Another month has passed in the Financial Services world, the ongoing Brexit conversations dominate the news as a plethora of surveys show contrasting impacts on the sector. Elsewhere, Apple’s next step into finance is delayed and the FCA publishes PS17/19 on PSD implementation.
Brexit and its impact on Financial Services
The concern is that by employing a hard Brexit and the resulting restricted access to the single market, those financial services companies currently based in the UK will move 10,000 jobs to continental Europe, with Frankfurt the likely destination.
These findings are the result of a survey covering 123 of the biggest financial services firms, of which half indicated they – as a result of Brexit – will restructure and will move jobs abroad. It should be noted that about 1.1 million people are employed in the financial services sector.
There will be an impact on the financial services sector in the UK, as there will for the wider economy, however as with any survey this should be taken with a pinch of salt. No one knows what will actually happen after March 2019 but as another article on the Independent’s website shows, London continues to grow in popularity as the first choice for the worlds financial firms. In this survey the UK was shown to have increased its lead over New York at the top of the Z/Yen Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).
Fintech News – Apple!
Whilst not the most revolutionary thing happening in the world of finance, Apple’s pay cash feature has been delayed.
This will enable idevice users to easily send cash between themselves, rather than logging onto their online banking and using someone’s bank accounts details, instead just their phone number will do. The US already has Venmo in this space, which has wide the adoption that Apple is hoping it can capitalise on.
However, I have to question whether this is going to gain widespread adoption in the UK when we can send faster payments from our banks apps whilst the innovation also excludes Android users. WhatsApp? are rumoured to be developing something similar and a cross platform offering like this sounds much more promising to me.
FCA – PSD 2
As the sector knows, but the wider public is less aware of, PSD 2 will arrive on 13 January 2018 and will bring with it a sea change in how our financial data must be managed by banks.
The FCA’s latest update lets the firms affected by it know what they will need to do and how the various areas of the guidance may impact upon them. There are 279 pages to the policy statement, but note 1.23 provides some guidance on who needs to read what.
I have mentioned before that I believe PSD 2 will be hugely positive for consumers, undoubtedly there will be many solutions offered to improve how we interact with our finances, with the best integrating seamlessly and requiring no change in consumer behaviour to implement. It is hard to see right now which of the many start ups in this space will be the winners, but the twin goals of effective competition and consumer protection will be achieved.
One example I have seen recently is Flux, who can add receipt data to our bank account transactions so we can see what we bought for our lunch alongside the amount on our banks app. It is worth noting that they aim to do much more in the future including integrating loyalty schemes.
With the UK financial services landscape continuing to change from all directions – the three stories above showing change in regulation, new technologies and of course Brexit implications – UK businesses need to ensure they keep themselves aware of these changes and how they may impact on them and their customers.