First Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation Named at Shawbrook Bank

UK fintech market veteran, Stuart Doignie, has been appointed as Shawbrook looks to scale-up and evolve its specialist SME lending proposition

Stuart Doignie Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation

Specialist SME lender, Shawbrook Bank, has started the new decade by appointing its first Head of Fintech Strategy and Commercialisation.

Stuart Doignie, who is well known within the fintech industry, joins Shawbrook’s Business Finance Division as the Bank aims to become the UK’s SME lender of choice.

Mr. Doignie has held several senior roles within the fintech space and his appointment signals Shawbrook’s intent to adopt new technologies as it looks to evolve its specialist SME lending proposition.

As Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation, his primary focus will be on the adoption of technology to advance the specialist SME lender’s own infrastructure but also to support the development of new products and to leverage wider initiatives such as Open Banking.

He said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how technology is disrupting the SME finance landscape, particularly in the un-secured space.

“The really interesting challenge now is to see how technology can help business owners’ access more sophisticated forms of funding.

“With such a diverse range of specialist SME lending products, I believe Shawbrook is perfectly placed to become one of the first institutions to demonstrate how fintech can be deployed to transform not just distribution but funding solutions too.”

Well known across the fintech industry after holding senior roles including Head of SME at Starling Bank, Chief Risk Officer at ezbob and most recently Chief Commercial Officer at OpenPayd – a leader in the Banking-as-a-Service market – Mr. Doignie has helped pioneer the use of smart technology to provide new finance solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises throughout his career.

His first task at Shawbrook will be to source and deploy a leading cloud-based commercial lending platform. This platform will enable the Bank to develop and scale-up both established and recently launched products including Commercial Loan, Development Finance, Growth Capital and Unitranche.

Neil Rudge, Managing Director of Shawbrook’s Business Finance division, said: “As a specialist lender, focused entirely on UK SMEs, we’ve built a suite of funding products over recent years to address a breadth of needs.

“We’ll be making a number of investments in technology during 2020 to help us rapidly evolve and develop these products, reduce friction in their delivery, and reach more SMEs through slicker distribution.”

He added: “With Stuart’s experience and knowledge across the fintech sector, we’re well placed to create a truly scalable and unique tech infrastructure.”

UnionBank’s ‘Tech Up, Pilipinas’ drive resonates at Singapore Fintech Festival

Only Phl banking exhibitor since 2018 draws VIPs

Visitors are drawn to the two-story UnionBank booth that highlighted revolutionary and socially relevant digital innovations.
Visitors are drawn to the two-story UnionBank booth that highlighted revolutionary and socially relevant digital innovations.

Still the lone Philippine banking institution participating at the annual Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) held at the Singapore Expo last week, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) again established a powerful presence on the world stage worthy of the visit of well-known dignitaries, the prime minister of Singapore included.   

Replicating its success on its global debut at the SFF last year, UnionBank – thrice honored by Asiamoney as the Philippines’ Best Digital Bank since 2017 – bannered its suite of emerging technologies, along with those of its fintech and thrift subsidiaries UBX and CitySavings, consistent with its relentless drive to extend more affordable and accessible financial services to all Filipinos here and abroad.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chats with UnionBank chairman Justo Ortiz as he made a stop at the UnionBank exhibition – the first booth he visited at the SFF. With them are UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista, UBX president and CEO John Januszczak, Platform Development head Ramon Duarte, Human Resource head Michelle Rubio, Transaction Banking head John Cary Ong and Fintech Business Group head Arvie de Vera.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chats with UnionBank chairman Justo Ortiz as he made a stop at the UnionBank exhibition – the first booth he visited at the SFF. With them are UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista, UBX president and CEO John Januszczak, Platform Development head Ramon Duarte, Human Resource head Michelle Rubio, Transaction Banking head John Cary Ong and Fintech Business Group head Arvie de Vera.

No less than the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, together with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon, graced the booth frequented by curious visitors intently asking about the bank’s cutting-edge digital products and platforms and how it benefits the common man. UnionBank has partnerships with OCBC Bank Singapore to pioneer remittance services from the city-state to the Philippines through blockchain-based platforms, and with the MAS for its SME marketplace Business Sans Borders (BSB) that is seen to empower local SMEs to explore and expand internationally.

UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista and chairman Justo Ortiz explained how, through the bank’s comprehensive strategy called “Tech Up, Pilipinas,” it is utilizing technology to promote financial inclusion for sustainable prosperity, particularly of the unbanked and the underserved, who compose around half of the Philippines’ 108 million population. Financial inclusion is a vital component for the realization of the Philippines’ vision to become a G20 country by 2050.

