Digital technology is set to change banking fundamentally in the years ahead. Euromoney has been writing about this a lot, while quietly wondering what it might do with a dollar for every time a grey-haired senior banker solemnly asserts it. Hence, no doubt, the email that pings into our inbox from Silicon Valley, promoting what looks like a new trade-matching or wealth-management service, called MillionaireMatch, which boasts that it runs a ‘no riff raff policy’. Quite right too, in this era of endless fines for market rigging and other offences.
On closer inspection it turns out to be a ‘luxury dating’ site matching up wealthy people. Darren Shuster, spokesperson for MillionaireMatch Pro, explains that this is a long-established service now progressing – like so many banks – into the digital age with its shiny new app. The site encourages wealthy users looking for dates to specify their annual income and upload pictures of their luxury possessions, such as art and culture.
Euromoney wonders if the site has a lot of members that work in the banking and investment banking industry. “Oh, of course, lots of them,” Shuster says. Helpfully he sends a few photos as examples. One has a banker showing off his helicopter, proclaiming it, in a surely unconscious echo of Toad of Toad Hall, as “the only way to get around the speed cameras”. Another evidently quite senior banker stands in front of “my new Sovereign”. It is not an ancient coin.
Shuster offers his own private critique of this approach to attracting dates. “I’m afraid men tend to show off things that women aren’t much interested in: their sports cars and boats.” What do women really want to see, Euromoney wonders? “Their houses,” says Shuster. “I mean why else would you live in a mansion, if not to show off about it?” They should listen to Shuster. He’s happily married with three grown daughters, he tells Euromoney, and he knows the luxury dating site business pretty well. There are five main companies offering similar services from Silicon Valley and he has worked, or does work, for four of them.
But Euromoney is confused. MillionaireMatch seems to be overrun with members of the least respected profession, aside from journalism, in the world. If the site is full of bankers, can it really claim to operate a no riff raff policy?
“Sure we do,” Shuster says. “Just the other week we deleted the profiles of dozens of porn actresses.”