Digital transformation and the shift in customers to digital channels helped BBVA to report fourth quarter net earnings of €1bn. "BBVA's digital transformation moved forward, with 51 per cent of its customers banking through digital channels at the end of 2018, it said, surpassing its goal of half. It said mobile customers now account for 43 per cent of the total and the goal for 2019 is to reach 50 per cent." This helped the bank to declare a 51 percent rise in full-year profits.
Iconic British immigrant Paddington bear will soon be heading back to Peru as the UK parliament continues to deliver sound-and-fury that makes little sense to anyone outside Westminster. But the moot decision this week by the UK government to return to Brussels to re-open the Brexit negotiations will make no difference to the British businesses now packing their suitcases. A survey of businesses by the Institute of Directors found that one in three UK businesses planning to move out of the UK. "We can no more ignore the real consequences of delay and confusion than business leaders can ignore the hard choices that they face in protecting their companies," IoD interim director Edwin Morgan said. "Change is a necessary and often positive part of doing business, but the unavoidable disruption and increased trade barriers that no deal would bring are entirely unproductive." The political uncertainty has taken its toll.
The ECB's Benoît Coeuré is in Africa, shilling for European infrastructure builders. Europe perceives a danger from China's advances in infrastructure — digital and otherwise — in Africa, and the US and UK have been warning loudly about China's deepening involvement in Africa. Many Africans are welcoming the Chinese as straight business partners, and Europe is waking up to the fact that it's got a major tech competitor in infrastructure build, and one not based entirely on the Anglo cards model. Now Europe is hoping to sell financial infrastructure for faster payments, despite the fact that it has entirely missed the boat, and arguably missed the port as well. Says Coeuré : "Tips could be a role model for developing economies. It not only has the potential to help better prepare incumbents for the challenges arising from digital giants, such as Alibaba, Apple and Google, who are integrating payment services into their ecosystems; it also has the potential to be a catalyst for financial inclusion." He warned of 'shadow payments' by P2P players and the threat of cryptocurrencies. But it's clearly not Apple of Google that Mr Coeuré is worried about: it's China, Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent.
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