We're looking forward to meeting our customers, clients and guests this week at the Retail Banking-Fintech Forum in London, starting on Wednesday. For coverage of the event, please make sure to follow @laffertynews on Twitter — we'll be delivering updates from the event this week in place of the daily news briefing.
Former NAB investment banker Mike Baird, who took a diversion into politics as premier of New South Wales, continues his ascent towards the top position at the Australian bank, after his nomination as the new head of retail banking. As Australian Financial Review notes, the top retail banking job is the traditional route to CEO of the big four Australian banks. But the moves comes as a result of the departure of Mike Hagger, who was roundly criticised by Australia's Financial Services Royal Commission this year. Mr Hagger was head of wealth banking at NAB since 2013 and became chief customer officer for wealth and consumer banking in 2016. "[Baird] will replace Mr Hagger, who last month was criticised by counsel assisting the royal commission for showing 'a disrespect for the role of the regulator and a disregard for the gravity of the events in question' over his response to the fees-for-no-service scandal," writes News.com.au. "Mr Hagger, who has been with NAB for 10 years and part of the lender's executive team for eight, admitted to 'failures' during his tenure." Hagger had his eye on the top job but problems including scandals in the loans department, which resulted in twenty bankers being fired, put paid to those ambitions.
Do former Central Bankers even return to a cheerful demeanour? Among central bankers, the emerging thesis is that banks are safer than they were a decade ago, but still not safe enough. "King, Cleland and others say there's still work to do after the crisis prompted the abandonment of the so-called light-touch, principles-based framework the U.K. boasted about in Gordon Brown's days as finance minister. King's recipe to prevent a re-run: ensure lenders have enough collateral in place at the central bank to justify it acting as lender of last resort, restoring liquidity to the financial system."
Meanwhile, the ECB appears to be doing the UK an enormous favour by insisting that Deutsche Bank move up to 75 percent of its $600 billion in assets from London back to Frankfurt, so that regulators can keep a closer eye on the bank. "The European Central Bank, the chief watchdog of the eurozone's largest lenders, has insisted that Deutsche bulk up its capital and liquidity in Germany to comply with rules for branches in a 'third country', which the UK will become when it leaves the EU in March." As Lafferty's Brexit Council has noted, uncertainty over the future direction of Brexit is forcing the hand of banks and businesses who cannot afford to wait on political decisions for processes — such as Deutsche's move — that could take five years to complete.
In other news, Bernard Lunn claims to have discovered that the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is an AI bot that is currently labouring over the problem of cryptocurrency in the early 22nd century but will shortly be making the trip back through time to solve the problem of digital double spending. Follow the story here.
Deutsche Bank and NAB scored two stars in our 2017 Benchmarking project. The maximum score is five stars.
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