Ep. 259. News: We are the news

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On this week's episode, Simon and Ross sit down with Nina Mohanty, Lianna Brinded and Lesley-Ann Vaughan to discuss the latest and greatest news in fintech.

Our hosts, Simon Taylor and Ross Gallagher are joined by three great guests: Nina Mohanty, Business Development at Bud, Lianna Brinded, Head of Yahoo Finance UK and Lesley-Ann Vaughan, Co-Creator of M-Pesa and 11:FS Product and African Markets Expert.

First up, RBS prepares to launch standalone digital bank. RBS announces plans to launch “Bó” a new digital bank to try and compete with Monzo et al. Launching next year, it will only be available on mobile and RBS want to migrate 1M NatWest customers over to it. It is understood that the project will be run as an independent operation with separate premises and a dedicated team, mirroring the startup culture of disruptive FinTech players.

Online glitches disrupt payday. Last Friday, (the last Friday of the month and payday for a lot of people in the UK) and many people were locked out of multiple banks’ online banking portals and mobile apps crashed
In some cases money actually disappeared from their accounts. Banks affected included Barclays, HSBC and of course TSB, just one week on from similar issues that impacted RBS, NatWest, Ulster and Barclays.

We also have a Tweet of the Week this week from Monzo Founder Tom Blomfield.

Then we look at lack of choice in bank switching. A CMA study in 2016 concluded that most people haven’t switched banks in more than a decade. Mid-sized banks are planning to launch a lobbying campaign highlighting the role regulation plays in their competitive landscape. TSB and Metro Bank will argue that regulators ought to give them a break from highly prescriptive, burdensome rules because they make it impossible for smaller banks to differentiate themselves from larger rivals.

Danske Bank chief steps down. In a call back to last week’s show and the ING money-laundering fine, the boss of Denmark’s biggest bank has resigned after admitting that the vast majority of €200bn (£178bn) flowing through its Estonian branch was money-laundered cash flowing illegally out of Russia, the UK and the British Virgin Islands. The bank said an independent investigation had found “a series of major deficiencies” in its controls to prevent money laundering.

BBVA’s Francisco González retires after 18 years. Francisco González, the digital pioneer who has led BBVA for the last 18 years, will step down in December and hand over to Carlos Torres Vila, the former CEO. Mr González, 73, is one of Europe’s longest-serving bank leaders and has won global plaudits for making financial technology a central part of BBVA’s strategy long before most executives awoke to its potential.

Facebook could be fined up to $1.63 billion for a massive breach which may have violated EU privacy laws. Facebook may be fined as much as $1.63 billion by a European Union privacy watchdog for a data breach announced Friday that compromised the personal information of up to 50 million users. The hack may have violated the EU's new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, which would result in a hefty fine if EU citizens were affected. Under the law, companies that don't sufficiently protect user data face maximum fines of 20 million euros ($23 million) or 4% of the company's global annual revenue from the prior year, depending on which sum is larger.

We got a cutaway interview with Ryan Garner, host of our digital identity and GDPR insights show podcasts, who has some very strong thoughts on how Facebook have behaved. We also speak to the public about their thought on Facebook and whether they deleted their data or not.

The rising cost of Brexit. European banks are considering whether to begin closing out their trillions of pounds’ worth of derivatives positions in London in the coming months as the UK struggles to finalise an agreement on leaving the EU. The Bank of England estimates that around £38tn of deals are affected by Brexit, including 90 per cent of euro-denominated interest rate swaps.

UBS expects London to lose 25% of a €1 trillion-a-day business due to Brexit. UBS: LCH, the London clearing house owned by the London Stock Exchange, is likely to lose at least 25% of its euro clearing volumes as a result of Brexit. LCH processes the bulk of all euro clearing in the UK, which is a €1 trillion-a-day business. Even if Britain avoids a "hard" Brexit, UBS expects volumes to shift to the continent as regulators order firms to do so to guard against the potential risk.

We catch up with Oscar Williams Grut, Senior Reporter at Business Insider who wrote the story.

Money Saving Expert advises on packaged bank accounts. If you've got or had a packaged bank account - where you pay a monthly fee for extras incl travel, mobile or breakdown cover - you may be owed £1,000s. Many get these accounts for cheap insurance. Yet they've also been mis-sold on a mass scale. Customers have to pay a monthly fee for the added extra, which can be anything between £9.95 (TSB Silver) to £19 (NatWest Reward Platinum) to name a few examples, but sometimes the rates are better when you buy the insurance separately.

LinkedIn names its top 25 UK startups, including 11:FS at #19! LinkedIn have published their list of the top startups to work for in the UK LinkedIn’s criteria: To be eligible, companies must be independent and privately held, have 50 or more employees, be 7 years old or younger. Fintech is overwhelmingly represented in the list with 9/25 startups. Monzo is #1, Revolut at #3, ClearBank at #4, GoCardless at #13, Starling at #18 and #Tandem at 23. Also shoutout to Babylon Health, who were on last Friday’s health tech insights show.

Data is the new cash? Shiru Cafe in Providence, R.I., located near Brown University, students pay with their personal data and uni ID, not in cash. To get the free coffee, university students must give away their names, phone numbers, email addresses and majors, dates of birth and professional interests, entering all of the information in an online form. In exchange students open themselves up to receiving information from corporate sponsors who pay the cafe to reach its clientele through logos, apps, digital advertisements on screens in stores and on mobile devices, signs, surveys and even baristas.

And finally...Burger King's AI-written ads are beautiful disasters. Burger King is releasing a series of ads that were apparently written by a deep-learning algorithm. One of the ads declares, "Gender reveal bad. Tender reveal young. It is a boy bird with crispy chicken tenders from Burger Thing."

All this and so much more on today's episode of Fintech Insider!

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This week's episode was written and produced by Laura Watkins. Edited by Michael Bailey.

Special Guests: Lesley-Ann Vaughan, Lianna Brinded, Nina Mohanty, Oscar Williams-Grut, and Ryan Garner.

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11:FS builds next-generation propositions for challengers in the financial services industry: existing firms looking to innovate, start-ups looking to scale, and everyone in between.