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 we offer soon-to-be stable coins from the UK, Coin floating away on its billions, HSBC execs giving up the corner office and, once again, Goldman Sachs bearing gifts (well, investment).
Ambitious plans to boost UK fintech and financial services set out by Chancellor – Gov.UK
Building on opportunities generated since the UK’s departure from the EU, the Chancellor confirmed the UK will be taking forward many of the recommendations made in the recent Fintech Review, led by Ron Kalifa, and the Listing Review, led by Lord Hill.
New FCA ‘scale box’ and Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology to boost growth.
UK to lead digitisation of finance with central bank digital currency taskforce and support for new technologies and infrastructures.
Additional plans for capital markets reform to enhance an open and dynamic financial centre.
Liz’s take: Most of the press, following this announcement from the UK Treasury has focused on the planned central bank digital currency. Now, ya’ll know I am not one to miss news about crypto currencies (stable or not), however I am more interested to learn more about ‘additional plans for capital markets…’ More than any other sector in financial services, capital markets will be the one that will reject the ‘FinTech’ label.
Those that know me, know that is my view that modern FinTech started in Capital Markets – but all that innovation and progress was buried under the self-inflicted wounds of the 2008 crash. I say it is time to bring the most ‘suited and booted’ amongst us into the FinTech Tent. Come on everyone! Learn to be agile, embrace change, working lean does not mean you will have to give up your cufflinks – the FinTech Tent is big enough to welcome all.
HSBC boss Noel Quinn scraps executive floor at London HQ – BBC
Banking giant HSBC has confirmed that top managers in its Canary Wharf HQ have lost their offices and will have to hot-desk on an open-plan floor. It comes as HSBC pursues plans to shrink its office space by 40% in a post-pandemic shake-up.
Boss Noel Quinn said the whole bank was embracing “hybrid working” and he would no longer come in five days a week. “My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor with no designated desks, he said.
Liz’s take: I give it six months. And I’m being generous.
Goldman Sachs invests $69 million in Britain’s Starling Bank – Reuters
British digital bank Starling said on Monday that Goldman Sachs had invested 50 million pounds ($69 million) in the UK lender.
The investment is an extension of Starling’s oversubscribed 272 million pound funding round, valuing the bank in excess of 1.1 billion pounds, Starling said in a statement.
Liz’s take: (BTW – I used a US version of this story, just to list the higher number) Pay attention to what Goldman Sachs does. They have not invested £50 million into UK bank Starling lightly. (BTW part 2: ‘Pay Attention to what Goldmans Does’ is available as a needlepoint pillow on my fantasy Etsy store).
Coinbase hits $76bn valuation on market debut – Finextra
Coinbase shares opened at $381 on its debut on Nasdaq, valuing the cryptocurrency exchange at $75.9 billion.
The opening price was 52% up on Coinbase’s reference price of $250 and makes the company more valuable than financial heavyweights including Nasdaq and Discover.
Liz’s take: You didn’t think I would let this week go by without mentioning the Coinbase IPO? Here you go folks, they’re worth billions. (and YES! I failed to buy bitcoin in 2011 when it was like £6 – not that I am bitter or anything)
Off the beaten Fintech Track post of the week:
NYSE launches ‘First Trade’ NFTs of Spotify, Snowflake and more – CNBC
The New York Stock Exchange announced Monday it would launch “First Trade” NFTs, to memorialize the true first trade of Spotify, Snowflake, Unity, DoorDash, Roblox and Coupang.
Liz’s take: OK, so not that far off the beaten FinTech Track. But I plan on saving all the non-fungible token stories running around lately. We can then look back at all the fuss about NFTs and decide whether they’re like fidget spinners or Pokémon Go.
What I Tweeted this Week:
— Liz Lumley (@LizLum) April 16, 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!