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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 31 May 2019

Daily briefing - 31 May 2019

Irish lender Permanent TSB will have to pay a fine of €21 million euro for overcharging its customers. "It follows prolonged controversy over the failure of five Irish banks to pass on to thousands of home loan customers lower mortgage charges as the ECB slashed interest rates to confront the eurozone crisis. Borrowers had the right to 'tracker' rates, contractually tied to the falling ECB rate, but banks insisted customers pay higher rates," writes the FT. "More than 2,000 Permanent TSB customers were caught up in the overcharging affair which led 12 customers to lose their family homes and 19 investors to lose buy-to-let properties. The bank has paid out €54.3m in redress and compensation to home loan customers." Chief executive Jeremy Masding apologised to customers. Lafferty News expects this story will go down like sour milk with Irish citizens. Little has changed in the world of Irish banking, where there's a very cosy relationships between banks and regulators. Permanent TSB, incidentally, remains 75 percent state owned following the crisis ten years back that saw Irish citizens stump up €64 billion to rescue the banks. Under an agreement between the banks and the regulators, fines can be discounted for early settlement. The Irish Central Bank initially applied a fine of €30 million euros, and granted a discount to Permanent TSB for early payment. If we understand this correctly, a bank that cheated its customers by withholding money is now being rewarded by regulators for paying a fine early? In what world is this correct?

Earlier this year, Australia's NAB reached a new benchmark when it achieved the lowest levels of trust ever recorded for a bank. "This is the highest level of distrust we have ever seen for a bank brand in Australia," said Michele Levine, chief executive of the survey company, commenting on the 11 percent trust rating achieved by NAB. However, the Australian banks will be heartened by a new survey on trust levels of tech companies and big tech. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation recently carried out a survey on trust in tech and banking. "Data61, the Consumer Data Standards section of CSIRO, has conducted qualitative research panels with 115 respondents, the highlights of which were shared at the Indue Leaders Forum in Sydney yesterday," writes Banking Tech. The survey asked consumers who they trust. "There was 'zero per cent trust in big tech, like Google and Apple,' Michael Palmyre, design and research lead at Data61 told the forum. Then there was 'zero per cent trust in fintech,' he added."

Lafferty News proposes a new acronym: Swas, or service-without-a-service. It occurs to us that a lot of automation just means you do the work that used to be done by the service company. As we checked ourselves in to our apps the night before the flight, the hotel receptionist tipped us off that Ryanair had installed a new automated check-in, which meant leaving extra early for the airport, because automation makes everything slower by removing the worker. We arrived before dawn to discover that the check-in now looks like it was built by the same people who make automatic checkouts for supermarkets. We waited for a free terminal, weighed and tagged our own bags and put them on the conveyor belt. Customs is now automated as well, which means standing in small pen while a robot scans our faces. The software broke down while Lafferty News was in the pen, and had to be manually released. Meanwhile, other passengers gave us dirty looks for slowing down the queue. After practically loading the plane ourselves, we were pleased to see that the airlines are still employing real pilots. Wishing everyone a good weekend.

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