Category Archives: Financial Services

M-Payments – New Ways and New Risks in Moving Money

mobile payments

Electronic payment systems are nothing new. The first electronic payments were made over telegraph wires in the 19th century, hence still referring to ‘wire transfers’ today. Mobile-based payments (m-payments) are, however, a much more recent development. Continue reading →

To Bit or Not to Bit: Virtual Currencies, Real-World Risk

Bitcoins

What do Ashton Kutcher, Bill Miller, Marc Andreessen, the Winklevoss twins, and Daniel Master all have in common? They are all supporters, investors or owners of virtual currency. While bitcoin is the name we frequently hear, there are actually other … Continue reading →

Is International Hacking an Act of War?

tank

Historians will tell you that, despite the bloodshed in the Middle East and Africa, we are currently in one of the most peaceful periods in human existence. However, this era of ostensible peace has us wondering what future war will … Continue reading →

What Effect are New Regulatory Requirements Having on Risk and Insurance Managers?

overwhelmed risk manager

While I have been a broker for eight years, the 20-plus years I spent as a risk manager at a financial institution still dominate my outlook on issues. I will no longer fight it—resistance is futile! So welcome to my … Continue reading →

The End of Banking: De Novo No More

bank vanishing

In just 11 years, all banks in the U.S. will be gone. At least, that’s what extrapolating the current pace of bank consolidation would suggest. Less than 30 years ago there were over 18,000 banks; the FDIC reports that as … Continue reading →

Banking Brain Drain: Four Unintended Consequences of Post-Crisis Regulation

brain drain

Since the financial crisis, governments have made wide-ranging changes to the way financial institutions are regulated. In particular, regulators have focused on the amount and type of capital that banks and other financial institutions must hold, and set new standards … Continue reading →

Fleeing the Darkness: Will Transparency Change Dark Pools Forever?

dark pool

Private exchanges for trading securities are generally known as dark pools.  Operators and users assert that they bring costs down by providing anonymity when executing large trades.  Those lower prices are, in turn, passed on to average investors. They primarily … Continue reading →

Supreme Court: Presume Nothing, Fiduciaries

market down

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that fiduciary committees of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are not entitled to a “presumption of prudence” in lawsuits challenging their decision to invest plan assets in company stock. This decision appears to eliminate … Continue reading →

FCA and the Fair Use of Client Dealing Commission – More Than “a Little Local Difficulty”?

FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has just published a discussion paper on the use of dealing commissions.  The paper is the result of supervisory activity in the asset management sector, as well as other regulatory engagement with stakeholders. The FCA … Continue reading →

The Next Big Thing in Banking May Not be a Bank

v

“Chase or Google?” my colleague challenged me, asking which would be more important in ten years’ time. The answer may well be neither. Continue reading →