Blogger Archives: Richard Magrann-Wells

Richard Magrann-Wells

Richard is a Executive Vice President with Willis Towers Watson’s Financial Institutions Group based in Los Angeles. During his 25-year banking career, he has managed sales, trading and structuring teams for some of the biggest financial institutions. A regular contributor to American Banker newspaper and other publications, Richard writes about financial technologies ("FinTech"), financial crime, operational and executive risk.

Cybergeddon? SWIFT Malware May Put Central Banks at Risk

The scariest bank robbery in history took place recently, and very few people understand the true nature of the crime. A robber with a gun can empty a bank vault.  A mastermind with an understanding of SWIFT can steal a … Continue reading →

The Five Issues Troubling Credit Unions – And What to Do About Them

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” (Will Rogers) 1. The Dangerous Necessity that is Technology Technology has been called the great equalizer, but for credit unions technology has become a … Continue reading →

Bitpay Sues Insurer After Denied Cyber Claim for Spearphishing

In December, BitPay, one of the leading BitCoin payment processors, was the victim of a social engineering attack. Continue reading →

Guide to Financial Institution Bonds

Financial Institution Bonds

There is a lot of confusion about financial institution bonds. The muddle becomes much clearer when you recognize that financial institution bonds come in various guises and are called by a dizzying array of names. The names, and the specifics … Continue reading →

Insuring Bitcoin

The insurance market will not insure the value of bitcoins. But insurance can play a vital role in helping make the virtual currency a safer investment overall. Continue reading →

Convenience is Banks’ Secret Weapon in War with Silicon Valley

Tuxedo banking

Regional and community banks haven’t lost to Silicon Valley – yet. But they face some serious challenges. Unexpectedly, the desire for convenience may be today’s banks’ biggest advantage in the coming battle with Internet start-ups. Continue reading →

Felony Banking in the First Degree

prison bar shadow

The last time a major U.S. bank plead guilty to criminal charges, the movie Beetlejuice was in theaters. The year was 1988 and the once high-flying firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert, as a corporation, plead guilty to six counts of … Continue reading →

Getting Hitched to a Tech Company, Without Regrets

tech-banking marriage

Technology creates strange bedfellows. This is particularly true for financial institutions of late. Continue reading →

Concentration of Financial Infrastructure in Urban Centers

dense city

Sandy and 9/11 taught us some harsh lessons about how much of the US financial backbone is located in a narrow swath of real estate. It is true that more people are working remotely and that the Internet has made … Continue reading →

Marking the Close – Old Fraud by New Means

trader computer

The US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently fined a high-frequency trading firm a cool $1 million to settle charges that the firm had used their sophisticated algorithmic trading system to “mark the close” or “bang the close.” “Marking the … Continue reading →