Chris Skinner

Why dumb old banks can’t compete

Chris Skinner

Now that’s a contentious title for a blog, but purposefully so. Old banks can compete in the new world if they’re smart … it’s just that so many of them are dumb. Dumb with data, as I’ve blogged before. To illustrate this, I have three examples.

Is Revolut leading a FinTech revolution … or destroying it?

Chris Skinner

We are regularly being bombarded with unicorn news. Some rise and some fail. We hear about toxic corporate cultures and ousted CEOs on some occasions, with WeWork being the latest to get caught in the pre-IPO crossfire.

Facebook has forced the world’s banks to innovate

Chris Skinner

It’s been interesting to watch the development of Facebook’s Libra project. As I expected, regulators hate it and are asking lots of questions about it. Most seem to want to ban it. And now PayPal has dropped out of the original founding team, with Visa and MasterCard rumoured to follow.

What does “innovation” mean in finance?

Chris Skinner

I recently was invited to be the keynote at some innovation awards in Ireland. It got me thinking about what innovation means in finance, so here are the notes from my speech.

Innovation? Humbug!

Chris Skinner

Bill Gates said in the early 1990s that “we need banking but we don’t need banks anymore”. He was wrong. I hosted a banking seminar in the late 1990s where David Llewellyn, a Professor of Money, stood up and stated that “there will be more change in the next five … The post Innovation? Humbug!

A start-up’s month is a banker’s decade

Chris Skinner

I’ve heard many ex-bankers who joined a FinTech start-up, challenger bank or similar, say that they’ve achieved more in the past year than in the past decade. They claim to have achieved more with £1 million than they would have achieved before with £100 million in a bank.

How UK FinTech took over the world

Chris Skinner

In case you missed it 11FS, as well as doing podcasts, have made a movie. The movie is all about the 11 years since the financial crisis hit and how the conditions led to the rise of FinTech and, specifically, UK FinTech.

What does inclusion mean?

Chris Skinner

I’ve been reflecting for a while on the shift of power from America to China, as those who read my musings will know. This is typified by the latest Netflix offering American Factory, backed by the Obamas.

Blockchain: a solution looking for a problem?

Chris Skinner

Being conference season, there were many announcements in the past week about headlines companies wanted to gain with their innovations. One of the main headline grabbers for me came from R3.

The Purpose-Driven Bank

Chris Skinner

Building on my recent updates on sustainable finance and such like, it is interesting the word purpose consistently appears throughout the sub-text.

Banks are product not customer focused

Chris Skinner

I walked into a grocer’s store the other day. The store was resplendent with fruits of all colours and continents.

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The two big issues bank CEOs have with FinTech

Chris Skinner

For all the talk about how well FinTech start-ups are doing, I hear two regular laments from bank CEOs. First, why aren’t we valued like FinTechs? and second, why aren’t FinTechs regulated like us.

We’re just a technology company that happens to have a banking licence

Chris Skinner

I hear this a lot, and don’t like it. Many banks say it these days, and they say it to be cool. To be like a start-up. To be like a Silicon Valley angel investment firm. To be like a young, FinTech unicorn.

What does “purpose-driven” really mean?

Chris Skinner

During my writing about a purpose-driven bank, I tried to find good examples of what purpose-driven actually means. Googling the question the number one result is from the Plato Project, who outline eight great purpose-driven organisations.

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What does the term ‘challenger’ really mean?

Chris Skinner

I had a few people haul me up over my critique of Nicholas Megaw’s article in the FT last week, including Nicholas himself. I realised post the post that the issue is definitions.

One world with one mission

Chris Skinner

I just got into a debate with a friend about the future of the world. Dangerous to get into a debate with a futurist, but hey, I upset her. My premise is that the world is globalising and will continue to do so.

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The key to IoT is identity

Chris Skinner

The term The Internet of Things (IoT) was first used twenty years ago. Twenty years later, IoT is emerging rapidly. We have our cars and homes networked but, more than this, we have gadgets like Google Home, Siri and Alexa.

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The best FinTech startups in Europe

Chris Skinner

I received a long and lengthy article last week from Taylor Ryan, CMO at Valuer.ai (tryan@valuer.ai). The link provides a comprehensive article on European FinTech developments. It’s so good that I am happy to share it with y’all. Enjoy.

AI is not a technology change but a cultural one

Chris Skinner

I just picked up a Financial Times article talking about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the way you deal with money. It’s actually more about the Chinese internet giant Ping An, and how they’re changing finance using AI.

Corporate cloud-based payments: what’s that all about?

Chris Skinner

I was recently asked by Volante Technologies to consider what being a digital bank means, specifically for a commercial bank and, even more specifically, the bank’s payments and treasury services.

Ripple offer SWIFT an olive branch

Chris Skinner

Almost every day, there is an announcement of a new payments innovation.

