The Finanser's Week: 27th April – 3rd May 2015

Our biggest stories of the past week are ...

Why you should feel revulsion for the term ‘omnichannel’

A lot of folks are asking me whether I’m really saying that banks need to start all over again?  Is that really feasible, Chris?  How can you recommend that we tear down the house and rebuild it?  Well, there’s a lot of reasons I can say this, and believe it.

How to spot a fake Digital Bank

I just heard a presentation from a leading American bank on the need to be digital.  This bank claims to be a digital leader in the US and, from all the PR and headlines, you would believe they were.  Listening to their presentation, you might believe it too …

The jury’s still out on Apple Pay…

This is a blog from the Hotwire PR website, written by Camilla Ives.  It summarises my good friend John Chaplin’sPayments Innovation Jury Report report well.  The report has been produced annually for the past four years and John will be presenting this in person to the Financial Services Club in England (June) and Poland (July).  In the meantime, here’s the low down.

The Finanser interviews: Chris Larsen, CEO and cofounder, Ripple Labs

 Following on with our regular weekly interview the Finanser talks this week with Chris Larsen, CEO and co-founder of Ripple Labs.

If banking were a movie, which movie would it be?

So it’s late at night and we reach that point in the evening when one of the group pipes up: so let’s stop talking about us, but let’s talk about banking.  A big groan. If banking were a movie, what movie would it be?  

 

The major general news stories of the past week include … 

Once interest rates are on the move again, how fast will they rise? – The Independent
It is a huge question, not least for the next UK government: how fast will interest rates rise here and elsewhere in the developed world? For a start, the cost of funding will be a crucial element in the next government’s fiscal planning, for the faster rates go up the

Barclays takes extra £800m hit for forex – Financial Times
Pre-tax profits fall 26% to £1.34bn in first-quarter but investment banking rebounds

French IT firm Cap Gemini to buy U.S. rival IGATE for $4 billion – Reuters
PARIS (Reuters) – Cap Gemini SA , a French information technology services company, said it will buy U.S.-based rival IGATE Corp for $4 billion in a deal that would make North America into its biggest market and hand IGATE’s founders a $1 billion windfall.

Investors question Deutsche Bank’s overhaul – Reuters
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank’s biggest strategic overhaul under co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen got a thumbs down from investors on Monday who judged it too little too late.

End of the bank holiday? Almost 100 NatWest and Barclays branches to be open in end of 144-year tradition – The Telegraph
RBS says customers struggle to make it to branches during working hours, as it opens branches on a bank holiday for the first time

Deutsche Bank strategy met with scepticism – Financial Times
Lack of detail in German lender’s five-year vision leaves analysts puzzled

HSBC considering spinning off British retail bank: Sunday Times – Reuters
(Reuters) – HSBC , Europe’s biggest bank, is weighing plans to spin off its British retail bank in a 20 billion-pound ($30.37 billion) deal, the Sunday Times reported.

Lloyds takes £640m hit from TSB’s Spanish sale – The Telegraph
Bank due to report fall in profits as it registers IT losses from Banco Sabadell’s takeover of TSB

If Greece falls, no one wants their prints on the murder weapon – Reuters
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – “We’re going bust.” “No, you’re not.” “You’re strangling us.” “No we’re not.” “You owe us for World War Two.” “We gave already.”

The bizarre banking loophole that has opened up in Malta – The Guardian
Malta throws a spotlight on how secure our bank accounts really are – or aren’t

 

If you like the Finanser, check out our latest book: Digital Bank

 

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Things worth reading: 28th April 2015

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Things worth reading: 27th April 2015

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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

 

If you like the Finanser,  check out our latest book: Digital Bank

 

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Things worth reading: 21st April 2015

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Things worth reading: 20th April 2015

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The Finanser's Week: 13th April 2015 – 19th April 2015

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

What keeps Jamie Dimon awake at night? (clue: Fintech)

I’ve written a lot about incumbents versus startups lately and noted with interest that Jamie Dimon’s annual letter to JPMorgan shareholders picks up on this theme (not as a direct result I’m sure?).  He talks about “hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking” and that “the ones you read about most are in the lending business, whereby the firms can lend to individuals and small businesses very quickly and — these entities believe — effectively by using Big Data to enhance credit underwriting.”

