Your weekly resource for noteworthy news, fascinating features, and fintech titbits that caught our eye. Whether you live by your Twitter lists, save your Google Alerts or simply scroll through LinkedIn for insights and commentary – there is a wealth of content that weaves a global story around fintech.
Our job at Fintech Talents is to work within that global story – finding the news items, conventional wisdoms and hard data that aids us in bringing the industry the best content, community and experiences in the business. This week’s FTT Bookmark of timely resources and real time conversations that are shaping fintech is brought to you by VC Innovations Director, Liz Lumley.
This week the Fintech unicorns are on the move, the end of cash and the end of branches are more complicated that you think and never let the facts get in the way of a good headline.
Visa to buy Swedish fintech Tink for €1.8 billion – Sifted
Visa announced Thursday that it had signed an agreement to acquire Swedish open banking platform Tink for €1.8bn, a landmark acquisition for European tech and open banking.
If completed, this would be the third-largest acquisition of a European VC-backed fintech, according to Dealroom data.
The announcement comes after Visa scrapped its $5.3bn bid to absorb data sharing fintech firm Plaid earlier this year following concerns from US regulators. At the time, a source close to Tink said that the company and its investors were “punching the air” in celebration when they heard the deal had fallen apart.
Wise tipped for July market debut – Finextra
Money transfer outfit Wise appears set to make its stock market debut in London early next month.
The much-anticipated move – revealed earlier this month by co-founder Kristo Käärmann – could happen as early as 7 July, Bookrunners tell Reuters.
Wise intends to do a direct listing, with the price set at an open auction. The firm has opted for a dual class share structure, giving its founders and employees extra voting rights for their shares and allowing them to retain control after going public.
Liz’s take: I went back and forth over whether the Tink/Visa deal or the rumours around the Wise float should go first. I went with news that has actually happened, rather that news that *may* happen. The unicorns are on the move and regulatory arbitrage is fun 😉.
Bank execs predict branch model will be dead within 5 years – Finextra
With Covid-19 leading to an uptick in digital banking, nearly two thirds of industry executives from around the world think that the branch-based model will be dead within five years, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey.
Of 305 senior global executives quizzed by the EIU for Temenos, 65% think the branch model will be gone within five years, up from 35% four years ago. Bankers in North America are most bullish on this prediction, with those in Asia Pacific least convinced.
Lloyds Banking Group to close 44 more branches – The Guardian
Lloyds Banking Group is shutting a further 44 Lloyds and Halifax branches, sparking criticism from trade unions which say the lender is denying vulnerable consumers and small businesses of essential services.
The latest closures – due to take place by November – means Lloyds will have shut a total of 100 branches in 2021, having already closed 56 sites in the spring, a year into the Covid crisis.
Should ‘no cash’ rules be banned? Elderly will be excluded from a card and digital-only society, charity warns – This is Money
One in five elderly people rely on cash and cutting them off from it ignores the needs of millions of citizens, according to an Age UK report.
The charity is calling on the Government to oblige banks to guarantee access to cash for everyone, and on shops and service providers to accept payments in a way that meets customers’ needs.
Use of physical money is declining, but the Treasury promised new laws to protect access to cash during the spring 2020 Budget, and has moved to ensure people can get cashback in shops without having to buy anything from 29 June.
Liz’s take: I grouped all these news items together for a reason. Branches are closing. That is happening, whether we like it or not. Physical cash is disappearing from our every day life – again, that is happening, whether we like it or not.
Charities have a place in highlighting how change and movements – that, again, I will say is happening, whether we like it or not – will impact groups of people who are vulnerable. But I wish we all tried, just a little bit harder, to build an inclusive world in the actual world we live in. Demanding cash and branches remain in our society does not solve the problem that many are left behind in the strange march toward progress and innovation. Grab some Post-its, corral the people you think are smart and BUILD FINANCIAL SERVICES THAT WORK FOR EVERYONE! Liz out.
Money laundering prevention expert convicted of financial crimes – Metropolitan Police
A money laundering prevention expert has found guilty of financial crimes after failing to disclose financial information at his own company.
Appearing at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday, 23 June, Dominic Thorncroft, the former chairperson of the Association of UK Payment Institutions (AUKPI) for 14-years, and a company director of a money service business (MSB) and the company’s Money Laundering Regulation Officer (MLRO), was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of committing the following six offences:
- Failing to submit a suspicious activity report (SAR), (contrary to section 330 & 334 of POCA);
- Four counts of retaining unlawful credit (contrary to section 24A(1) and (6) of the Theft Act 1968);
- One offence of breaching Money Laundering Regulations (contrary to regulation 45 of the MLR).
Thorncroft, 56 (19.09.64) of Chelsfield Lane, Orpington, was found not guilty of money laundering. [emphasis mine).
Liz’s take: This piece of news caught my eye because (go on, Google it) most of the headlines in almost every publication, said ‘Money laundering expert convicted of money laundering’. Funny right? I thought so. However, I chose to post, not the news article, but the police notice. This ‘money laundering expert’ was convicted of many dodgy doings, but the one thing we was not found guilty of was … money laundering.
Never let the facts get in the way of a pithy headline.
This is the point when I usually embed a Tweet I made of RT’d. I didn’t do much Tweeting this week. So I will leave you with this one:
— Liz Lumley (@LizLum) May 10, 2021
Stay tuned for next week when our VC Innovations news hounds takes the reins of the news cart and to fill the basket with insights, interviews and interesting stuff!