Digital Transformation » 5 things FDs need to know this week

1. TSB becomes first bank to offer retina-scan technology

TSB has become the first bank in Europe that allows customers to access bank accounts via a retinal scan.

From September, customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone will be able to unlock their banking app using the Samsung Pass iris scanner, instead of needing to type in an ID or password.

The move demonstrates the huge impact technology is having on businesses and this adoption of biometric authentication is likely to be followed by other banks.

2. The London Stock Exchange Group to start using Bitcoin tech

In an effort to stop using paper trading certificates for small and medium-sized businesses, the centuries-old London Stock Exchange is to embrace Blockchain.

Borsa Italiana, which is part of the LSEG, has partnered with IBM to build a “blockchain” solution that will record all shareholder transactions and shareholding information for unlisted companies in Europe in a central, digital ledger.

“With a more digitised, streamlined and transparent process enabled by the blockchain solution, various parties – including issuers, regulators and investors – will have increased insight into company information,” according to the LSEG, which said the fintech programme is currently being tested by a small group of partners and clients.

3. The decision into the Sky and Fox merger has been delayed

Culture secretary,Karen Bradley, has delayed making her choice, following reports from OfCom and the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA).

Bradley said she is “still minded” to refer Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky to a Phase 2 investigation with CMA over issues of media plurality and that a potential decision could be made during the summer recess.

 4. The FCA sets out scope of its study into Investment platforms.

Investment platforms have become an increasingly popular way to access retail investment products and manage investments, with Assets under Administration (AUA) for both adviser and direct platforms increasing from £108 billion in 2008 to £500 billion in 2016.

The FCA will explore whether platforms help investors make good investment decisions and whether their investment solutions offer investors value for money, as well as how platforms compete in practice and whether they use their bargaining power to get investors a good deal.

Importantly, the FCA will assess whether these relationships work in the interests of investors.

The interim report is due to be published by summer 2018.

5. Annual inflation is down to 1.3% in the euro area, according to Eurostat.

Euro area annual inflation was 1.3% in June 2017, down from 1.4% in May. In June 2016 the rate was 0.1%.

European Union annual inflation was 1.4% in June 2017, down from 1.6% in May. A year earlier the rate was 0.1%.

The lowest annual rates were registered in Ireland (-0.6%), Denmark (0.4%) and Romania (0.7%), while the highest annual rates were recorded in Lithuania (3.5%), Estonia and Latvia (both 3.1%).

Compared with May 2017, annual inflation fell in eighteen Member States, remained stable in three and rose in six.

The largest upward impacts to the euro area annual inflation came from accommodation services (+0.08 percentage points), package holidays (+0.06 pp) and tobacco (+0.04 pp), while telecommunication (-0.10 pp), social protection (-0.04 pp) and bread & cereals (-0.03 pp) had the biggest downward impacts.