Posts

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

It’s Time for the Banks to Play Catch Up

This month, Facebook launched Messenger Day, a feature that lets you post pictures and videos with a 24 hour shelf life. Snapchat may have got in there first with the broad concept, but Facebook has given it a twist by formatting the feature to encourage users to get together offline. A billion people worldwide use Messenger and Facebook has identified a way to deliver additional value to them. 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: ‘€œIf you walk into a branch in central London now, you can see the tumbleweeds rolling through the aisles.’€ Read more

PSD2 is Speeding up the Tracks

On Saturday afternoon’s The Bottom Line on Radio 4, Evan Davis asked Anthony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclay’s Bank, what he thought the next big thing in banking would be. Jenkins replied: “In the very short term I think the better use of data to make lending and credit decisions and marketing decisions.”

Of course I couldn’t agree more, as this is exactly what we are already doing with The Affordability Passport. Read more

Ten Minute Mortgages for the Self-Employed

If you’re self-employed, you may be reeling a little from the changes in your tax fortunes as last week’s budget rise in national insurance contributions for the self-employed was reversed this week. 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