Automation saves time, cuts cost and carries out routine tasks with unmatched efficiency, so who wouldn’t welcome it? Possibly the people whose income currently depends on carrying out those tasks. Digitalization is guaranteed to strip out much routine work in banking, but it will not necessary mean fewer bank jobs. Roles will be reinvented so that technology frees human staff to provide customers with excellent advice and service.
The global financial crisis triggered many changes to the world’s financial system, including the ascension of alternative finance: financial channels, sources and instruments that exist beyond the traditional. Spurred on by the capital needs of fast-growing small and medium-sized firms and prospective real-estate buyers, alternative finance has mushroomed over the past 10 years into a multi-faceted, ever-evolving financial powerhouse capable of overcoming barriers to obtaining finance.
Financial services firms in the UK have more questions than answers about how Brexit will affect their operations. The uncertainty extends to London’s position as a global centre for dispute resolution, as it is possible that English court decisions will not be automatically enforceable in the EU. As the case study in this article demonstrates, English courts will endure as the best option for fast and fair resolution of international cases.
Banks were created to work for and on behalf of their customers, and by staying true to that purpose, they earned their customers’ trust that they placed the financial interests of consumers at the centre of their operations. Over time, and partly due to financial crises, that trust has been eroded, and only a root-and-branch reform will recreate the societal purpose on which ethical banking was founded.
All over the world, regulations have been implemented to protect economies, especially following the major recession 10 years ago. But unfortunately they have not always been executed in concert, leading to costly regulatory fragmentation. Banks have been particularly hard hit by the costs of compliance to misaligned regulation, with resources being drained away from more productive areas. But there are ways to mend these divergences, starting with cooperation between regulators.
Global growth is strong, but policymakers need to navigate uncharted waters and enact complex policy changes to keep the world economy on an even keel. The main risk lies not in economic conditions, but in economic policy debates too often distorted by partisanship. We have a chance to leverage new technologies to lift living standards on a sustainable basis—but we need a more level-headed discussion to chart the path forward.
In the United Kingdom under new government regulation, businesses must report their gender pay gaps. The factors contributing to these gaps are varied, but as Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the government’s Women in Finance Champion, explains, closing them is a must to tap into the full potential of all employees regardless of gender, for the benefit of not only the workers and their firms but society at large.
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.
“Equal pay for equal work” has been a familiar mantra, and law in many countries, for decades—but does reality coincide, especially in the world of finance? Various studies have revealed disturbing gender pay gaps, and the push is on for banks around the globe to disclose wage data according to gender and ethnicity, something many seem reluctant to do.
Until very recently, financial data pertaining to a customer’s account information was made available only to his/her own bank. But since January 13, those rules have changed.