March 2020

March 2020

Europe: Did the banks cry wolf on negative rates?

As the howls of anguish at negative interest rates reach a crescendo, central bankers and prominent economists are still convinced that Europe’s financial sector would be even worse off were base rates above zero. Banks are increasingly vocal in their opposition to the policy. Are they right to believe the systemic risks are growing? And could a move away from negative rates hurt banks more than if the ECB kept them?

Top Stories

How central bank digital currencies will take over the world

How central bank digital currencies will take over the world

First central banks ignored cryptocurrencies, then they mocked them, next they fought them and now they are building their own. Before long central bank digital currencies will be in use, with possibly startling consequences. What will it mean for privacy and personal freedoms? And could the backstop to banking become the banking system itself?

Brazil banking: Benchimol lifts XP’s star

Brazil’s changing macroeconomic environment is shaking up the investment industry – and there has been no bigger winner than XP Inc. In his first post-IPO interview with the international media, CEO Guilherme Benchimol explains the firm’s competitive edge over banks.

Banking

How Europe’s worst-hit banks hope to survive negative rates

How Europe’s worst-hit banks hope to survive negative rates

A few big banks in Germany, Switzerland and France pay the majority of the charges their central banks now levy on their reserves – Euromoney looks at which ones are worst affected and asks how they can manage the pain and maintain a conservative approach to liquidity and risk.

Fintech: Nickel draws on banque-tabac model

After turning French banking upside down, Compte Nickel is taking its tech-savvy approach to financial inclusion abroad. Insiders say its barebones account service will spread further and keep its dynamism under BNP Paribas ownership. But can a bank for outsiders with a physical network also be the fintech champion of Europe’s banking establishment?

Latin America

Asia Pacific

Singapore fintech: Digital wholesale banking arrives

Singapore fintech: Digital wholesale banking arrives

In June, Singapore’s regulator will hand licences to three new wholesale digital banks in a bid to better serve under-banked SMEs. Euromoney talks to Arival Bank, a fintech firm aiming to snag a licence and use it to fuel its global ambitions.

HKMA learns social media lessons in crisis control

In the heat of Hong Kong’s protests, rumours swirl that capital controls are imminent and banks are out of cash. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority ventured onto social media, proactively quelling the gossip. New HKMA head Eddie Yue tells Euromoney how.

Middle East

Investment: Dubai risks a post-expo hangover

Expo 2020 showcases economic and business opportunities in Dubai. Bankers hope it will lead to a boom in areas such as SME lending and infrastructure investment, but worry that a short-term lift will not be enough to dispel broader concerns about the country’s economy.

CSR

Legal & General: Inside the UK’s largest impact investor

Legal & General: Inside the UK’s largest impact investor

Across the UK, Legal & General has invested over £22 billion in affordable housing, homes for the homeless, clean energy, life sciences, creative industries, and technology and infrastructure. Is this the institutional-scale impact model we have been waiting for?

Comment

When conduct goes wrong, who do you blame?

If Credit Suisse's board felt able to fire a chief executive who was not personally involved in spying, how will Barclays respond if its own CEO falls foul of a personal regulatory probe?

Columns

Markets: Coronavirus boosts contrarians

Recent years have been challenging for market doomsayers, with big equity markets steadily rising and volatility dampened across asset classes. The spread of the coronavirus and understandable fear of its impact has given a boost to professional controversialists.

Front End

Financial Conduct Authority: Do as I say…

On February 25, a rather sheepish announcement from the UK’s FCA revealed that, in response to a freedom of information request last November, it had inadvertently made underlying confidential information accessible on its website.