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Established 1995
Monday 11 December 2017


UK alternative finance market worth £4.6bn

New research from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has found that the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to reach £4.6 billion. Peer-to-peer business lending became the largest market segment, growing by 36 per cent to hit £1.23 billion in 2016. Peer-to-peer consumer lending contributed £1.17 billion with a 47 per cent year-on-year growth rate, while peer-to-peer property lending recorded £1.15 billion with an 88 per cent annual growth rate.

Commerzbank & HSBC sign settlement partnership

Germany’s Commerzbank and HSBC Transaction Services have agreed to enter into a strategic partnership for securities settlement, which will see Commerzbank’s securities settlement business processes transferred. Through the agreement, a joint venture will be established in which Commerzbank will have a 20 per cent minority stake. The partnership will be in place for an initial period of 10 years.

nanopay platform to roll out B2B payments

Canadian cross-border payments platform nanopay has announced a new feature that will enable international trading partners to securely process B2B payments between bank accounts in real time. Canadian users can begin using the platform in February for business cross-border payments in the US, with India and China to follow in the second quarter of 2018. Businesses are able to securely link their bank account directly to the nanopay platform, enabling them to send payment requests to business partners internationally.

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Barclays innovation chief moves to Santander

Santander UK has appointed a new chief operating officer in the shape of Michael Harte, who joins from Barclays where he was group head of innovation and previously served as group head of operations and technology. Harte will oversee Santander UK’s business divisions and investments in the areas of technology, operations, networks, property and digital change management. His role will also include joint responsibility, with chief customer and innovation officer Sigga Sigurdardottir, for customer and innovation services that will lead the digital transformation of the bank.

CIMB Bank hails benefits of robotic automation

Malaysia’s CIMB Bank has recently introduced Robotic Process Automation (RPA) into its banking operations, which it says has resulted in reduced turnaround time, faster processing and improved customer experience. Implemented in September 2017, the RPA enables the automation of selected banking operations covering financial, reconciliation, maintenance, e-banking, audit confirmation and auto checking/reminder follow-ups.

Alior Bank unveils FinTech accelerator

Poland’s Alior Bank is to launch an acceleration programme for financial technology startups, as well a new open banking development platform. The aim of the Warsaw-based accelerator is to identify innovative ideas from technology startups, provide funding and support the firms in the development of their business, helping them create added-value solutions for Alior Bank’s clients.

Starling Bank partners with Railsbank

UK digital challenger Starling Bank has joined the Railsbank platform as a partner to issue UK bank accounts and give access to UK Faster Payments through the Railsbank Open Banking API. Railsbank is the Open Banking and compliance technology platform that gives businesses access to transaction banking through just five lines of code via a network of partner banks.

FStech talks to Tony Reid of HDS about the compliance issues facing financial institutions and FinTech firms
Data & regulation
MarkLogic’s Chris Atkinson discusses how data affects your ability to comply with regulation with FStech

Viola raises $100m for FinTech investment fund

Viola, Israel’s largest technology investment group, has announced an initial closing of $100 million towards a new global FinTech fund, backed by financial institutions including Scotiabank, The Travelers Company and Bank Hapoalim. The mission of the Viola FinTech fund is to “bridge the gap” between the worlds of financial institutions and innovative startups.

Startupbootcamp launches ‘Scale’ programme

HSBC and Visa are among the partners of a new FinTech development programme called Scale, launched by Startupbootcamp for growth stage startups in emerging markets. Scale will work in addition to Startupbootcamp’s traditional accelerator programme aimed at early stage companies. But the new scheme will target startups in post-accelerator stage (pre-Series A funding) looking for a customised approach to help them solve challenges in areas such as business development and expansion.

Researchers uncover banking app security flaw

A study undertaken by the University of Birmingham has discovered security flaws in the mobile banking apps of nine banks, including HSBC, NatWest and Co-op Bank, which could enable hackers to reveal personal information. Researchers found that a hacker connected to the same network as an app user – such as Wi-Fi or a corporate network – could perform a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack, meaning that they could decrypt, view and modify network traffic from the app.

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Kerry Agiasotis of Western Union Business Solutions talks to FStech’s Michelle Stevens about the company's WU EDGE payments platform