacks puting the entire financial services industry at risk?


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