MarketLine Blog

Posts about Financial Services

Robinhood: Fintech start-up and zero-fee trading app applies for traditional banking service charter

MarketLine

The company has stated “This is a first step towards being granted a national bank charter which would allow Robinhood to offer traditional banking products and services,” a strategy that will please users and potential investors. The move will mean if the charter is approved, the company will be able to offer a full-service bank product alongside its no-fee trading platform. The application will without doubt be supported by the company’s upcoming IPO, said to be worth $5.6bn. The US-based company raised $363m in its latest Series D round of… Read more

Revolut: the Uber of financial services

MarketLine

Traditional banks have long been at an advantage when it comes to customer data due to having access to vast amounts of information that financial technology (fintech) competitors cannot obtain. However, this situation has been changing recently, especially in Europe. New European legislation that was introduced in 2018 called Payment Services Directive (PSD2), and it has put traditional banking products and services under a threat from a new type of digital-first startups. A handful of them have already seen a big growth in users and have broken even operationally. What… Read more

Estonia: Only 1.3m people, but 4 unicorn start-ups

MarketLine

The former Soviet-controlled nation of Estonia, home to just 1.3m people, is one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world. It holds the world record for the number of startups in the country per capita, has one of the world’s fastest broadband speeds, and its education system teaches every child how to code. It is also leading in the development of online governance infrastructure – participating in elections by internet voting takes just 90 seconds. Its highly flexible, transparent, and hassle-free infrastructure makes it a great place for business… Read more

Australia Banking sector under misconduct investigation

MarketLine

Finance is Australia’s biggest industry, and its banks are some of the most profitable in the world. Australia’s “Big Four” – Commonwealth Bank (CBA), ANZ, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac – collectively hold about 80% of the country’s banking market. Despite its strong position, Australia’s banking and financial services sector has been rocked by a series of scandals over the last decade, with all “Big Four” largest banks being accused of serious misconduct. As a result, a royal commission, Australia’s highest form of public inquiry, has been called to… Read more

Chinese regulator takes over Anbang: Massive insurer made example of in wider effort to keep money at home

MarketLine

President Xi Jinping has plenty of motivation to take action on Anbang Insurance Group. Not only had the company come to symbolize debt-ridden conglomerates through a series of lavish overseas purchases, but the speed at which the company had expanded raised concerns as to the wider impact failure could have. So far it would appear policy revisions have been successful in halting the flow of money out of the country. The messages many businesses in China will have deduced very swiftly is the President, now rated among the most powerful… Read more

Bitcoin: Bitcoin to reach a value of $100,000 per coin over the next five years

MarketLine

The term cryptocurrency has become widely spread amongst the investment news world in recent times due to its increasingly fast growth in value. Although the phenomenon began in 2008 with the release of Bitcoin, more and more cryptocurrencies have now established their presence in the market, reaching massive market values already, with thousands of investors purchasing coins on a daily basis. With large growth forecasted by analysts worldwide, regulations in this ‘currency’ market are not to be seen, but the UK treasury is working with the EU to tighten up… Read more

Brexit Uncertainty: London’s status as global financial center under threat

MarketLine

London has, for many years, been one of the world’s major financial centers. Some would even argue that it is the world’s financial center. Banks from all over the globe have offices there, many of which take advantage of the EU’s passporting system to sell their services across the Union.  However, as the threat of a rough (or no) trade deal for the UK becomes an increasingly likely prospect, many banks are looking to move their  European headquarters out of the City or at least relocate large numbers of staff… Read more

Ezetap Quest to democratize India’s digital payments industry

MarketLine

India has recently been going through a digitalization of almost everything, and this revolution has now reached the traditional banking and finance sectors. As even large banks have realized that using time tested technology means always staying a generation behind, there is now much acceptance and demand in terms of implementing financial startup products and services in the country. Additionally, the recent and largest ever government demonetization caused a cash-crunch, hitting the remote, rural areas most, and left citizens with no choice but to go digital. With nearly 1 billion… Read more

Global insurance brokers sector will hit $54.8 billion in 2021 as growth remains impressive despite deceleration

MarketLine

The global insurance brokers sector has experienced impressive growth in recent years, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.0% between 2012 and 2016 to reach a value of $42.8 billion, according to data from research company MarketLine. The company’s latest report shows that sector values have increased in all regions. Global growth, however, has been primarily driven by healthy revenue increases in the US, the world’s largest individual market. As it accounts for over 63% of global sector revenues, the performance of the US market will always have… Read more

Minority Conservative government: Hung parliament will provide a better deal for business

MarketLine

The declaration of a hung parliament but with a Conservative party government is good news for the economy and businesses because the likelihood of a ‘hard Brexit’ has suddenly been reduced because in order to survive, the government will require support from opposition groups. Given the opposition parties are all but wholly united on a ‘soft Brexit’, the policy of the previous government could be about to change radically. The change makes the possibility of the UK buying access to the single market and passporting much greater than has been… Read more

Global banking industry value hit $134.1 trillion in 2016 and will see robust growth to 2021, says MarketLine

MarketLine

The global banking industry has experienced healthy growth in recent years, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% between 2012 and 2016 to reach a value of $134.1 trillion, according to data from research firm MarketLine. The company’s latest report states that Asia-Pacific continued to be the largest region in terms of asset value, accounting for over 42% of the global total in 2016. Europe followed with over 38%, while the United States remained a large industry influence with 12%. China once again reigned supreme as the single… Read more

