Are Tech Giants like Amazon a Real Threat to Traditional Banking?

At a Future of Fintech conference in New York this summer, Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights said that the idea of a “Bank of Amazon” was top of the list of 10 trends to watch in financial services over the next year. Read more

Bank of England Turns Spotlight on “Pocket of Risk”

The Bank of England’s news release, following its September Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meeting, warned that whilst the overall domestic credit environment was pretty stable, there was a “pocket of risk in the rapid growth of consumer credit”. Read more

Security in a Safer Financial World

Former national rugby referee, past president of The Scottish Rugby Union and Bill Clinton look-alike (see our Meet the Team page) Ed Crozier is also a highly experienced director on the Castlight board. One of the things we particularly value about Ed’s contribution to our team is his expertise in governance and regulation and his commitment to ensuring that everything we do, we do with integrity and thoroughness. Read more

Credit Too Thin? Get to the Core of the Problem

I’ve talked about pizza before in one of my blogs but maybe I failed to mention that thin crust is best. And that the best thin crust I’ve found is at Paesano in Glasgow’s city centre.

In fact, thin is quite often seen to be a good thing. Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham have built careers on it. Steve Jobs’s mission in life was to make his i-things thinner and thinner. And no self regarding espresso would ever want to share saucer space with a fat chocolate mint would it? Read more

Tumbleweed Rolls through the Branches as Banks go Digital

Last week in this blog I flagged up Radio 4’s The Bottom Line’s interesting debate about the impact of fintech on the banking scene. If you had time to tune in, you will also have heard Anthony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclay’s Bank talk, in almost apocalyptic terms, about the accelerating fall in branch traffic. He quoted customer traffic as falling by 15% per annum and said: “If you walk into a branch in central London now, you can see the tumbleweeds rolling through the aisles.” Read more

Our Affordability Passport® is Green to the Core

The average office worker in the States uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year – the equivalent of a 100-foot Douglas fir tree. That’s a small forest of magnificent Douglas Firs across a 40 year career of spreadsheets and reports. And there’s nothing to suggest we are scrunching up trees into wastepaper bins with any less disregard to the environment here in the UK. Read more

Envelopes and Einstein

Richard Branson is a big fan of the back of an envelope approach to creativity and I agree with him that “if you can’t write your business idea on the back of an envelope – it’s rubbish.” And he’s not saying anything new. Einstein was making the same point when he said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” And who wants to argue with Einstein? Read more

Hunting Elk and the Principles of Underwriting

Who would have thought the History of Insurance would be a gripping read? But dipping into Andrew Beattie’s article over Christmas, in between raids on the festive Quality Street, I discovered that the very first written insurance policy appeared on a Babylonian obelisk, back in 1754BC. King Hammurabi of Mesopotamia created 282 laws that set standards of conduct and justice for his empire and had them carved on a seven and a half foot obelisk. One of the laws offered basic insurance in that a debtor didn’t have to pay back his loans if some personal catastrophe made it impossible. Read more