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Global Banking & Finance Review
Klarna is the ring-bearer as Lady Gaga says yes… to herself

Her ring of choice was the ‘Knight Finger’ ring created by fashion activist B. Åkerlund for Klarna

In the ultimate act of female empowerment, pop phenomenon Lady Gaga has put a ring on her own finger to celebrate that we are all free to propose to anyone at any time.

The ‘Knight Finger’ ring was recently launched by Klarna, together with fashion activist Bea Akerlund, to give the finger to outdated traditions. This year being a leap year – is when according to tradition it is only then acceptable for women to propose to their partner on February 29. Klarna believes that everyone should get what they love, and not have their decisions dictated by rules or outdated traditions.

Lady Gaga responded to Klarna’s message of empowerment by saying ‘yes’ to herself with her 180 million followers on social media as witness.

In an exclusive comment for Klarna, Lady Gaga explains:
“For my entire career, I’ve taken pride in using my voice to stand up for what I believe is right. So, I am excited to work with my friend B. and Klarna to celebrate how far we’ve come as a culture and call out the work we need to continue to do. The idea that a woman can only propose to a man one day every four years…

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How can banks win in the digital era

By Mike Fantis, VP Managing Partner, DAC; helping national brands deliver a local-up strategy

Our obsession with our mobile phones has caused a sea change in consumer behaviour – but banks, by and large, have been slow to react. In that time, the mobile era has spawned a series of nimble digital rivals who have disrupted traditional banks’ business models, from Monzo to Revolut.

It has also led to a quieter and less visible revolution in marketing, from an analogue broadcast to a data-led digital approach. Banks have been losing out to date, but are actually well placed to succeed in this new world with their natural physical advantages.

Marketing 1.0 for a 3.0 world

The traditional marketing approach from a bank goes something like this. Millions are spent on an expensive broadcast ad with a catchy new slogan. Prime TV slots and national print ads are booked. This may be complemented with some expensive (but generic) online advertising to further promote the message.

Perhaps prompted to take action, potential customers decide to visit the most relevant iteration of the brand, their local branches, to find out more. That’s when the problems start. The local version of the website has no information on opening times for face-to-face advice. There is no breakdown of services on offer (or, in the case of Barclays, no localised branch pages at all).

Often banks will not keep their opening hours and other local data up to date. The outcome?…

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Are property bonds a good investment? Q&A with Hunter Jones

By Reece Mennie is the CEO of Hunter Jones 

Tell us about yourself and what Hunter Jones does:

 My name’s Reece Mennie. I’m the CEO and Founder of Hunter Jones, a London-based company that I set up back in 2013. Between then and now, we’ve built up a strong reputation as a specialist introducer of property bonds and have raised over £50 million for a range of SME businesses.

 What exactly does it mean to be an introducer and what are property bonds? 

In a nutshell, an introducer can either be one person or a whole organisation hired to introduce alternative investment opportunities on behalf of their clients. As for property bonds, which are also known as loan notes, these are a form of alternative investment issued by property developers to raise funds for the land purchasing and construction costs involved with a planned development. They’re generally issued for a fixed term and set for a time period that allows the developer to complete construction and generate the returns owed to the investor.

How do property bonds work? 

Once the bonds are issued, they’re secured against the property or land with a legal charge to protect the investors’ capital against loss. These charges provide both collateral and security to investors and become registered on the property title at the Land Registry Office. The investor will be paid a rate of interest over an agreed period of time – usually between two and five years – after which…

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