In early 2019, a survey of financial advisers had already revealed serious misgivings over the possible mis-selling of products marketed to investors as ‘ESG friendly’. 97 of every 100 financial advisors in the United Kingdom (UK) had declared themselves as either “very” or “fairly” concerned about the potential for allegations of mis-selling ESG investments, according to market research firm Cicero.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of co-authoring a short article on the adoption of the Cloud in Financial Services with Professor Nelson Phillips of the Imperial College Business School. We conducted several interviews with senior leaders in financial services about their experiences of moving to the Cloud. It turned out to be such a captivating journey that Nelson and I are planning to continue along this path and turn it into a much more comprehensive piece of research.
One dramatic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been the rapid acceleration in the digital transformation of organisations as much of the workforce has been suddenly forced to “WFH”. The ability of organisations to close physical offices and continue operating rests largely on various kinds of cloud services providing distributed, on-demand availability of data storage and computing.
With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on business and the economy, the only ideal solution is to respect Government guidelines while continuing business as usual — from home. The problem is, how can an organisation, in particular a financial institution, give hundreds or thousands of employees secure access to the documents and applications required to work from home without disruption to service?
If, like me, you have to interact with IT —and technology is vital for you or your clients — this excellent novel will enlighten your day-to-day work. The Phoenix Project was first published in 2013 and, in the fast-moving world of technology, one could view this book as ‘outdated.’ But no. The way it articulates the value of DevOps for organisations remains insightful. It remains useful. And it remains worth your attention. Of particular value is the presentation of the Three Ways — the principles from which all observed DevOps behaviours are derived.
It’s all anyone is talking about and, whilst I really wanted to write about something lighter, I was dragged back to the Reply Risk & Regulatory Academy, which has had the honour to run courses in Cambridge for many years. This led me to an incredible report published by the University there...
There is something peculiar in the book released last January by the Bank for International Settlement and Banque de France, The Green Swan. The book builds on the concept of ‘black swans’ first introduced by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in 2007, but this time the swan is green. Green swans (or climate black swans), the authors argue, are extreme financially disruptive events resulting from climate-related risks.
Few realise just how corrosive the effects of Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are on society. That’s why, when we have the opportunity to assist our clients with their Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) initiatives, I find it exciting and rewarding.
I had just finished reading Chad Orzel’s bestselling book ‘How to teach quantum physics to your dog’ last week when my colleagues presented what is perhaps one of the first concrete applications of ‘quantum-inspired’ computing in European banking. Before I turn to that, allow me to share a few words on Orzel’s book and how it got me to think about quantum computing in financial services…
On 28 January 2020, the European Central Bank (“ECB”) held a press conference in Frankfurt on the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process 2019 (“SREP 2019”). It highlighted a number of interesting developments in the Eurozone. Allow me to share with you my key take-aways regarding the first three based on his remarks and the Question and Answer session that ensued.
In this period of annual closing and maximum effort for all reporting teams, you will probably agree that there is one that is particularly daunting. I am of course talking about the Pillar 3 disclosures.
One of the main themes of Davos 2020 has been ‘climate and sustainability’. The World Economic Forum was most fascinating to me when it came to the clear divergence in thinking between financial institutions that want to cut polluters off from the financial system — and those that believe it is not the financial institution’s job to police the climate.
Board members, Executives, Chief Financial Officers and Heads of Regulatory Reporting have plenty to fear as regulatory reporting by financial institutions comes under increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies.
The number one mistake people make regarding technology is they don’t realise that, with smart devices, the internet can kill people. This is a real and relevant risk to the financial services industry, too.