Other dignitaries who visited the UnionBank booth were Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Govenor Benjamin Diokno, who looked visibly proud of the Filipino ingenuity as he was toured inside the booth by Bautista. The central bank chief thanked UnionBank for raising the Philippine flag at what is dubbed as the biggest fintech summit gathering global innovation and business leaders. Bautista, in turn, said UnionBank’s remarkable showing at the SFF is a testament to its commitment to remain agile and a frontrunner in this digital revolution.

Cardstream Works With Banking Circle To Create Unique Lending Service

Joint white label solution allows Cardstream’s Partners to offer their merchants flexible and affordable business loans

www.bankingcircle.com

London, November 2019 – Independent payment solutions provider, Cardstream, has partnered with Banking Circle to pioneer a unique joint white label lending solution. Each of Cardstream’s more than 200 Partners provides payment services to many hundreds of SME merchants. Now, with the launch of this new initiative, they can offer these merchants access to affordable, flexible business loans which could make the difference between their success or failure.

To help smaller businesses access essential business financing more easily, Banking Circle entered the SME lending sector in 2018, launching Banking Circle Lending and Banking Circle Instant Settlement. These revolutionary new solutions were built in response to an SME study involving more than 500 businesses, which revealed the impact of high interest rates, high arrangement fees and inflexible repayment options when accessing funding through traditional lenders.

Cardstream identified that the Banking Circle Lending solutions would provide an important added-value for its Partners as CEO Adam Sharpe explained:

“Cardstream’s Partners enjoy strong and trusted relationships with the merchants to whom they provide our white labelled payment gateway service under their own trusted brand. Now, with this new service developed with Banking Circle, they can offer loans to any of their merchant customer businesses based on their online payments revenue.

“The loans are risk free to the Partner, who is able to retain a share of the revenue generated if this falls within its business model and merchant agreement. We believe it’s a win-win for both sides.  The Partner enhances its merchant relationships and the merchants have quick access to valuable funding, whether to fill a cashflow gap or to support business growth.”

Anders la Cour, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Banking Circle added: “Banking Circle is committed to providing market infrastructure as a real alternative to traditional banking solutions, with the aim of increasing financial inclusion. As part of this, we wanted to deliver a more accessible lending solution for businesses in need of a financial boost.

“Now, through our partnership with Cardstream, more than 200 payment providers have access to our unique lending solution, meaning tens of thousands of small businesses can access the cash they need to expand, restock or simply survive a quiet period. In the past, these SMEs would have been unable to borrow the vital funds, which could have meant letting employees go or even business failure.”

About Banking Circle

Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network. Banking Circle empowers banks and financial tech businesses to support customers’ trading ambitions – domestic and global – whilst reducing risk and the operational cost of transactions. Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion by helping thousands of businesses transact across borders in a way that was previously not possible.

In 2013 Saxo Bank formed a new entity, Saxo Payments A/S, with the purpose of using Saxo Bank’s core capabilities within the non-cash payments market. In October 2015 the company launched the Banking Circle – its ground-breaking product for payments and FX to the Financial Tech industry. In October 2017, the company launched its new identity for Banking Circle, to reflect its position as a financial utility, servicing Financial Tech businesses and banks. In September 2018, Banking Circle was acquired by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures, in partnership with Banking Circle’s founders.

Domiciled  in the European Union, Banking Circle specialises in providing global banking services including accounts, payments, lending and foreign exchange services to financial institutions, including FinTechs, banks, acquirers, payment service providers, FX brokers, money transfer businesses, e-wallets, and alternative payment providers.

About Cardstream

FinTech success Cardstream is the UK’s largest independent provider of white label payment software and services. Its mission is to become the global standard for white label payment provision. Everything the company does is designed to give its partners the freedom, flexibility and control to deliver the unhindered achievement of their business objectives.

Cardstream’s breadth of relationships, advanced portfolio of features and acquirer independence ensures that its partners can build a payment proposition they control and that delivers the maximum financial return.

For further information and inteviews please contcat the Cardstream Press Office:

Leon Lee – Commercial Director

T: 0345 0099575

E: [email protected]

Atos and Fintech Circeo develop innovative loan management solution for major worldwide retailer

A solution to help run Loan Management from a hybrid cloud leveraging Google Cloud Platform

November 20, 2019 Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, and Circeo, a leading Fintech in developing next-generation retail loans software, today announce the development of an innovative loan management solution built with Google Cloud Platform. Developed initially for the bank subsidiary of a major worldwide retailer, Atos and Circeo will soon begin bringing the solution to market for other customers.

This offering is based on a hybrid cloud solution which combines Google Cloud Platform (GCP) together with Atos’ expertise in end-to-end cloud orchestration and management, and infrastructure services and support. It enables users to benefit from the advantages of a fully-managed and secure cloud service which is seamlessly integrated with Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

With this joint solution, clients can run Fintech software built on Oracle technologies on hybrid cloud infrastructures, and thereby benefit from elasticity, resilience, innovation and pay-per-use models – without the need to redevelop their existing systems. The Google Cloud Atos partnership ensures that the client benefits from direct, secure and high-performance network connectivity, for faster and optimised access to Google Cloud resources.

