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Internet Banking: Will this pig fly?

So far there's no world-beating example of an internet bank. Euromoney and the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) decided to fill the gap in three easy stages. First, drafting the structure. Second, launching a virtual retail bank. Third, diversifying into all areas, to build a veritable Merrill Lynch of the ether. That's the theory. Here's what happened at stage one, as reported by David Shirreff.

Dramatis personae

Anglia Bank
Sir Miles Lewis, chairman
Bruce Fanshaw, chief financial officer
Jim Davidson, in-house lawyer
Rodney Torino, board member
Lana Birkenhead, board member

Retained by Anglia
Brian Smooth, consultant Wimsey & Co
Piers Bannister, lawyer, Bannister Hawley
Ron Doppler, security expert
Malcolm Fishmark, IT consultant

Pegasus team
Peter Birch, entrepreneur
Sam Weller, lawyer
Dick Friday, accountant
Ernest Campbell, marketing consultant
Marcus Force, security expert
Guy Foot, investment banker
Thomas McLeod, IT consultant

Condor team
Russ Caner, banker
Tony Tanner, consultant
John Sale, investment banker

High Hedge Capital
Karl Bellwether, chairman

Ron Smith, banking supervision
Mick Tate, markets and exchanges

Expert witnesses
Everyone else present

Pegasus Bank doesn't yet exist, but when it does those pygmies that already operate in cyberspace will have to sharpen up. So will Barclays, Merrill Lynch and even the mighty Citibank. For Pegasus, dreamed up over wine and sandwiches at the City of London Club, is destined to become the world's first virtual virtual bank. No capital, no assets except its people (this is a people business), and no hidden time-bombs: the safest structure on earth.

To assist its creation, Euromoney and the CSFI (Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation) invented a game for 22 players and a handful of expert witnesses.

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