Covid-19 Impact on Banks, And fixes. The Black Swan Opportunity

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Who’s been saying what this week

Quality quotes from the banking technology world

“Goldman Sachs, Santander and now Morgan Stanley’s drop out from the R3 consortium has led to a flurry of speculation about the future of the research group. Consortium aside, the crux of the issue is not to do with the interest in or potential of blockchain technology, but to do with the commercials of the business model. It’s not yet clear how this is going to work, other than that the banks are adamant that they are not going to create another commercial entity that can hold them over a barrel when it comes to operating fees. These departures show that there is a real question over the value being generated by R3, and an even bigger question over their ability to commercialise.

Both Goldmans and Santander are investors in Digital Asset Holdings (DAH) – could it be that DAH is about to release a competitive platform to Corda, which R3 is set to release as open source at the end of November. Regardless, innovation never happens by committee. We’re starting to see real world applications of blockchain – we need to go through that phase first before we start agreeing to standards. Utility Settlement Coin and DAH may offer a quicker path to adoption, as they are focused on commercial success. We welcome the additional competition that this split will promote to R3’s consortium model as this is beneficial for the industry in general.” Nick Weisfeld, Data Practice Head and Blockchain Specialist, GFT

“Developing technology like this requires dedication and significant resources, and our diverse pool of members all have different capacities and capabilities which naturally change over time.” R3 statement following the departures of Santander and Goldman Sachs from the blockchain consortium

“Australia’s banking sector is an oligopoly. The major banks have significant market power that they use to protect shareholders from regulatory and market developments. Despite this market concentration, under our current regulatory structure no entity is tasked with regularly making recommendations to improve competition. This must change.” Australian House of Representatives economics committee chair, David Coleman

“Replacing the Bank Levy which only applied to big banks with the 8% Corporation Tax Surcharge, which applies to all banks – even those that had nothing to do with the financial crisis and pose no systemic risk – is a retrograde step in terms of stimulating more competition for the benefit of bank customers. Not only does it make investment into the banking sector 8% less attractive – relative to FinTech businesses for example – but it will also mean that we have 8% less to reinvest in our business. No other sector is penalised in this way.” Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder, OakNorth Bank

“Customers’ perception of the risk associated with mobile payment applications continues to be higher than 30%. Indeed, the survey finds that although the idea of swapping credit/bank cards for alternative mobile payment methods is gaining appeal, security continues to be an important deterrent.” Stephanie Char, Analyst, Pyramid Research

“Innovate Finance welcomes the Autumn Statement, the first from the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond. We are pleased to see a focus on investment, productivity and digital innovation. However, the Statement is light on measures that will address future visa settlement. The continued success of our FinTech sector depends on the ability for the UK to attract global talent and to develop local skills. As expected, there is also no update on the future of passporting or single market issues. We will continue to push for the best possible solutions across a range of FinTech markets.” Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO, Innovate Finance

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