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Daily Briefing

Monday 29th May @ 10:37am

Last Friday we noted that large amounts of money are flowing into cryptocurrencies, with rising bitcoin values driving interest in 'altcoins' also. You've heard of IPOs: now hail the ICO or initial coin offering. If you have not been keeping up on the field of late, have a listen to this amusing podcast from the FT's Izabella Kaminska and bitcoin analyst Joshua Unseth as they comment on variety of initial coin offerings...MORE

Friday 26th May @ 9:34am

Uber and Airbnb, move aside please. Cryptocurrencies are having a big year, with regulatory support from Switzerland, Japan and the Philippines underpinning growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Last time we touched on bitcoin a few weeks back, its price was hovering around $1,000 as observers waited on the SEC to make a declaration about approval of bitcoin exchange-traded funds. The answer was negative, but, after a brief drop, bitcoin just kept on going and https://int...MORE

Thursday 25th May @ 9:16am

Jennifer Bailey, head of Apple Pay, has a job of work convincing people to try mobile payments. And while consumers aren't entirely convinced, some acquirers can see the shoots of a mobile revolution. The head of an acquiring business in Europe told Lafferty News glumly last week that acquiring as we know it would not last more than ten years as a business model . The cause of this disruption? Mobile phones. It happening on an enormous scale in the East and seems inevitably headed to the...MORE

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Wednesday 24th May @ 11:05am

Just as it seemed that the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) matter might be vanishing into the rearview mirror of British banking, news comes from London's High Court that a £1.6bn lawsuit for PPI mis-selling has been filed by CCUK Finance, claiming that Barclays sold it a pup in 2007. CCUK Finance is a British unit of CCUK, a US-based credit card services firm once known as...MORE

Tuesday 23rd May @ 8:53am

With US credit card balances passing $1 trillion earlier this year, there's been a sense of anxiety among some analysts worried about the unprecedented levels of debt. However, analysts told Bloomberg News that consumers generally paid their debts as long as they have incomes. "US unemployment is near an all-time low, and as long as it stays there, consumers should...MORE

Cards in 2016
Monday 22nd May @ 12:19pm

Whither MoneyGram ? The future of the remittance provider based in Dallas, Texas remains uncertain even as Ant Financial's bidding war with American rival, Euronet, showed that the Chinese player was fully committed. According to reports last week in the US media, Jack Ma's firm is able and willing to raise a $3.5 billion debt round for key payments acquisitions. MoneyGram's network of agents, despite the onward march of digital payments, remains a key attraction for...MORE

Friday 19th May @ 12:24pm

In the United States, a revival of Glass-Steagall laws to keep commercial and investment banking entirely separate appears to be dead in the water today with President Trump's treasury secretary telling lawmakers on Capitol Hill that any such break-up would be a "huge mistake". Secretary Mnuchin made it clear that no break-up is in the offing: "We do not support a...MORE

Thursday 18th May @ 6:55am

Mexican banking has come a long way since the 1996 banking collapse in the country. Regulations have been strengthened and new banking licences issued, although consumers remain underserved. Among the banks contesting in the market is HSBC Mexico : analysts at Credit Suisse have been praising the bank's "comeback" to retail. However, it appears that the rise of HSBC in Mexico is not adding to the competitive environment at large but is coming mainly at the expense...MORE

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Wednesday 17th May @ 6:54am

Data, data, everywhere. The French regulator has fined Facebook €150,000 for failure to comply with data regulations . The regulator, Commission Nationale de l'Informatique, found the Silicon Valley business was illegally tracking activity as users browsed the web. Facebook is famously a 'free' service but it makes its money by selling advertising space based on a vast amount of data it gathers on its users. Last week, as the FT reports, Italian authorities...MORE

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Tuesday 16th May @ 11:14am

Wells Fargo , as we heard last week, is keen to turn a new page in its history, with mortgages central to those plans. The news today that the city of Philadelphia is suing the bank on the grounds of predatory lending is therefore especially unwelcome. 'Redlining' is the issue, as the city accuses the bank of "having, since 2004, steered minority borrowers into higher-cost, riskier loans than...MORE

Monday 15th May @ 10:45am

It's deja vu all over again in Dublin, where 16 luxury homes newly released to the market at 3pm on Thursday were sold out by 6pm. Prices ranged from €660,000 to €900,000 but demand has outstripped supply, and the good times look to be back for Irish developers. On cue, JP Morgan announced plans to hire a significant number of people in Dublin. "The US bank currently employs 500 people in the Irish capital in...MORE

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Friday 12th May @ 1:26pm

Today's announcement that China will open up its domestic market to non-Chinese payment processors will be welcomed by Visa and Mastercard, who will be expected to be the main beneficiaries. However, it is worth pointing out that this move had already been announced in 2016, and today's announcement smacks of political point-scoring from President Trump. However, having said this, today's announcement is not insignificant, as it carries the blessing of the Chinese authorities...MORE

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