The impact of Blockchain, Open Banking, Mobile Money and Payments innovation are radically transforming the financial services landscape as FinTech disruptors intensify the challenge to Incumbent Banks in Africa and kickstart new opportunities.
The unique environment for financial services in Africa is fertile ground for innovative FinTech players who are capitalising on the opportunities to disrupt or leapfrog established business models to make ﬁnancial services more affordable, accessible and profitable across the continent.
Due to their potent blend of trail‐blazing technology and disruptive innovation, FinTech players have the ability to accelerate the digital transformation of financial services in Africa and, in turn, further spur the major existing banks to rapidly ramp‐up their own innovation initiatives to meet the financial needs of under‐served markets across the continent. FinTech players are increasingly becoming an important part of the fabric of Africa’s financial services ecosystem and the leading banks on the continent are now more urgently seeking to harness technology innovations, collaborate with FinTech start‐ups, and create a platform to scale much faster – to make digital financial services pay.
The hugely successful launch of the Finnovation Africa Series in Uganda in April saw 328 thought leaders, FinTech pioneers, investors, government policymakers and bankers representing the foremost financial institutions from across the continent gather to address how FinTech can contribute to the positive and profitable transformation of financial services in Africa. Against this dynamic backdrop, Ethico Live! is now excited to announce the expansion of the series with the launch of Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2017, which will be held on the 3rd of November 2017 at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa. The event will seek to harness the FinTech revolution to boost strategic economic priorities such as financial inclusion and deepening – and how FinTech can make a positive and profitable difference in Africa.
With a focus on the most significant technologies driving the financial services paradigm shift, including Blockchain&Bitcoin, Open Banking & APIs, Payments innovation and Mobile Money, Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2017 also features a number of innovative sessions such as The Wolves’ Den, Founder’s PainPoints, Inside the Investor’s Mind, and live-on-stage interviews with international Finnovators and African FinTech pioneers.
Speaking at the announcement of the launch of Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia, David McLean, President of Ethico Live, said that: “FinTech holds a particularly powerful promise for Africa especially as an enabler of key strategic priorities, such as financial inclusion and deepening. The impact of new disruptive financial technologies is well placed to be genuinely socially useful, meaningfully improving how ordinary people engage with financial services and therefore deliver broader-based positive economic outcomes across the continent. FinTech also sets the bar higher for incumbent banks in terms of their own innovation agendas as the
leading banks internationally and in Africa seek to make digital pay and explore collaboration opportunities with FinTech trail-blazers. We are very excited to be bringing Finnovation to the high-growth Ethiopian market and look forward to progressing discussions on the digital transformation of financial services in Africa.”
Chris Principe, international FinTech thought leader, shared some persuasive insights while speaking on the sidelines of the Finnovation Africa Series: “A very positive story, if one that is not yet well understood, is unfolding in Africa. New technology, new ideas and new business models are producing new opportunities. The distinctions between telecom services providers, payments services providers and financial institutions are breaking down. In virtually all African countries, there are sufficient numbers of mobile phones ‐ which are not necessarily smartphones ‐ for previously unbanked people to have access to high quality financial services at low cost. Innovative companies are using Blockchain technology and crypto‐currencies to resolve fundamental problems such as lack of access to electricity and lack of access to global financial markets. Finnovation Africa highlights how FinTech is transforming Africa for the better, facilitating payments, boosting financial inclusion and developing new enterprises. However, the conference does much more than that, as it engages key stakeholders to reveal how the entire world is changing. In many ways, Africa is a FinTech leader, rather than a follower.”
Combining a highly innovative and interactive event format with world‐class speakers and more than 300 carefully selected participants, Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2017 will take place at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa on the 3rd of November 2017 and will tackle the most pressing questions for the progress of FinTech in Africa, providing a platform for all stakeholders to engage in creating the future of ﬁnancial services on the continent – from established banking powerhouses to FinTech start‐ups.
Ethico Live Limited is a UK registered company with its corporate headquarters at 110 Queen Street, Glasgow G1 3BX, UK. Focused on the digital transformation of financial services and the role that FinTech is playing in driving positive and profitable change in areas such as finclusion, Islamic banking and smart cities, we serve our clients with high-profile international conferences in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia – with a special focus on the exciting high-growth markets of Africa.
Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 – Welt am Sonntag
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Commerzbank expects to lose 1.7 million customers by 2024 as part of its current restructuring, resulting in a 300 million euro ($364 million) hit to revenue, weekly Welt am Sonntag reported, citing sources close to the bank.
The lender hopes to offset the drop by growing its loan business as well as by expanding its business with corporate and very wealthy clients, the report said, without giving any further detail of why customer numbers were expected to decline.
It also didn’t say if any specific category of client was most likely to be lost.
Commerzbank declined to comment.
According to the bank’s website it serves around 11.6 million private and small-business customers in Germany and more than 70,000 corporate and other institutional clients worldwide, so the reported loss of customers would suggest a drop of around 15%.
The bank earlier this month reported a $3.3 billion fourth-quarter loss, sinking further into the red as it continued a major restructuring and dealt with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank’s restructuring plan involves cutting 10,000 jobs and closing hundreds of branches in the hope it can remain independent.
($1 = 0.8253 euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Sims; Editing by David Holmes)
Citigroup considering divestiture of some foreign consumer units – Bloomberg Law
(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc is considering divesting some international consumer units, Bloomberg Law reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The discussions are around divesting units across retail banking in the Asia-Pacific region, the report https://bit.ly/3pD57WP said.
“As our incoming CEO Jane Fraser said in January, we are undertaking a dispassionate and thorough review of our strategy,” a Citigroup spokesperson told Reuters.
“Many different options are being considered and we will take the right amount of time before making any decisions.”
The move, part of Fraser’s attempt to simplify the bank, can see units in South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia being divested, the Bloomberg report said.
However, no decision has been made, according to the report.
Revenue from Citi’s consumer banking business in Asia declined 15% to $1.55 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The divestitures could be spaced out over time or the bank could end up keeping all of its existing units, the Bloomberg report said.
The firm is also reviewing consumer operations in Mexico, though a sale there is less likely, the report said, citing one of the people.
Last month, New York-based Citigroup beat profit estimates but issued a gloomy forecast for expenses. Finance head Mark Mason said the lender’s expenses could rise in 2021 in the range of 2% to 3%, weighing on its operating margins. (https://reut.rs/2ZwXRB1)
(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
European shares end higher on strong earnings, positive data
By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick
(Reuters) – Euro zone shares rose on Friday, marking a third week of gains, as data showed factory activity in February jumped to a three-year high, while upbeat quarterly earnings boosted confidence in a broader economic recovery.
The euro zone index was up 0.9%, with strong earnings from companies such as Acciona and Hermes brewing some optimism over an eventual economic recovery.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5%, as regional factory activity was seen reaching a three-year high on strong demand for manufactured goods at home and overseas.
Another reading showed the euro zone’s current account surplus widened in December on a rise in trade surplus and a narrower deficit in secondary income.
Still, the STOXX 600 marked small gains for the week, having dropped for the past three sessions as investor concern grew over rising inflation and a rocky COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
But basic resources stocks outpaced their peers this week with a 7% jump, as improving industrial activity across the globe drove up commodity prices.
“This week’s slightly adverse price action has all the hallmarks of a loss of momentum temporarily and not a structural turn,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“There is not a major central bank in the world thinking about taking their foot off the monetary spigot, except perhaps China. (Markets) will remain awash in zero percent central bank money through all of 2021 (and) a lot of that will head to the equity market.”
Minutes of the European Central Bank’s January meeting, released on Thursday, showed policymakers expressed fresh concerns over the euro’s strength but appeared relaxed over the recent rise in government bond yields.
The bank’s relaxed stance was justified by the euro zone economy requiring continued monetary and fiscal support, as evidenced by a contraction in the bloc’s dominant services industry in February.
The STOXX 600 has rebounded more than 50% since crashing to multi-year lows in March 2020, with hopes of a global economic rebound this year sparking demand for sectors such as energy, mining, banks and industrial goods.
London’s FTSE 100 lagged regional bourses on Friday due to a slump in January retail sales and as the pound jumped to its highest against the dollar in nearly three years. [.L] [GBP/]
French carmaker Renault tumbled more than 4% after posting a record annual loss of 8 billion euros ($9.68 billion), while food group Danone and German insurer Allianz rose following upbeat trading forecasts.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)
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