Credit Union Geek

The Finanser’s Week: 25th November – 1st December 2019

Chris Skinner

The main blog headlines are … Are banks adapting in the right way? I picked up a few innovative changes taking place this week within banks. In fact, I should point out that banks are not static beasts, as many claim.

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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.

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.

The real reason people don’t change banks

Chris Skinner

Interesting conversation about switching accounts. I’ve had a few people saying that banks don’t have loyal customers, but they have trapped customers.

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.

Are banks adapting in the right way?

Chris Skinner

I picked up a few innovative changes taking place this week within banks. In fact, I should point out that banks are not static beasts, as many claim. They are changing all the time, doing things all the time, adapting all the time.

How much tax is lost each year? #defi

Chris Skinner

Building on my discussion yesterday about offshore tax havens and decentralisation to avoid governance in both the physical and virtual world, there’s a more fundamental issue at large here. Tax avoidance.

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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 “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.

Relationships are hard, so how do Fin and Tech get on?

Chris Skinner

I just spent a few days in bars and restaurants in a place where everyone lives underground. It’s called Toronto. A place so cold that even Olaf from Frozen has migrated South. Anyways, sitting in a bar, I was privileged to hear this exchange between Fin and Tech.

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.

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.

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Co are NOT offering banking, so stop saying they are

Chris Skinner

In the last month, there’s been a wave of announcements from Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon about banking.

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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!

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.

Are challenger banks winning or losing?

Chris Skinner

I don’t get The Financial Times editorials these days.

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.

The future of money according to the Swiss (shhh, it’s not bitcoin)

Chris Skinner

I just saw an interesting report produced and released by SIX Group that talks about the future of money.

Ana Botin of Santander on FinTech and Blockchain

Chris Skinner

Really interesting interview here with Ana Botin, Executive Chair of Santander, on Bloomberg. It starts with talking about how Santander can make a difference on climate change with Ana claiming that the bank is voted the most sustainable bank in the world.

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.

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 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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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.

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

Can you recognise a fraudster when you meet one?

Chris Skinner

I’ve pointed out many times that it’s easy to scam people online and defraud them. I even once got a phone call from an elderly gentleman asking me if he had really won £1 million on the Financial Services Club lotto. I had to let him down gently.

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.

Things worth reading: 26th November 2019

Chris Skinner

What would you rather talk about: sex, religion, politics or money?

Chris Skinner

My blog often seems to return to the subject of sex, whether it be sexism or basic sex. It is for the reason that money and rumpy-pumpy are the twin engines powering everything we do, as Jeremy Clarkson so succinctly put it.

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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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Crypto and banking are one and the same

Chris Skinner

People were surprised to see a headline that garnered much market shock: Markets Crash after reports that Binances Shangai Office Closed in Crypto Crackdown Argh. Crypto meltdown!

Banking is inherently sexist

Chris Skinner

Actually, it’s not just banking. It’s money. Money is about control – something I blog about regularly – and men control societies, economies and the world.

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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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.

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.

Tomorrow’s bank? What do HSBC and Wells Fargo think?

Chris Skinner

I always like to hear what bankers think about the future of banking – it’s probably more accurate than what janitors or futurists think – and so was pleased to see two items in my in-tray this week, one from HSBC and the other from Wells Fargo.

Ripple offer SWIFT an olive branch

Chris Skinner

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

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.

Things worth reading: 27th November 2019

Chris Skinner

Things we’re reading today include … Major banks suffer five IT glitches a week, Which?

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Big Banks AND Big Tech (not versus)

Chris Skinner

I’ve said for a while that the Big Tech giants will not become banks. Amazon and Alibaba will do a lot of bank-like activities, but they will never move into full-service banking, as in offering deposit accounts. Why won’t they?

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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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.

Regulators: damned if they do and damned if they don’t

Chris Skinner

I was running a fun panel on regulation this week. That kind of sounds like a lie – whatever can be fun about regulation – but hey, it was. I often reflect on the fact that regulators run with their eyes in the rear-view mirror.

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.