Another headache for RBS as European Commission probes plan to abandon Williams & Glyn sale

MarketLine

It seems like an eternity since the European Commission (EC) told RBS that it needed to divest of some of its banking operations as a result of receiving state aid in the form of a bailout. The EC argued that it would be unfair to enjoy such a position of power in the UK banking market (particularly in the SME segment) having needed such an injection of government cash. Almost nine years on from receiving that funding, the bank is no closer to any such divestment, having seen three separate… Read more

The Digital Age: A Hackers delight

MarketLine

Online storage is a huge leap forward in technology, allowing files to be accessed from anywhere without the need to send them via email. Files can be shared in a much simpler fashion and can be locked to ensure that any changes made are present in a single file as opposed to numerous versions of the file. This online system serves as a backup for companies and customers. A network of banking telecommunications (SWIFT) has been the target of numerous hacking and data leaks over recent years, serving to reduce… Read more

House prices in Sweden witness steep growth: Strong demand will continue pushing prices up even further

MarketLine

The Swedish housing market has witnessed a steep increase in prices in recent years, and this is the consequence of the supply of new houses not meeting the present and increasing demand for accommodation. A major reason for the increase in demand for buying property is that renting property has become increasingly difficult due to scarcity, especially for younger adults entering the property market for the first time. With record low interest rates currently being offered by banks, many Swedes have therefore taken on mortgages in order to purchase properties,… Read more

May’s Brexit: Twelve steps to recovery

MarketLine

Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the British population has been going through an uncertain period. In order to help protect the British economy and strengthen businesses following the Brexit talks, Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined a twelve point negotiation plan for the discussions with the EU. The focus of this insight is to look at the potential huge benefits to the British economy following the Brexit talks, with a look at how the talks could also be construed as detrimental and could lead to a divided Britain…. Read more

Brexit – the meaning of a messy divorce for the Euro area.

MarketLine

The lending channel between many industries and banks in the Euro area has been far from normal since 2008. This factor puts Britain in a better position to negotiate Brexit next year. The Euro area will embark on a period of further unprecedented slowdown by detaching itself from the world’s fourth largest economy. Credit to industries coming from the banking sector is key for the region to grow as the single currency area has a bank-based model as opposed to a capital market model. Debt financing to companies is largely… Read more

China’s banking industry: BIS scaremongering unwarranted but warning signs must be heeded

MarketLine

China’s economic growth has been slowing for a while now and while it remains healthy, there are concerns over the state of the country’s banking industry. Non-performing loan (NPL) rates have been increasing, with some of the country’s biggest banks seeing a surge in that particular metric. Bank of China and ICBC saw noticeable increases in their NPL rates during 2015, necessitating greater allowances for credit losses, while Agricultural Bank saw something of a surge from 1.54% to 2.39%, with the retail and wholesale industry the main cause for concern…. Read more

Williams & Glyn: RBS abandons spin-off IPO plan

MarketLine

To comply with European Commission State Aid requirements, RBS agreed in 2009 to a series of restructuring measures that were to be implemented over a four year period. One of these measures was the divestment of the RBS branch network in England and Wales and the NatWest branches in Scotland. This was scheduled to be completed by 2013, but an extension was granted after the original bidder, Santander, pulled out. A consortium known as Corsair stepped into the breach and invested, facilitating a later sale or, more likely, an IPO…. Read more

Block Chain Tech The DAO becomes the largest crowd funding campaign in history

MarketLine

Block Chain technology is seen as the key breakthrough which allowed the development of Bitcoin, the enormously successful cryptocurrency. The Block Chain stands as proof of all the transactions on the network and the block is the live part of a Block Chain which records all of the recent transactions. When completed the individual block goes into the Block Chain as permanent database or ledger. Each block is arranged properly in chronological order and connected to the block next to it. Looking at the banking system for instance, this would… Read more

Williams & Glyn: Future of RBS spin-off in doubt as launch delayed

MarketLine

Overly ambitious growth strategies initially brought great success for RBS and the company was seen as the darling of the stock market, consistently delivering double digit growth. However, the company swelled to such a size that its assets were twice the size of the UK economy and a woefully ill-advised acquisition of ABN Amro in 2007 as part of a consortium tipped the bank over the edge as it took ownership of a large amount of toxic assets. The weakness was ruthlessly exposed during the global crash of 2008/2009 and… Read more

Negative Interest rates: Desperate times, desperate measures

MarketLine

Central banks across the developed world have taken to Negative Interest Rate Policies (NIRP) in a radical attempt to stimulate demand- the idea being that those sitting on assets will be penalized in an attempt to either lend the capital or spend it. The UK’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has not ruled out the idea, but Japan, the European Central Bank, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland have enacted NIRP already for a variety of reasons; Japan and the ECB in last ditch efforts to stimulate demand, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland in… Read more

British Economy – structurally damaged?

MarketLine

Large-scale lending has become a key component for the economic growth of Britain’s economy since the 1980s. It has aimed to incentivise British consumers to permanently increase their borrowing rates and consumption. This practice has boosted the profitability of the British financial system by an unimaginable scale. It has generated a permanent stream of cash flowing from consumers to the banking system based on the acquisition of mortgages and consumer credit to purchase durable and nondurable goods. It has also helped households to navigate through a prolonged period of house… Read more