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Thursday 28th February @ 11:26am

Well, that escalated quickly. Someone has pulled the curtain back on the business model behind Scandanavia's top banks, and it doesn't look pretty back there. Recall briefly that last year investigators uncovered the as-yet largest money laundering scheme ever: $200 billion had flowed out of Russia and former Soviet states through Danske Bank, with a good chunk of that ending up in high-end London properties. Danske chief executive Thomas Borgen was soon out the door...MORE

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Wednesday 27th February @ 10:23am

Say what? South Africa will launch one of the world's first 5G networks in September, with new South African network Rain as the provider of the last miles service. "Data-only network Rain has announced it's going to start offering 5G commercial services in South Africa in September 2019," writes stuff.co.za. "The company is partnering with hardware manufacturer Huawei, which will supply the devices necessary for consumers to enjoy the new, high-speed...MORE

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Tuesday 26th February @ 10:08am

At the best of times, moving banking assets, equipment and staff is a palaver. Under the "does-anyone-know-what's-happening" scenario playing out as the UK continues to Brexit, there are clear divisions. Either the deed is already done or it's flailing in the gloom that is the UK government standing a few feet from the cliff edge as the light dims. "The EU has granted banks some leeway on how quickly they need to build up staff in https...MORE

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Monday 25th February @ 11:32am

"Yes, we really are asking you to consider switching to another bank," says RBS, which today officially tells its former SME customers that they should take their business elsewhere. It follows the awarding of 280 million sterling to Tide, Monzo and Starling to pick up former RBS customers. With major corporations starting to decamp from the UK, will the SME sector be able to step up to the plate? There's considerable jostling at the front of the pack as...MORE

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Friday 22nd February @ 10:23am

The UK's Capability and Innovation Fund this morning awarded the first tranche of funds set aside from the UK state's aid package to rescue RBS ten years ago. The money is intended to be used for lending to SMEs. Notably, challenger banks with a heavy digital focus were the winners, with losing applicants TSB and CYBG suffering service outages in recent months. The winners were Metro Bank, with £120 million, Starling Bank with £100 million and the joint Tide...MORE

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Thursday 21st February @ 11:06am

France's Société Générale has been left behind as Europe's lenders enjoyed a good start to 2019 after a dismal fourth quarter all around. "Shares in France's third-largest bank by market capitalization have halved since a peak reached last May, making it the second-worst performer on the Stoxx 600 Banks Index, after U.K. minnow Metro Bank Plc," notes Bloomberg. "Its direct competitor at home, BNP Paribas SA, has risen in line with the sector...MORE

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Wednesday 20th February @ 10:04am

Lafferty News has written about Lithuania a lot in the last year, noting the pro-active approach of the country's central bankers, who are in attendance at many fintech events. It's what other central bankers disparagingly called a competitive central bank. Now a story about competitive central banks has jumped to the front page. Last week, the Lithuanian parliamentarian Stasy Jakeliunas suggested that Revolut is concealing secret links to the Kremlin. (Founder Nikolay...MORE

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Tuesday 19th February @ 10:12am

One upshot of the focus on surveillance capitalism was the dawning realisation that the major investors in bro-tastic Silicon Valley are illiberal Saudi Arabia and UAE investment funds. With the cancellation of massive Airbus orders in recent days, the UAE is signalling that all is not well with the economy. But how will this impact on Silicon Valley? Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala fund are the two major investors in Softbank's $100...MORE

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Monday 18th February @ 10:48am

The Financial Times has been running a slide rule over Wirecard for several years, and recent reports alleging wrongdoing in accounting and reporting at the company are beginning to hurt the processor. In the last years, Wirecard has built an empire that values the company at more than Commerzbank. This morning the German regulator Bafin stepped in to stop short sellers. "Watchdog Bafin said the ban was https://www.reuters.com/article/us-wirecard-stocks/...MORE

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Friday 15th February @ 10:34am

The world-conquering airlines of the UAE have had their day. The decision by Emirates to cancel its orders of the Airbus A380 is the latest sign that business in the UAE is in crisis mode, in part because of its opaque decision making process. Emirates has never fully convinced investors that there is no state subvention of the flag carrier. Since 2010, Dubai has been developing the gigantic Al Maktoum Airport...MORE

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Thursday 14th February @ 9:55am

The lack of urgency in the Irish government as a no-deal Brexit deadline looms suggests one thing: it is content to suffer in some areas — such as the huge beef and agricultural export sector into the UK — as long as replacements appear. Those include Bank of America, headed by the Irish-American duo of chief executive John Moynihan and vice-chair Anne Finucane. At a conference in Dublin on Monday, she spoke about the bank's re-location to Dublin from London, noting that...MORE

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Wednesday 13th February @ 10:30am

Through our Brexit Council, Lafferty News keeps current with the mystifying developments otherwise known as Britain Exiting the European Union. Those of you on the conference circuit won't have failed to notice the ubiquitous presence of the Lithuanian Central Bank, which appears to have taken on a competitive mandate, as if it sensed that Britain's Brexit campaign would not end well. "'We expect to receive around 100 applications from fintech companies this...MORE

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