by Florin Oprea
Yessi Bello Perez – UKTN
FinTech startup CommuterClub has raised £2.3m in a round led by Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC). Other backers include: Peter Jackson, CEO of Betfair; Gavin Casey, the former CEO of the London Stock Exchange; Chris Adelsbach, head of Barclays Techstars, and British tennis player Andy Murray.
FAO: Total funding in this London-based startup amounts to almost $8m.
DNT: Pretty impressive names in the list of supporters..Congrats.
Karen Yeung – SCMP
ZhongAn aims to raise its service quality by using artificial intelligence for the pricing of products, underwriting, fraud detection and customer services.
FAO: Surely ZhongAn is not alone in the AI game. There is a lot buzz in the AI field, with Ant Financial (a ZhongAn shareholder) having announced recently that it would step up investments in multiple fintech areas, including artificial intelligence.
Mark Whitehouse – Bloomberg (subscription)
With the advent of the internet and all sorts of new financial technologies, doing stuff with money is easier than ever. So the bank branch office should be going the way of the rotary-dial telephone, right?
FAO: So let’s see, we have internet banking, mobile banking, ATMs, robo-advisors, anything else on the list? Maybe the bank branch won’t die, but it doesn’t mean the model will thrive either. You don’t have to look too far to see the human role in financial markets is shrinking “by the day”. Look at stock exchanges where more than 50% of the trades are done by algos. Recently Hong Kong Stock Exchange closed its historic trading floor. It was one of the last remaining trading pits in the world. Oh, ok, want more arguments? Read the previous story…and the following.
The New York Times
The London Metal Exchange (LME), which has lost volumes to over-the-counter trading, is looking at forging alliances with online platforms for industrial metals to recoup profits from the growing OTC business, its CEO said.
FAO: Btw LME, a member of the HKEX Group, still has a trading pit…
Seamus Conwell – CNBC
Financial professionals are taking online fintech courses to fend off competition and stay ahead of disruption.
Ralph Atkins – Financial Times (subscription)
A queue had formed outside the Swiss National Bank’s imposing Zurich offices. Thankfully, there was no run on the country’s banks. Instead, the interest was in a new series of Swiss 10 franc notes. The scene was a reminder of the enduring popularity of currencies in physical form, especially in conservative, German-speaking parts of Europe. Inside Switzerland’s central bank, quite a few employees might have asked: for how much longer?
FAO: Good question! The Swiss are doing a lot of “cooking” in their Crypto Valley labs.
Masayuki Kitano – Reuters
Singapore unveiled a roadmap for strengthening its status as a financial hub in Asia, with the aim of growing the sector more than 4 per a year and creating thousands of jobs.
DNT: Undoubtedly, Singapore looks like an “El Dorado” of Fintech. Go on, Singapore!
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said Hong Kong has the potential to become an international fintech hub, noting there were 138 newly-established fintech companies in the SAR last year, up 60% from a year earlier.
Evelyn Chen – SCMP
Twenty-eight years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a wave of gastronomic confidence is sweeping across the German capital and the hype is not just about bratwurst and beer.
FAO: And it has good weather too, unlike London. Berlin could become attractive for Goldmans’ CEO – just like Frankfurt. If you don’t get it read this previous FDN edition.
Lester Hio, Zaihan Mohamed Yusof – Straits Times
What has been dubbed as Singapore’s largest fintech hub is vacating its premises by December, a move that has surprised the fintech start-ups working there as they were not given due notice.
FAO: Hmmm, that’s very unprofessional from a company dubbed often as even the world’s largest fintech hub.
FinTech Australia has published a new member ecosystem map which illustrates the extraordinary growth in Australia’s fintech industry in just four months.
FAO: This is undoubtedly a very useful tool.
Madhvi Mavadiya – Forbes
With Carles Puigdemont’s position now being uncertain, the uncertainty surrounding Catalonia is having more of an impact on fintech than the EU referendum ever did or Brexit ever will. Financial institutions based in Catalonia have already decided to relocate to cities like Madrid or Valencia, minimizing the potential of Barcelona continuing to be a top fintech hub.
FAO: Catalonia plans to implement a national cryptocurrency post-independence – more here in Blockchain Daily News.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News