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One of the great US Bloggers, Jim Marous, picked up on the release of my new book Digital Bank, and asked for an interview with me. As the discussion outlines the book's profile and content rather nicley, I'm republishing the interview here.
It is becoming more and more difficult for traditional banks to compete in an increasingly digital marketplace. With most bank systems stuck in the last century, the conversion of legacy technologies to new platforms with total reliability, security and resilience is a massive challenge.
How can today's banks evolve to a new model of servicing and processing, where the mobile internet allows consumers to bank wherever and whenever they want using an increasing array of devices? How can banks leverage their existing foundation to compete with new and nimble mobile-first competitors?
After blogging daily for over six years, I decided
to edit the best parts of the blog that talk about the battle to digitise the
bank into a book over the summer. It’s
not a Blook (Blog book) as it’s been written specifically as chapters,
incorporating some of the best parts of the blog, but adding a lot more.
Chris Skinner Strategies
to succeed as a Digital Bank
Becoming a Digital Bank is the challenge for all banks as
customers demand new services focused upon 21st century technologies. The
challenge is that most bank systems are stuck in the last century. None
of this is easy, and changing the bank’s core systems to become a truly Digital
Bank is the hardest challenge of all. This is because the reinvention of last
century technologies to new platforms with total reliability, security and
resilience, is a stretch for everyone.
It makes it hard for traditional banks to compete in this new
space, and allows many new and nimble firms to enter the banking markets and
steal market share by exploiting new technologies, specifically the mobile
In this new age of the mobile internet, where cloud computing
allows anyone to scale from small to big data and back again, we are all
wondering how to evolve our businesses to this new model of servicing and
processing. In fact, many of us are wondering what the new model of
banking will be.
What does it all mean; how do shape the vision; who are the
people providing leadership; and where can you find out more?
This book tries to answer all of these
questions, with one of the markets leading practitioners providing insights,
case studies, knowledge and opinion in order to show the way forward and is
based upon the extensive writing of Chris Skinner.
Digital Bank not only includes extensive
guidance and background on the digital revolution in banking, but also in-depth
analysis of the activities of incumbent banks such as Barclays and new
start-ups such as Metro Bank in the UK, as well as disruptive new models of
banking such as Alior Bank in Poland and FIDOR Bank in Germany. Add on to these
a comprehensive sprinkling of completely new models of finance, such as Zopa
and Bitcoin, and you can see that this book is a must-have for anyone involved
in the future of business, commerce and banking.
Recommendations for Digital Bank include:
“I think Chris has added
tremendously to the conversation with this book and I highly recommend it.” Brett King, Author of Bank 2.0 and founder of
“In Digital Bank, Chris
Skinner shows why he is considered the foremost financial industry scholar.” Jim Marous, Senior Vice
President at New Control
“This is an up-to-the-minute
look at the challenges banks face as the information age goes into overdrive.” Michael Mainelli, Emeritus
Gresham Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, London
“There are very few people in
the financial services industry who can cut through the complexities of the
business to provide truly valuable insights.” Debbie Bianucci, President and CEO of the BAI
“If you really want to
understand how the financial world is changing, you must read this book.” Roy Vella, Mobile Services
Expert, Speaker & Entrepreneur
“This is not simply a
must-read book for financial services execs. It should become a discussion tool
for management teams, who should be assigned to read chapters to be discussed
in management meetings.” Ron
Shevlin, Senior Analyst, Aite Group
“He provides an invaluable
guide to the changes we can expect to see in this fast-moving and vital
industry, entertainingly illustrated with an array of fascinating case
studies.” Annie Shaw, Daily Express columnist and money
expert for Radio London
“Digital Bank is couched in
clear, direct language that readers of all levels of expertise will find
Cline, Managing Editor, BAI Banking
“One of the greatest
strengths of the book is the wealth of examples and case studies from around
the world, showing just how much of the future is already here, now.” Simon Thompson, Chartered
Institute of Bankers
“Whoever reads this book
without swiftly moving to action, may regret it.” Guido Poli, Head of Market
Intelligence, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
is perhaps the first writer I know who successfully captures the pulse of the
financial services industry not from a European or American, but from a truly
global perspective.” Emmanuel
Daniel, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, the Asian Banker
“I am glad to be able to
thoroughly endorse him as a person who has both the intellectual acumen, as
well as the drive and dedication to his industry, which is so sadly rare in the
business world today.” Steve Edwards MBE, Head of
Fraud for eBay Europe
“Chris Skinner is simply one
of the most brilliant minds in banking.”