Mister Bó Jangles: the story of yet another new UK challenger bank

Chris Skinner

Like quite a few big banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been messing about with doing digital by launching a number of new initiatives. The two of most note are Bó, a new retail bank, and Mettle, a service for small to medium enterprises (SMEs).*

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Are these FinTech unicorns worth it?

Chris Skinner

There’s a regular itch that I feel in the back of my neck. I scratch it, but it won’t go away. The itch is an alarm call really, and it’s asking whether all this FinTech investment is worth it. Last year, $111.8

A bank that runs accounts for just 50 cents a year

Chris Skinner

I recently attended a FinTech conference where Henry Ma, Vice President & Chief Information Officer of WeBank, presented an update of how the bank is faring in China. For those unaware, WeBank is the offshoot of WeChat Pay, WeChat and Tencent, and focsuses upon financial inclusion in China.

Who needs a blockchain?

Chris Skinner

I often say that blockchain is one of the most complex areas, combining all we don’t know about technology with all we don’t understand about finance. It’s a big hole of acronyms, confusion and debate.

America: a nation living in the 20th Century

Chris Skinner

When did you last write a check (cheque)? When did you last receive one? Although a valid payment mechanism in some countries, it has been phased out in many. Finland stopped using checks in 1993, Poland in 2006 and the Netherlands from the start of next year.

Banks need a purpose other than making money

Chris Skinner

I wrote a couple of recent blogs about the issue with finding good developers and attracting them to banks. The first, about the war for talent, made the statement: the main motivation of developers joining a firm is to solve interesting problems.

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Greed is good … and my bonus is better

Chris Skinner

I was a bit agog and aghast at the recent announcement from 192 US CEOs, who said that stakeholders are now more important than shareholders.

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Things worth reading: 16th October 2019

Chris Skinner

FinTech’s lies, damned lies and statistics

Chris Skinner

There are lies, darned lies and statistics. I often quote numbers in my presentations and get pretty annoyed if they’re wrong. I also prefer to take official sources rather than estimates.

Chris Skinner’s TEDx Talk

Chris Skinner

Well, I’ve always thought there’s a few accolades that would be good on the profile. Advisor to the White House, World Bank, World Economic Forum and United Nations all sounds good. Now I can add TEDx Speaker.

FinTech is on fire and London is burning …

Chris Skinner

A regular question that comes up is: When will the Fintech bubble burst? My claim is that it won’t under my watch, as this is as big a restructuring of banking and finance as the internet has been for commerce and trade.

When digitalisation stops and humans step in, it all falls to pieces (American Express)

Chris Skinner

I saw a list on Facebook the other day about being old.

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Money without government? Emperor’s without Clothes?

Chris Skinner

I finally hit the nail on the head about why you can’t have money without government.

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Money creates purpose (which is why it’s so important)

Chris Skinner

I’m going to write the last of my blogs at this point on being purpose-driven to reference something that irks me a lot. Exclusivity. We have exclusivity a lot in life. The idea is that it creates ambition, hope, focus, hunger, direction and reward.

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The real reason for a regulatory sandbox … avoiding death and mayhem

Chris Skinner

I just spoke at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum, a Davos for the Russian world and beyond. Hosted by Vladimir Putin there were stellar guests attending including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, as well as other world leaders and Chris Skinner.

Banks and FinTech Partnerships: a Clash of Extremes

Chris Skinner

A few years ago, I posted a guest article from Philippe Gelis, co-founder and CEO of FX firm Kantox, on Why FinTech Banks will rule the world.

We just haven’t got a clue what to do!

Chris Skinner

I was talking with a CXO of a bank. They are actively engaged in ‘going digital’, but she was sharing with me that the bank’s executive team had no idea what going digital means. Being brutally honest, she told me she had no idea what it means either.

The Finanser’s Week: 7th October – 13th October 2019

Chris Skinner

The main blog headlines are … What does “innovation” mean in finance? I recently was invited to be the keynote at some innovation awards in Ireland. It got me thinking about what innovation means in finance, so here are the notes from my speech.

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Security is about as good as a fart in a spacesuit

Chris Skinner

It’s a weird world. I know lots of grumpy old men like me lament that, when we were growing up, we were left outside to run about as we felt, find our own way to and from school, were encouraged to read more and exercise, and such like.

The Finanser’s Week: 30th September – 6th October 2019

Chris Skinner

The main blog headlines are … Banks are product not customer focused I walked into a grocer’s store the other day. The store was resplendent with fruits of all colours and continents.

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Where the AI rubber hits the banking road

Chris Skinner

I was talking with a senior banker, who told me that he was in charge of the Artificial Intelligence program in the bank. I was impressed as he is part of the executive leadership team of the bank and not the CIO.

The diversity of financial technologies

Chris Skinner

I was listening to questions at a meeting this week where one of the audience asked if I needed to adjust what I say on my travels, to suit the culture of different countries. I thought about it for a second, and realised that I don’t.