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Why financial services needs to bring its marketing in-house

By James Sanderson, managing director at Wunderman Inside 

Compliance is hardly a new concept for highly regulated business sectors like banking and financial services. In fact, it’s probably the thing that defines the sector.

Research carried out by Duff & Phelps last year reinforced this perception, concluding that asset managers, brokers and banks typically spend 4% of their revenues on compliance. It also predicted that this is set to increase to 10% by 2022, such is the impact of regulatory reform.

The spectre of regulatory compliance extends into everything a financial services company does, and that of course includes its advertising and marketing. The processes and technologies used to deliver effective marketing naturally all need to sit inside an organisation’s compliance framework, but that comes at a price: speed and agility.

As financial businesses start to act and behave with more agility – their engagement of consumer, intermediary or even institutional audiences should follow suit.

By bringing more of their marketing options in-house, they can meet these challenges. Being closer to compliance, in every sense of the word, means getting it right first time more often. That means creative boundaries can be pushed harder because the creatives are starting with a greater perspective and a deeper knowledge.

Agencies Inside their clients’ businesses

And this explains the growth of in-house agencies, which provide people and technologies to augment the client marketing team but with access to specialist skils and resources, via an external agency, as needed.

Agility speeds delivery times

Consumer and business audiences don’t want to engage with old, tired or out-of-date communications. Slower delivery times come…

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Banks will reap gender diversity dividend if they invest in appointing more women into senior roles says The Pipeline report

Women Count 2018 found that in the last three years there has been no progress on gender diversity in senior roles in the FTSE 350 – and by some measures, it is going backwards.

Women Count is the third annual report by The Pipeline, that tracks and analyses the number of women on Executive Committees of FTSE 350 companies. The report found that:

  • The ratio of women on Executive Committees of FTSE 350 companies has stayed the same at only 16% since the first report three years ago.
  • 95% of all P&L roles on Executive Committees are held by men and just 5% by women, a decrease on last year – most women instead perform ‘functional’ roles such as HR, marketing, legal or compliance.
  • The percentage of women executives on main boards has flatlined at 8% between 2017 and 2018. This means 92% are still held by men.

Representation on Executive Committees, unlike representation on Boards, is the best measure of gender equality in the FTSE 350 because executives have power in the running of a company.

Banks continue to have much to do if they really want to improve their gender pay gap, increase women in senior roles and better reflect their customer base. With 25% representation of women on their Executive Committees, this means that men make up 75% of operating committees. Even worse on the main Board, there is 83% representation of men across Executive Director roles. Increasing the number of women in senior…

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Stephan Schmidt-Tank, Senior Manager, Financial Services Business & Market Development at Amazon Web Services 

  1. Is helping clients with core banking software something that AWS has looked at, or would consider looking at?

We’re seeing a wave of change sweeping the industry directly related to financial institutions’ move to the cloud, and core systems are no exception.  Our customers – both financial institutions and providers of financial solutions – are using AWS services to both transform legacy core systems by migrating them to the cloud, and to innovate in this space by bringing new cloud-native core systems to market.

For example, Monzo, a U.K. based bank that is currently live with limited-edition debit cards, uses the AWS Cloud to host its core banking application to leverage scale and flexibility of cloud computing as well as eliminate the guessing game around capacity, provisioning, and infrastructure management.

Another great example includes our work with Starling Bank, the UK mobile-only challenger bank designed and built completely on the AWS Cloud. The bank uses AWS to deliver and scale infrastructure on demand while ensuring proper governance by managing developer privileges for releases on AWS via automation with Slack. Starling Bank also engaged directly, and early on, with UK and EU banking regulators on its use of AWS to build and operate all of its infrastructure, including its core banking. It was able to demonstrate to these bodies that it could effectively meet its security and compliance obligations.


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Europe’s hybrid bond market rebound gathers steam, issuance set to exceed EUR 20bn in 2018

Hybrid bond issuance in Europe remains on track this year to reach its highest level since 2015 after a busy second quarter marked by a growing diversity of issuers, including real estate and consumer discretionary companies.

With first-half issuance of EUR 14.8bn falling just short of full-year issuance in 2016 and 2017, Scope Rating expects the placement of hybrid-bond issuance this year will likely surpass EUR 20bn.

Low interest rates and still buoyant equity markets remain powerful incentives for capital-intensive companies to issue the subordinated bonds, which blend the characteristics of debt and equity instruments, to help finance acquisitions and refinance maturing issues.

“Deal making is very much still underway in Europe, with corporate finance chiefs the most enthusiastic that they’ve been since 2015 about using hybrid bonds to fund expansion without jeopardising their credit ratings,” says Scope analyst Azza Chammem.

One caveat is the importance of bullish equity-market sentiment persisting for hybrid bonds to retain their appeal as a funding instrument while interest rates remain low, she says.

Several debutants from the real estate sector such as Swedish Klovern, Luxemburg based CPI Property Group or French-Dutch Unibail-Rodamco came to market with hybrid issues which have long been a preferred source of funding for power utilities and telecoms firms.

Scope has identified the following trends in the hybrid market segment in the first half:

  • H1 hybrid bond issuance reached of EUR 14.8bn, just short of yearly issuance in 2016 and 2017.
  • A handful of jumbo deals explain the rebound in the value of bonds placed.
  • Hybrid instruments are growing in importance again, approaching 5% of all debt capital market issues.
  • Real estate companies were prominent issuers, especially in the second quarter, accounting for 30% of H1 2018 hybrid issuance by volume, with a large portion of the proceeds used for the funding of enlarging the companies’ asset bases.
  • Companies keen to preserve borderline BBB investment-grade credit ratings remain the leading actors in the hybrid bond segment, particularly those which…

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Revealed: The MOST annoying office buzzwords of 2018

While there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’, there are three in ‘irritating’ which is how one in three Brits (32%) would describe hearing that cliché at work.

Buzzwords and jargon seem to be unavoidable in the modern workplace, no matter how annoying people might find them.

Business telecommunications provider, 4Com, has looked into the phenomenon, surveying office workers across the UK to discover the nation’s most irritating office jargon.

The top 15 most annoying buzzwords and phrases are:

  1. There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’ (32%)
  2. Let’s touch base (24%)
  3. Thinking outside the box (21.3%)
  4. 110 percent (15%)
  5. I’ll just ping that over (14%)
  6. Let’s arrange a chemistry meeting (14%)
  7. No brainer (13%)
  8. Smashed it (13%)
  9. Close of play (13%)
  10. Game-changer (11%)
  11. Having bandwidth to take on more (11%)
  12. Win-win (11%)
  13. Run the numbers (11%)
  14. Play hardball (10%)
  15. It’s on my radar (10%)

Despite one in three (31%) of those surveyed agreeing that office jargon is annoying, almost a quarter (23%) admitted that they used buzzwords daily, and one in fifty confessing to using them every hour!

Additionally, the survey looked into the jargon that UK workers use most often. The top 15 most common office buzzwords and phrases are:

  1. ASAP (50%)
  2. No brainer (42%)
  3. Thinking outside the box (41%)
  4. To be fair (38%)
  5. At the end of the day (37%)
  6. Win-win (35%)
  7. Catch up (32%)
  8. Give you a heads up (29%)
  9. I’ve got a lot on my plate (27%)
  10. Close of play (27%)

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