Retail Banker International

25 September – RBCx: Redefining what a bank can do. Canada has produced some of the world’s leading tech companies. But many emerging entrepreneurs continue to face challenges making their debut and scaling to their full potential. Access to a diverse range of funding sources and a pool of investors remains a challenge for Canadian innovators.

A significant portion of tech funding comes from venture capital (VC) firms, but only 0.5% of VC-backed Canadian businesses achieved a valuation above $250m, compared to 2.9% in the US. This is a gap that RBCx strives to fill. RBCx is the tech and innovation banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Its mission is to create a more robust and resilient pipeline of innovators in the Canadian tech space. It leverages the bank’s deep institutional knowledge, scale and capital with its own extensive network of highly specialised tech industry advisers, ecosystem partners and investors to back some of Canada’s boldest and brightest innovators.

30 August – The case for a UK CBDC. Praveen Prabhakaran and Daniel Field of UST discuss the potential for a UK central bank digital currency. UST was a key innovation vendor in Project Rosalind, an experiment in application programming interface (API) prototypes for central bank digital currencies (CBDC) from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England (BOE) via the BIS Innovation Hub London Centre. Prabhakaran and Field discussed the key takeaway from Project Rosalind, the position of the UK market and the skill challenges that are faced when promoting CBDCs.

15 November – Monzo and Starling low on fraud ratings but unlikely to lose customers. Monzo and Starling ranked poorly in the PSR fraud performances, but it is unlikely to impact consumer behaviour. The two banks ranked first and second for the number of fraudulent authorised push payments (APP).

Customers value digital banks for their easy-to-use apps. This is likely the main reason for customers of these banks being targeted by fraudsters, as fraudulent transactions are verified by users directly and are more likely to be verified than if a traditional transaction monitoring method is used. Younger people are more vulnerable to fraud attacks, with 43% of fraud victims aged between 18 and 34 years old. This coincides with Monzo’s customer base and could be the reason for such a high volume of fraud, as 84% of its customers fall in the same age range.

Electronic Payments International

15 September – CGI: Enhancing the payment value change. CGI has played a transformational role in the payments sector for over four decades with leading banks and banking partners relying on its software and experience every single day. CGI laid out the design for Swift, the first cross-border payments network. It was also instrumental in the launch of CLS, which settles more than 50% of all FX transactions globally.

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Ainsley Ward, VP Payments Consulting Services at CGI, discusses the latest trends, challenges in payments. He tells EPI why CGI has a compelling story to tell clients and prospects at SIBOS as it ramps up its innovative payments solutions supporting the entire payments value chain.

31 March – 10 biggest fintech funding rounds in 2022. Fintech firms secured huge funding deals in 2022 despite global market turmoil. However, boring down into the 10 biggest capital raises from 2022 demonstrates how that chaos has still hurt the industry deeply. Signs of an imminent planet-wide recession piled up in the first quarter of 2022. The Federal Reserve was hinting that it was going to raise interest rates. Russia invaded Ukraine. Political chaos reigned in countries like the UK. At the end of 2022, the cost-of-living crisis had become a fact.

Tech companies have been hurt as a result. Stocks have plummeted. Cashflows have dropped to a crawl. Mass-layoffs have reigned supreme. Even though the fintech industry went from strength to strength during the pandemic, it was not inoculated from these woes. Despite this, 1,857 fintech capital raises in 2022. Together they raised a grand total of $91.7bn. However, that was a far cry from the whooping $261.1bn injected into the industry in 2021 across 2,928 deals.

6 April – Banks and Foreign exchanges see light at the end of the tunnel as travel cash returns. The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions led to a boom in cross-border travel. Banks anticipated the continued increase of international travellers, with banks and foreign exchanges becoming hopeful in the future of travel money and cards. People tired of lockdowns are increasingly choosing to spend their savings on trips. In 2022, tourists spent approximately $572bn in Europe (56.41% of global tourism expenditure),

Among the countries reporting a revival in cross-border travel, European destinations ranked first with Spain registering 58,872,000 international arrivals, becoming the most visited country in 2022.

Private Banker International

23 March – UBS reportedly looking to abort Credit Suisse investment bank deal. UBS is planning to hold discussions with veteran deal maker Michael Klein about ending a deal between Credit Suisse and Klein’s advisory boutique.

The deal was aimed at creating an investment-banking spinoff under the CS First Boston brand by merging Klein’s advisory boutique with Credit Suisse’s investment banking business. Klein, who was part of Credit Suisse’s board, was expected to lead the spinoff from New York as a standalone entity. This was all before UBS and Credit Suisse ended up merging.

16 January – BNY Mellon plans 1,500 job cuts in 2023. Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) is looking to axe around 3% of its workforce in 2023, reported Reuters. The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, will lead to 1,500 redundancies.

With a headcount of 51,700 at the end of 2022, BNY Mellon is the latest to plan retrenchments as interest rate hikes jeopardise economic projections and discourage dealmaking. The layoffs will focus on management positions. This was just one of many banks planning to lay off huge chunks of the workforce this year.

12 May – Santander is set to hire eight Credit Suisse bankers. Credit Suisse Group is losing eight senior bankers to Banco Santander, including mergers and acquisitions leader Steve Geller. The moves reflect Banco Santander’s development in the United States, reportedly to one of the sources who asked not to be identified since the subject matter is confidential. This was just one of the many fallouts of UBS taking on Credit Suisse, a story that dominated the year as the two biggest players in Switzerland become one.