This new solution from Atos and Circeo will help the end-customer manage peaks of activity in Loans, particularly during sales and specific events such as black Friday thanks to the elasticity and resilience of GCP.

Circeo is an innovative Fintech delivering a next generation flexible digital lending platform, based in the Cloud, which enables tailor-made financial products to be made within just a few days. It is part of Atos’ FinTech Partner Program and one of Atos’ most dynamic Fintech partners.

“This solution demonstrates the unique value we deliver to our customers thanks to our ambitious Fintech Engagement program which aims to bridge the gap between banks and Fintech.” says Wim Los, SVP, global Head of Atos and Google Cloud enhanced Alliance at Atos. “Developed by Atos and Circeo, it is a framework which will be replicated for other clients, on other markets”.

“We are glad for this unique opportunity leverage our global partnership with Atos to promote and implement the Atos-Circeo Retail Lending Factory platform” says Laurent Clerc, Founder and CEO at Circeo“By delivering unique value with Atos, we expand existing client portfolios and onboard new clients into production.”

We’re delighted that Atos and Circeo chose to develop this solution with Google Cloud Platform,” said Rayn Veerubhotla, Director, Partnerships at Google Cloud. “With this solution, customers can modernise their existing infrastructure and begin to take advantage of the core capabilities of Google Cloud.”

Atos was recently recognised as ‘Global breakthrough partner of the year’ by Google Cloud.

About Atos

Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with over 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of over € 11 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information technology space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education as well as multicultural and pluralistic approaches to research that contribute to scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the group enables its customers, employees and collaborators, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably and confidently in the information technology space.

Deutsche Bank Near Bankruptcy, Could Retail Boss Save It?

The giant Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy, and, according to the Financial Times, the only way to save it would be if its retail boss, Manfred Knof, could extract €1.4bn in annual cost savings and increase revenues.

The giant Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy, and, according to the Financial Times, the only way to save it would be if its retail boss, Manfred Knof, could extract €1.4bn in annual cost savings and increase revenues.

When did it all start?

That the Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy is now news at all. The rumors started back in 2013 when the investment bank recognized the need for capital. To obtain those funds, they sold shares worth 4,500 euros. But that wasn´t enough and, shortly after that, they offered more shared with a 30% discount. This measure, of course, enraged those who had bought shares before.

Two years after those events, it was pretty clear that the Deutsche Bank lacked money, and it faced a net loss of almost 7,000 million euros, something that hadn´t happened since the 2008 crisis.

What put the Deutsche Bank in this situation?

According to the Professor of Economics and Law William Black, what put the Deutsche Bank near bankruptcy were the mistakes and financial crimes. He literally claimed in March 2018, that the Deutsche Bank (DB) was the “largest criminal enterprise in Germany.”

Professor’s Black words caused a huge impact, and many wouldn´t take his words seriously. However, in mid-October 2019, Chicago Federal Judge John Tharp ruled that ex-DB traders can be prosecuted for alleged “spoofing,” under the wire fraud statute. This decision will enable criminal cases against two former Deutsche Bank metal traders, accusing them of spoofing trades. Allegedly, the two men had been manipulating precious metals markets from 2009 to 2011.

Seeking solutions

In the beginning, the solution to save the Deutsche Bank, the possibility of merging it with the Commerzbank, was considered. Yet, as this other German bank had enough problems on its own, German regulators discarded the possibility since merging two entities, both with huge losses, would worsen the scenario.

Drastic measures to deal with Deutsche Bank near bankruptcy

High hopes were put into the “ruthless” retail boss Manfred Knof management, who is determined to deliver results. The recently announced decisions reducing the Executive Council, performing a rigorous restructure of the investment bank, and cutting down 18,000 job positions up to 2022, are part of the strategy of reducing costs and focusing on the activities of corporate banking, financing, currency exchange, private banking, and asset management.

Regarding most cuts, Deutsche Bank has said that most of them will affect back-office staff and support roles, located in places as distant as Florida, India, the Philippines, and Germany. This massive job cuts raised uncertainty and anxiety in all its employees, although in October 8, 2019, it was announced that the Deutsche Bank had no plans to perform further job cuts.

There´s no doubt those new and drastic measures are being taken trying to maintain the giant Deutsche Bank alive – which rather than near bankruptcy seemed to be standing at the edge of the deepest of the cliffs. Will the efforts be enough? Will “Ruthless Knof” save the monster from extinction?

Could cryptocurrency be the saviour? See also about Vatican facing bankruptcy.