Ironic to read reports that the word Fintech was on the lips of every banker at Davos.
The World Economic Forum is the expensive playground of the blue-chips and although some start-ups were there, this was an opportunity for the big boys to flex their muscles.
And apparently they were happy to vent forth on how they were busy leading Fintech innovation, whilst at the same time whispering into the ears of regulators, urging them to curb the excesses of the new kids on the block.
It must have been an interesting sight that, a bit like trying to squeeze toothpaste back into the tube. One wit was heard to cry: “It seems every bank calls itself a fintech company now.”
Fintechnewswire.com wasn’t at the conference – none of us can ski that well, but we’ve read the reports with some interest.
The boss at Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, talked about the disappearances of cash within ten years. Right, well, perhaps he was talking from first-hand experience, given the financial state of Deutsche, but Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan came up with an interesting admission. He said his firm now spends a cool $3 billion a year on coding. That represents over 5% of total expenses.
As for the damage done by the start-ups, it’s been estimated that the big-hitters in the global financial services sector could miss out, in revenue terms, by as much as $150bn. What’s more, to upgrade their systems to keep in-line with innovations offered by the start-ups, they reckon it will cost each bank some $4bn.
So Davos is over for another year. Be interesting to see, to judge how far Fintech has progressed over the next 12 months, how many start-ups will be at the next Davos and if their bosses, rather than the big banks, will be giving the key note speeches! If that’s the case, we will have turned a corner.