Many bankers love blockchain for its potential to maximize efficiency and productivity while slashing costs and security risks. But the crypto-currencies, such as the (in)famous bitcoin, tied to it? Not so much—at least not across the board. While giving the thumbs up to distributed ledger technology for its advantages in areas such as trade finance, industry leaders are maintaining a wary eye on cryptos, due to disadvantages such as volatility.
Ms. Juliet Morris of International Banker interviews Mr. Henry F. Saamoi, CEO of International Bank (Liberia) on the banks role in the growth of Liberia, the digital solutions being implemented to improve customer service and his long career in banking.
Rarely has a technology been met with the excitement and trepidation that AI has. Because artificial intelligence not only matches but can surpass human intelligence, it is exciting as a means to improve speed, save cost and maximize accuracy—but menacing for its potential to displace human workers. Banks are embracing AI for its staggering benefits, while also acknowledging that it creates a few wrinkles that need ironing out.
In March, the US Senate reformed the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act by loosening its tight regulations on smaller financial organizations, welcome relief for those firms that have been struggling for eight long years with requirements targeted for larger, systemically important institutions during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Most are upbeat about the Senate bill, but how will it fare in the House of Representatives?
Nedbank is among South Africa’s top four banks, offering a range of wholesale and retail banking services to an equally varied clientele. In our interview, three of its top executives, Ciko Thomas, Mike Brown and Mfundo Nkuhlu, discuss a bank that aims to use its financial expertise “to do good for individuals, families, businesses and society”.
U.S. banks are highly profitable and supporting of economic activity, as they were prior to the 2008-09 financial crisis. It is important to remember how quickly conditions can change. As a result of post-crisis prudential reforms, banks have bolstered their capital and liquidity. It is essential to preserve these hard-won improvements. It would be a mistake to assume that a severe downturn or crisis cannot happen again.
The banking industry in Ukraine has been beset by conditions so dire—from rampant fraud in its main banks, threats of war to foreign capital flight—that some thought it would never fully recover. Yet with help from international partners, the government, under the leadership of the National Bank of Ukraine, is making impressive strides toward putting its banking sector back on solid, fruitful ground.
Anyone working in banking knows that customer expectations are charging ahead at full throttle, fuelled by technology advances. Fortunately banks can use innovations such as AI and IoT to meet customers where they are at, and a recent Fujitsu report shows they are doing—or planning to do—just that. So what can we reasonably expect banking to become as a result of this transformative process?
As customers age, their vulnerability to abuse, especially financial, increases concurrently. Elder financial abuse is not a new crime but is becoming more prevalent with the current senior boom. Where does the bank’s responsibility to ensure safe banking for elderly customers begin and end, and what steps can it take to ensure the financial well-being of all clients, especially its most vulnerable?
The UK’s Metro Bank is eight years young, and its drive to grow exponentially doesn’t show any sign of letting up. While providing traditional banking services to its swelling number of personal and business customers, or FANS, it also distinguishes itself with non-traditional services such as ultra-fast account opening, coin-counting machines and pet-friendly perks. Vernon Hill, its founder, explains where Metro Bank is today and where it plans to go in the future.