When Airbus announced last year that it would close down its UK operations, one Brit lamented on Twitter that the country was literally losing its wings: the UK plant manufactures wings for the planes. Now it's getting even trickier. Bombardier in Belfast is now whispering in the ear of the DUP, warning that it faces a similar disaster. The Canadian manufacturer took over Short Brothers, the Belfast-based aerospace group that along with famed shipbuilder Harland and Wolff drew its workforce from the loyalist regions of East Belfast. The DUP, with a deciding vote in the House of Commons, is not happy with the Brexit deal offered by Theresa May. But needs must. "Bombardier are strategically important for Northern Ireland, not just in terms of their jobs but also that they account for approximately 10 per cent of Northern Ireland exports and their supply chain, which stretches from the north-west to North Down," Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, told the Financial Times. The paper reports that Bombardier has warned the DUP of the disastrous consequences of a no-deal Brexit. England might handle having its wings clipped a little, but the same scenario might send Northern Ireland into a nosedive.
Mexican socialists, the country's central bank, and Amazon are teaming up to build a mobile payments network that will offer free or low-cost payments. "Mexico's new leftist government under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is betting on financial technology to help lift people out of poverty," reports Reuters. "The payment system, known as CoDi, is being built by central bank Banco de México, known as Banxico. CoDi will allow customers to make payments online and in person through smartphones free of charge using QR codes. It aims to bring more people into the formal financial sector." Half of the Mexican population is unbanked. Amazon's Latin American competitor MercadoLibre also approached the central bank with a similar plan. If the trial is successful, the impact will be felt throughout Latin America.
Would you like to join a debate about the future of credit cards, which seem to be going through another boom period? Often said to be the most successful consumer financial product ever created, the secret of credit cards' success with consumers is attributed to their most fundamental attribute: convenient, confidential credit. Lafferty Group notes that there is another secret to running a successful credit cards business and we would like to invite industry experts to debate a vital issue for the industry, namely: Does a credit cards issuing business need to be run as a standalone profit centre in its own right, rather than being a product within the retail bank? You can volunteer to join the debate by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: 'Credit cards debate'.
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