Reader’s comment, the Financial Brand
Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets
through the Finanser (www.thefinanser.com) and Chair of
the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in
2004. The Financial Services Club is a network for financial
professionals, and focuses on the future of financial services through the
delivery of research, analysis, commentary and debate and has regular meetings
in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Vienna. He is the author of nine books
covering everything from European regulations in banking through the credit
crisis to the future of banking and is a regular commentator on BBC News, Sky News and Bloomberg about banking issues. More can be discovered about Chris here: http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/chris-skinner/
book is available via Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback and can be ordered in
If you think that money is important (and who doesn’t), then so is the ability to process money – in other words, payments. And that’s what this book is all about: from processing payments over the internet and on your mobile telephone; to payments via cards, cash and cheques; to massive international payments operations and the challenges faced by banks in these areas, including the continual vigilance needed to avoid money launderers and terrorists.
Most banks are anti-social. They don’t engage with customers to ‘delight’ or ‘exceed their expectations’, mainly because customers don’t expect anything different. That doesn’t mean it cannot change. The social media revolution is rapidly turning this planet on its head. So, if you want to work out how to be a social bank and connect with your targeted communities of customers, this is a short guide as to how to do it.
The future is uncertain. However, if you could identify the most critical things likely to occur in the future today, then you could capitalise commercially upon the opportunities presented. So that’s what this book is all about: what are the most critical things that will occur in banking tomorrow that, if you invest in them today, mean that you can make your fortune. A simple enough premise, and one that I hold to be very true. So, if you want to work out how to the most successful bank you can be during the next decade, then this is the book for you.
Are the investment banks a dangerously out of control threat to the global financial system, or do they bring innovation and liquidity to the market and alpha returns to their investors? Whichever your view, the investment world is changing and you need to know which are the key trends to track. This book reviews all of these areas and more. So, if you want to understand capital markets and investment banking and just why they get those big bonuses, this is a short guide for you.
This is not a book about the financial crisis. This book is about the outcome. It tracks the markets from the day that Lehman Brothers collapsed, and before with Northern Rock, through the reactions of policymakers, politicians, regulators and markets. It shows where the weaknesses were in hindsight, and where the pitfalls may be in foresight. It tries to give the reader a chance to absorb and understand the key movements that created the crisis, and the explanation of why banks, bonuses and bosses are still at the trough feeding and greeding their way through the issues faced.
London has always been at the heart of the world’s trading activities from Roman and Viking times to the present day.Through Empire and Industry, London has cemented its position as the leading centre for finance.And by political and economic manoeuvring, has maintained that position throughout the last century, as the Empire disappeared and open borders created free trade.
It will be interesting to see where London’s position move over the next decade as reforms kick in to restructure London, to make it a safer place to trade once more.
Table of Contents
How The City Developed, Part One: The Romans.
How The City Developed, Part Two: The Vikings.
How The City Developed, Part Four: The Tudors.
How The City Developed, Part Six: The Bank of England.
How The City Developed, Part Seven: Lloyd's of London.
How The City Developed, Part Eight: the London Stock Exchange.
How The City Developed, Part Nine: The 1700s
How The City Developed, Part Ten: Victorians
How The City Developed, Part Eleven: World Wars
How The City Developed, Part Twelve: After World War II
How The City Developed, Part Thirteen: The Big Bang
This book argues that bankers are good for society if the constraints that regulate them direct bankers to behave for the good of society. It makes clear that banking keeps society civilised as, without such controls, we would have anarchy and war. It argues that bankers historically have been constrained by religious shackles that, through the fear of God, made bankers behave appropriately. It asks what bankers fear today and whether the moral compass and lessening of religious beliefs is one reason why bankers have been bad. After all, the love of money is the root of all evil.
The book concludes that for bankers to be good for society, they have to have a fear of retribution and a strong moral compass. This will happen as the American culture of casino capitalism is replaced by an Asian culture of community-based consensus combined with Islamic finance influences.
There are also three books published by John Wiley & Company and written/edited by Chris Skinner:
The future of banking in a globalised world The world of banking is changing dramatically as a result of regulation, technology and society. New developments in the past three years include advances in regulatory change, the impact of China and India; from the latest technologies to impact bank services, to the latest experiments with a cashless society. The Future of Banking in a Globalised World provides an entertaining yet informative look at the world of banking and chronicles the radical changes that have occurred in the industry.
The future of investing in Europe’s market after MiFID The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is the biggest change programme Europe’s capital markets have ever attempted. Anyone who has anything to do with dealing, trading and investing in European equities and instruments will find this book an essential guide to the markets now and into the future.