The biggest news stories of the week include ...
- The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free - Wired
- Banks have paid their pound of flesh, now the pillorying must stop - The Telegraph
- Barnier visits City in bid to calm anger over EU regulation plans - The Telegraph
- Bank of England chief Mervyn King calls for 'narrow banks' - The Independent
- Downing Street unleashed Hell against me over economy, says Darling - The Times
- Goldman admits helping Greece 'fiddle books' to conceal public debt - The Telegraph
- Goldman Sachs faces Fed inquiry over Greek debt - The Telegraph
- Metro Bank: 'we'll put an end to stupid rules' - The Telegraph
- RBS to pay £1.7bn in bonuses despite £3.6bn loss - The Times
- Wall Street bankers' bonuses jump 25% - The Times
- Banks at risk of going bust tops 700 - CNN
And our biggest stories of the week are ...
HSBC's First Direct have been applauded for their early ventures into social media and are active users of Facebook, Twitter et al. Unfortunately, they were caught out this week by a hacker who sent out a very first direct message in their name, offering their followers 'better sex'.
Over the past year, most of the banks I deal with have dropped the word ‘innovation’ from their mantra. Now the Heads of Innovation have all gone and Innovation is at the bottom of the banks ‘to-do’ lists ... in other words, the Heads have become Bottoms. Why is innovation in banking so difficult?Innovations and snails
According to Fast Company, only one of the Top 10 financial websites of the world comes from a traditional bank. That bank is Itaú Unibancoe in Brazil. Well done Itaú Unibancoe ... what happened to the rest of you? Oh yes, banks don't innovate. Mind you, plenty of innovation from outside banks and my favourite upstart of the year has to be BPAY in Australia.What comes next in Mobile Banking?
Our next meeting of the Financial Services Club (England) will focus upon a debate around the question "What comes next in Mobile Banking?" with a great panel comprising:
- Tim Murdoch, Founder & CEO of iCeni Mobile and co-creator of M-PESA
- Michael Salmony, Board Member of Equens and the EPC
- Nick Ogden – Chairman and Chief Executive of Voice Commerce Group
- Michael Davison, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM Global Business Services
We also wrote a series of three articles related to the credit crisis, bonuses and the regulatory and bank responses ...
Banks aren’t charities and yet the non-stop bleating about bonuses and interest rates would make you think they should be run as though they were not-for-profits. But banks aren't not-for-profit. They are there to make money, not to exist for the public good. Unfortunately during the past two years, the line between public and private has blurred, and now the media and taxpayer think they have a say in every banks' bonus scheme and interest rate setting policy.
I’m fed up with the argument about bonuses and cannot believe it still rumbles on after a year of debate and G20 meetings. With Barclays announcing record profits last week, and therefore increased bonuses, the media latched onto this angle more than the fact that Barclays, UBS, Goldman Sachs and others demonstrates reviving markets and a recovered financial sector. Sure, bonuses are irritating so here’s my suggestion as to how it could be resolved.
It seems that I’m having a long whinge and rant all week, but I’m trying not to. What I’m really trying to do is to get some answers to this crisis of confidence in the banks and, consequently, the banking system. This is nothing to do with the credit crisis, but the response of the banks to the credit crisis, which is to trash all trust and confidence in their ethics and approach. What the industry really needs to do is to talk with one voice, not a thousand.
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