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Daily Briefing

Wednesday 17th July @ 10:37am

Indonesia's leading mobile wallet GoJek is entering a partnership with Visa as the network looks to stay competitive in the digital mobile world. While Softbank has backed rival Grab — which recently launched a credit card issued by Citi — GoJek can count Visa as its lead investor in the latest round. Siam Commercial Bank, the Thai lender which counts the Thai king as its largest shareholder, also disclosed an investment in GoJek. "The vast majority of Indonesia's...MORE

Tuesday 16th July @ 9:48am

Hello Libra and goodbye banks. Yes, more clarity is emerging about Facebook's Libra project, and it's clear that Facebook has thought this through and will get support from legislators: the legislators it wants. For a start, the Libra Association will be based in Switzerland and regulated under Swiss law: Switzerland's Financial Markets Supervision Authority has long been long bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and has drawn businesses from around the world to participate in...MORE

Monday 15th July @ 11:10am

While Facebook is busy turning itself into the issuer of a global currency, it's being occasionally bothered by the US government and international privacy regulators such as Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner. Over the weekend came news that Facebook is to be fined $5 billion by the US Federal Trade Commission for various privacy violations. The charges largely arose from the...MORE

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Thursday 11th July @ 10:36am

Judging by the number of remittance businesses continuing to scale up, there must be plenty of fat still to be trimmed from the Western Unions of this world. The latest is eight-year-old Seattle-based Remitly which raised $155 million to give it a near one billion dollar valuation, despite fears that Facebook's new Libra project will cut across its bows. Remitly's early backers include Jeff Bezos. "There's not a huge amount of detail on how Facebook's product will...MORE

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Wednesday 10th July @ 10:02am

Important Europeans are calling for something to be done to fight the growing American and Chinese dominance of financial products. We say this tongue in cheek of course, because important Europeans have been calling for a Europe-wide instant payments system for years, while being totally ignored by banks, who have their own perfectly good, expensive and slow systems and are not keen to exchange them for free fast systems. Yesterday it was the Bank of France governor Francois...MORE

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Tuesday 9th July @ 9:06am

There's a minor but annoying new threat to holidaymakers and locals in European cities: silent, fast-moving electric cars, bikes and now, thousands and thousands and thousands of scooters. Lafferty News was in Berlin recently and the city felt like a daytime version of Blade Runner. The business model of everyone from the beloved global Uber corporation to local imitators: dump thousands of QR-code enabled electric scooters onto the streets of some big tourist city and hope...MORE

Monday 8th July @ 10:48am

In a final effort to kill its zombie investment bank, Deutsche is announcing huge layoffs of up to 18,000 people over the next three years, and there's no talk about replacing them with robots either. Instead Deutsche will completely exit the equities business, and head of the investment bank Garth Richie agreed to step down last Friday. London is Deutsche's biggest centre of trading. Deutsche Bank shares momentarily perked up though Deutsche Bank expects a loss this year, on top of...MORE

Friday 5th July @ 10:16am

Writing about SME banking, it's astonishing how often bankers shake their heads sorrowfully when asked to explain why it's so difficult to lend to small businesses. It's the lack of paperwork, they say, the complexity of separating the owner's finances from the business finance. Right. Talking to customers tells another story altogether: banks make SME customers jump through hoops to get a business account, including requiring business owners to switch their current accounts...MORE

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Thursday 4th July @ 10:10am

Nigerian banks are being encouraged to grow their retail lending books in order to grow the economy, according to a report on Bloomberg, by increasing their loan-to-deposit ratio to 60 percent. "Banks that fail to meet the threshold will have their cash reserve requirements, or the amount of money they have to keep at the central bank, increased, according...MORE

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Wednesday 3rd July @ 10:50am

Some historians trace the rise of consumer credit in America back to the Singer sewing machine, which became popular in the 1850s, with women showing particular enthusiasm for financing the devices. "A dollar down, a dollar a week," was the slogan. By the 1920s, Americans were buying up to two-thirds of their consumer goods on credit. The ultimate expression of credit was of course investing with credit, also known as leverage, which gave us the Wall Street Crash of...MORE

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Tuesday 2nd July @ 10:25am

Agustin Carstens, the chief central banker of the central banks, spoke last weekend to the Financial Times on the question of central banks issuing digital currencies. "Many central banks are working on it; we are working on it, supporting them," Mr Carstens told the Financial Times. "And it might be that it is sooner than we think that there is a market and we need to be able to provide central bank digital currencies." Mr Carstens has been a vocal critic...MORE

Monday 1st July @ 9:23am

Michael Lafferty writes: Jaja Finance announced last Friday that it will acquire the credit cards business of Bank of Ireland UK. This is a great move for Jaja, whose CEO Neil Radley is a world-class credit cards professional. Jostein Svendsen, the prime mover behind Jaja is no novice either, having made a fortune from successful credit cards businesses in both Norway — and Germany, of all places. I expect Jaja to become one of the world's great credit cards success stories over the next...MORE

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