Equities across most of the major Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets encountered massive sell-off on Tuesday, 11 May, following the downbeat Wall Street with the tech-heavy benchmark Nasdaq Composite sliding more than 2.5 per cent. Led by the heavy drop in the blue-chip technology stocks, including Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Netflix, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Paypal, the Nasdaq Composite suffered a loss of 350.38 points, or 2.55 per cent to close at 13,401.86 on 10 May.
COVID-19 has brought the centrality of the banking industry within the financial sector into sharper focus. Banks’ roles in shepherding their economies through the troubling times of the pandemic and beyond are indisputable; how well they fulfil their mandates will determine the success of the broader recovery in Europe and elsewhere. The road won’t be easy, and the banking sector needs to redefine and restructure itself to meet these challenges. Bank boards will have to take a more prominent role in this process.
As the world becomes more digitally intertwined, competition between its major economies grows more combative, as evidenced by the US-China trade battles and legal actions. No sector is more impacted than frontline information and communications technology, in which much of today’s warfare between the two heavyweights rages. At the inception of a new year and a new decade, is there reason to hope for cooperation toward shared growth and prosperity?
Sovereign wealth funds are state-owned funds used by especially Middle Eastern and Asian governments to support projects they feel will promote domestic growth and welfare; lately, they have been shifting to emerging-technology opportunities. One difference between SWFs and other funds is a willingness to wait to realize long-term returns; technology firms with vast potential to serve private and public interests are proving to be the perfect targets for SWF investment.
There are times when no one wants to see history repeat itself, and that’s the case among today’s investors in technology stocks. Some fear that the dot-com bubble burst of 2000 may repeat itself 20 years later. Although some tech stocks may be overvalued, the flourishing Fourth Industrial Revolution displays no signs of running out of steam any time soon. Caution is advised but not panic.
There are enough new terms floating around banking to make one’s head spin, and along comes greenfield bank. This refers to the growing trend among incumbent banks to create standalone digital banks that are as agile and innovative as the fintechs and neobanks. After considering how difficult and expensive it is proving to be for banks to break out of their legacy-infrastructure moulds, this approach makes a lot of sense.
Most banks have processed the message that they need to change if they plan to stay competitive in today’s financial world, increasingly infiltrated by fintech and bigtech disruptors. But the change that is required goes beyond changing strategy; it involves transforming the entire culture of a bank, from the top down. What are the practical steps banks must take to change their internal cultures and use technology most effectively?
There has been a rapid increase in the size and number of investments into UK fintechs with the likes of Monzo and Revolut leading the charge. Interestingly, it is not just the VC funds driving this; banks are also investing or in many cases, acquiring fintech companies outright.
How Can Banks Solve the Challenge of Preventing Financial Crime and Yet Deliver A Seamless Customer Onboarding Experience?
The scourge of financial crime is increasing. It’s being driven by organised crime rings, fuelled with billions of compromised data records, who are systematically and methodically targeting financial services firms with sophisticated application fraud attacks that use stolen or falsified identities in an effort to obtain new accounts.
The hold traditional banking once exerted over consumer finances has seriously eroded in the Digital Age, with fintech presenting a formidable challenge to banking’s sovereignty. Customers are shrugging off any loyalty they may have had to their main banks and are opting for the providers with the most convenient, efficient, secure and, above all, speedy financial solutions. Can banks survive in the fintech world, and if so, how?