FTT Embedded Finance


Reddit traders, banking with IKEA and FFS Brexit! – FTT Bookmark Issue 4

Your weekly resource for noteworthy news, fascinating features, and FinTech titbits that caught our eye.

Whether you live by your Twitter lists, save your Google Alerts or simply scroll through LinkedIn for insights and commentary – there is a wealth of content that weaves a global story around FinTech. Our job at FinTech Talents is to work within that global story – finding the news items, conventional wisdoms and hard data that aids us in bringing the industry the best Content, Community and Experiences in the business.

This week’s FTT Bookmark of timely resources and real time conversations that are shaping FinTech is brought to you by VC Innovation Director, Liz Lumley

Feb 12’s Lunar New Year ushered in the Year of the Ox. I searched for some Far East FinTech news – for this week, but I’m guessing most have been busy with New Year celebrations and are now sleeping off an over indulgence of grilled dumplings. 新年快乐 – Happy New Year!

Quant trader turns to reddit for sentiment forecaster – Finextra

New York-based quantitative hedge fund Cindicator Capital is advertising for an active member of the wallstreetbets subreddit community to join the firm as a sentiment trader with a £200,000 pay packet on offer.

Liz’s take: Well, I can’t say I am surprised by this. However, I am surprised that many of these hedge funds don’t have a reddit jockey plugging away in a dark corner of their swish offices already. My favourite part of this story is this part:

Applicants must be an active member of r/wallstreetbets with an account age of >365 days and karma of over 1000 with a “refined taste for memes and free from any mainstream financial brainwash”.

The successful candidate will spend most of their time on reddit, Discord chats, and Twitter to feel the pulse of the tens of millions of retail traders. They will also be free to open six-figure OTM options trades with the firm’s own capital.

Most importantly of all they will be expected to “try your best to prevent our risk management from having a heart attack”.

My 16 year old son will be applying this afternoon.

Ikea to expand consumer banking services after deal with Ikano Bank – The Guardian

Ikea is planning to offer more consumer banking services in-store and online after announcing it is taking a 49% stake in its financial services partner, Ikano Bank.

Liz’s take: IKEA introduced the joy decking out your first flat with brand new furniture that you could afford to the world. (the costs of therapy needed after attempting to construct the Swedish flat pack furniture not included). Based in Luxembourg, Ikano’s UK website claims that “you won’t see us travelling first-class, having big corporate lunches or taking massive bonuses”. Homeware for everyone. A bank for everyone. Embedded finance, Swedish style.

Marcus account by Goldman Sachs re-opens to new savers paying a top rate of 0.5% after being shut for 8 months – thisismoney.co.uk

The popular Marcus account by Goldman Sachs bank is re-opening to new savers from today. It will pay a top 0.5 per cent – more than double what you can earn with the average easy-access deal on offer. Experts hope its re-entry could help revive returns elsewhere. When the account launched in September 2018, its top rates attracted savers in their droves.

Liz’s take: I have nothing new to offer, in terms of insights, regarding the interest in Marcus, both in the US and the UK. But there is one lesson I have learned, after 26 years in financial technology. Always pay attention to what Goldmans is doing. What they use. What they purchase. What they invest in. And what they launch.

Former HSBC Exec and Blockchain Expert Diana Biggs Joins Valour – Coindesk

Swiss digital asset investment firm Valour has appointed Diana Biggs, former HSBC innovation executive, long-term bitcoin proponent, [and founding Fintech Talents Steering Committee member] as its new CEO.

Liz’s take: Congratulations Diana! This is what a CEO looks like.

What I RT’d this week:

Depressing Brexit news of the week

Amsterdam overtakes London as Europe’s largest trading hub – Fintech Finance

Amsterdam overtook London as the largest financial trading centre in Europe last month as Brexit-related changes to finance rules came into force. An average of 9.2 billion euros (£8.1 billion) worth of shares were traded on Euronext Amsterdam, alongside Dutch divisions of CBOE Europe and the Turquoise exchange in January, according to data from CBOE Europe, first reported by the Financial Times.

Following the end of the Brexit transition period, US banks wanting to buy European stocks would no longer be able to trade via London.

Liz’s take: First ham sandwiches, now this! FFS-Brexit!

Stay tuned for next week when VC Innovations Director, Lisa Moyle takes the reins of the news cart and fills her basket with insights, interviews and interesting stuff!