Moments after departing his job as Ireland's central bank governor Philip Lane made it known that he was, in fact, against capping the pay of bankers. It's a campaign: former MEP Brian Hayes, now chief lobbyist for Irish banks, took to Twitter to praise a "courageous" press article that pleaded for the public to stop "bank bashing". But when Philip Lane spoke, bankers cheered, everyone else booed, and we all looked to the incoming governor, Egyptian Gabriel Maklouf, who is departing his current Treasury job in New Zealand. Now it seems that Mr Maklouf, in the classic tradition of central bankers, doesn't really know anything about computers. "With just three weeks left in his role as Treasury Secretary, Gabriel Makhlouf has found himself at the centre of a storm after the National Party managed to access Budget information early through the Treasury website. Makhlouf had referred to 'hacking' and called in the Police to investigate, only for the Police to discover National had simply used the search engine and done nothing illegal." Mr Maklouf will soon find his hands full at the Central Bank of Ireland, if he actually makes it that far.
Speaking of central bankers, American officials are busily praying that China will inflict some horrible central banking disaster on itself. And indeed, Chinese central bankers are trying to stimulate small and medium business lending while also reigning in bad debts. "The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) took control of Inner Mongolia's Baoshang Bank due to 'serious' credit risks on May 24, rattling Chinese markets and prompting the People's Bank of China (PBOC) to inject cash into the banking system," notes Reuters. "While authorities said it was a standalone case, the seizure comes as Beijing is urging banks to boost lending to help cushion an economic slowdown, fuelling concerns about the health of smaller lenders' balance sheets amid rising debt and bad loans."
Worldline is partnering with Trapeze to offer a new service for public transport using Bluetooth beacons. "The system operates by 'detecting' passengers via Bluetooth when they enter any public transport vehicle," Worldline explains. "From these detections, combined with transport network data, check in and check out taps are created in order to obtain the whole passenger journey. Best tariff calculation including fee capping functionalities is applied to finally trigger the related payment using passenger account information. Passengers are able to check their journey and fare at any time via the solution's mobile app."
Michael Lafferty writes: Overdrafts, long a standard but controversial feature of UK banking, are under attack from the regulator. The Financial Conduct Authority is starting with fees levied for unauthorised overdrafts but it is evident that it wants to go further — attacking even the pricing of the authorised variety. Banks in countries whose regulators tend to take their lead from Britain have been warned. Back to fintechs: further to my note last week, I hear that there is growing unease among major banks about the ease with which fintechs are able to join the global payments networks of Visa and Mastercard. Banks are worried that the failure of one of these could lead to a bank run that will be very difficult to handle. I expect a new compliance regime shortly.
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