Data personalisation strikes to the heart of bank disruption

I’ve heard a lot of talk this morning about Big Data at a conference here in Barcelona, and had a realisation half way through.  The conversation was all about the move from mass markets and customer segmentation to the market of one and peer-to-peer personalisation.  In other words the deep data mining demanded by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers in 1:1 marketing in the 1990s is finally here.  It took twenty years, but here it is.  Yet this is the heart of the debate about digital disruption, fintech startups and bank responses. 

Bank Fintech worries are obvious … solutions are not as clear

I just finished presenting on Digital Bank strategies and Fintech, and was asked a wide range of questions:

  • How do we transform our legacy structures?
  • What is the biggest obstacle to becoming a digital bank
  • You mention partnerships but all cooperative structures failed in the past, how can we succeed in the future?
  • Can you show us someone who is doing this right and making it work?
  • What should a bank do when we have millions of customers who trust us?

Banks without a digital core will fail

Building on the discussion of data being key to disruption, I often use the phrase ‘digital core’ in this context.  Therefore, I was intrigued when someone asked for a definition of a ‘digital core’ and one of the replies was there isn’t a core anymore. 

My favourite 419 scam email: Bernie Madoff needs my help

I get a lot of spam and scam email most of which is deleted but, as it’s Friday, I thought y’all might appreciate the phish that follows … 

—–Original Message—–
From: Benard Madoff [mailto:midoffnyc@madoff.com] 
Sent: 08 April 2015 13:54
To: me
Subject: Help me Make a difference

 

The major general news stories of the past week include …  

Death of cashback: which credit card perks will be kept? – The Telegraph
EU rules mean banks now make less money from credit cards and may limit perks. Our tables show which banks are cutting back

If a bank seems too big to fine the fine needs to be bigger – The Independent
Outlook It’s one ring-fence that no one in the City, in theory at least, objects to. One of the lessons from the Lehman Brothers’ collapse was that financial institutions need to keep clients’ money strictly segregated from their own funds.

Barclays discovers the value of its depositors – The Independent
Outlook Speaking of the cost of doing business, Barclays has announced that it will pay £7 a month to its loyal current account customers from next week. It’s quite a U-turn. Not long ago both Barclays’ chief executive, Antony Jenkins, and its chairman, Sir David Walker, were mooting imposing charges

Stop bashing bankers? Not just yet, thanks to Clydesdale – The Independent
Outlook Just when you thought banker bashing might finally come to an end, another hideous toad crawls out from under a rock to stir the public’s justified indignation yet again.

Clydesdale Bank fined £21m after doctoring PPI evidence – The Telegraph
Scottish bank failed to give appropriate compensation to as many as 93,100 customers and provided regulators with false information

In Odd European Twist, Banks Owe Borrowers – Wall Street Journal
Subzero rates have put some lenders in an inconceivable position: paying interest to those who have borrowed money from them

Scrapping non-dom tax status would hit bank chiefs – The Telegraph
Bank of England governor and top UK bankers would be hit by Labour plans to abolish non-dom status

Junior trader made to eat 8 burgers in humiliating City initiation ceremony – The Telegraph
Video shows 23-year-old man surrounded by colleagues at Marex Spectron, an international commodities broker, who raucously goad him on to complete the challenge

A new catalyst for positive change across the banking industry – The Telegraph
Millions rely on the banking system every day and 500,000 UK jobs depend on it

‘Dull work, flat pay and lousy colleagues’ – Financial Times
Global survey uncovers deep frustrations at heart of financial services industry        

 

If you like the Finanser, buy Chris Skinner’s latest book: Digital Bank

 

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Things worth reading: 17th April 2015

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Things worth reading: 16th April 2015

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Things worth reading: 15th April 2015

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