• The contact centre

    It is remarkable that large institutions, even banks, can to this day fail to recognise the importance of phone manner and interpersonal finesse when it comes to dealing with customers. Although our culture has generally become more casual and deference is now, in the main, reposing on history’s rubbish heap alongside top hats and waistcoats, it is nonetheless true that even the most easy-going amongst us like our bank to retain an air of authority and competence, if only as a matter of respect for the trust we place in them as custodians. (more…)

  • Facebook payments and trust issues

    As it moves into consumer-facing financial services, Facebook will struggle with the challenge of establishing trust, says John Egan, Head of Innovation and Foresight at Lafferty Group.
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  • Innovation and elocution

    News of the latest identity data breach, this time in the UK, where an undisclosed number of TalkTalk mobile phone customers have had their personal data stolen, might prompt some to re-evaluate their approach to phone banking communications.
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  • Marketplace lending

    Between October and January, I conducted extensive research on marketplace (or P2P) lending while writing a Lafferty Thought Leadership Report on this groundbreaking industry. Marketplace lending exploded in popularity in 2014 and is now well on its way to becoming a legitimate threat to retail banking. From a personal perspective, I feel fortunate to have been an onlooker at such a pivotal time for the industry.
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  • A minority report

    As my lunch companions at the recent Finovate Europe conference examined one another’s lanyards to see if a VC was amongst us (answer: no), a high-spirited British Asian sitting beside me announced that he was an ‘experience designer’.
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  • A difference of opinion on breaking the banks

    On Tuesday 17 March, the Financial Times’ Alphaville site published a post referring to an upcoming Lafferty report on fintech disruption in the banking sector that I wrote, titled Breaking the Banks: New entrants, new rules. Although the report mentions 33 companies, the focus of the Alphaville article (and also the comments left below the piece) was on TransferWise, the peer-to-peer currency exchange, and whether it really is a threat to traditional banks. (more…)

  • The serious business of banking and fun

    In the first week of March, I travelled to Florida to join our good friends, Bankers Hub, for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) national convention: ICBA Community Banking Live. At times it felt like a family fun day organised by a chamber of commerce, with baseball stars in place for photo ops, giveaways of cuddly toys and plenty of food and refreshments for everyone, whether in a suit and tie or in the relaxing warmer climate clothing that many were sporting. This was an event that married the serious business of banking with the holistic ‘business’ of family, small firms, farming and fun. (more…)

  • Lafferty News Service

    We are delighted to announce an exciting evolution at Lafferty, as we begin to introduce a weekly newsletter service, starting today.

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  • Nothing like an apology

    Despite suggestions that banks are committed to changing their culture and are willing participants in the banking reforms that are taking hold around the world, Peter Oborne’s resignation as the Telegraph’s chief political commentator because of that newspaper’s apparent editorial deference to HSBC’s advertising spend suggests that a worrying mindset persists even after a bank has been caught with a hand in the cookie jar. (more…)

  • A big plus may outweigh several minuses

    swiss-flagA quick search of Google’s NGram corpus (see chart below), effectively a quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitised books, shows that mentions of Switzerland are in a steady if undramatic decline: the country, in a globalised world, is not quite the cultural force it was. (more…)