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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 11 April 2019

Daily briefing - 11 April 2019

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Bank CEOs line up for the show

For several weeks now, British newspapers have resorted to flow charts to illustrate the available permutations of Brexit. While Lafferty News has preferred to read the position papers rather than following the often wildly contradictory positions being adopted by the British negotiators, the logic of the process is closer to something from Alice in Wonderland. One day before the new deadline of 12 April, Theresa May has secured an extension of the leave date until October, which means Britain will have to pretend to participate in the European elections while desperately trying to leave before 22 May. "EU leaders have delayed Brexit for up to six months, overriding the objections of French President Emmanuel Macron and setting a Halloween deadline for Britain to leave the bloc. After a Brussels summit on Wednesday night running for close to six hours, UK prime minister Theresa May accepted an offer that goes beyond the June 30 date she promised would be the absolute limit of Britain's membership of the bloc." The EU will review the process in June, using what the FT called 'Boris-proofing' to ensure that Boris Johnson doesn't undo the whole process when he becomes Prime Minister at some point in the near future.

We've often noted recently the consolidation of processors and the amount of private equity money pouring into payments processors, which are attractive to the big PE players such as General Atlantic, Bain and Advent, among others. So it's interesting to see private equity group Nordic Capital acquiring Signicat, the digital identity provider based in Trondheim, Norway. With digitalisation comes fresh challenges including the verification of identities online. It's a field where solutions are emerging from different visions of a digital future. With the Nordic countries widely accepted as leaders in the digital vs cash arena, they have long been thinking about the types of security and access is needed to operate a business in a non-paper environment. With 500 clients, and strength in the financial services market, Signicat delivers solutions to DNB, Klarna, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale and Western Union. In a statement, chief executive Gunnar Nordseth said: "We live in a digital society where interactions between consumers and institutions are predominantly online and mobile-first. Trust is at a premium, and digital identity is the solution. Over the last 12 years Signicat has built a digital identity platform with all the tools any institution requires to establish mutual trust with its customers. With the ongoing global digital transformation, we are ideally placed to address this burgeoning market opportunity."

The chief executives of the leading banks in the United States were back before Congress yesterday for the first time since the financial crisis, with Jamie Dimon the only surviving chief executive from the previous appearance. The hearings are mostly theatre, with the chief executives lining up in a row and lawmakers lobbing hopeful questions about Russian money laundering, and the chief executives trying to impress with various progressive measures and plenty of high street folksiness. "Bank of America said on Tuesday it would raise its minimum hourly wage to $20 from $15 by 2021," reports Reuters. "Last month, JPMorgan said it would no longer finance the private prison industry and would invest $350 million in job training programs. Goldman Sachs has publicly set targets for hiring women and minority groups, a move Citigroup also made late last year. Wells Fargo & Co was not present at the hearing since former CEO Tim Sloan resigned abruptly last month, two weeks after appearing before the same committee."

Apple swore nothing would cause it to unlock access to its secure chip. Until Brexit.

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