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THE SURPRISING WAY TO INCREASE RETAIL BANKING PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY BY 6X

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Jonathan Weech, Crucial SSD Sr. Product Line Manager, Crucial

Efficiency is vital when running a retail banking institution. If your team can work faster and more productively, then your organisation can run more effectively. Computers have an undeniable impact on productivity, and since almost everything in business is run on computers, it is important to maximise the tools your team uses to perform.

b8 hero image

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Slow computers can drain time and patience, resulting in increased frustration and a loss in productivity. As the digital age is upon us and technology moves fast, we expect our computers to keep up. When faced with a slow computer, most people feel the need to purchase a new system to get the speed back, but this is unnecessary. Instead of spending hundreds on a new computer or a software gimmick, you can extend the life of your businesses computers and speed them up simply by installing more memory and a solid state drive (SSD).

An SSD functionally does everything your hard drive does, however it does not have a mechanical arm. This significantly increases the speed of the drive and decreases their failure rate.By installing SSDs into your business’ computers, you will notice an increase in productivity and efficiency.

On average, SSDs are able to complete everyday business 6x faster than hard drives.[i] Since most retail banking employees perform some combination of the below tasks, SSDs can help enhance productivity for institutions of all sizes.

Time to perform everyday business tasks: hard drive vs. SSD*

Everyday business task How long it takes

(in seconds)

How much faster is an SSD?
Hard

drive

SSD
Start computer 41.22 18.87 2x faster
Load Google Chrome® 21.22 3.25 7x faster
Load Microsoft® Word 14.25 1.54 9x faster
Load Microsoft® PowerPoint® 6.81 0.78 9x faster
Load Microsoft® Excel® 6.75 1.00 7x faster
Load Microsoft® Outlook® 7.91 1.09 7x faster
Duplicate a 1GB file 33.97 7.37 5x faster
mx200 2 5inch ssd box laptop

mx200 2 5inch ssd box laptop

It is evident that a new SSD drive can significant impact your team’s productivity and efficiency. However, if you’re like most IT departments, your budget probably isn’t keeping up with the explosive demands of an increasingly digital world. This makes maximising your budget essential. Consequently, the most cost-effective approach to this is to upgrade the existing memory and storage.It might seem tempting to replace old computers or take them to a repair shop, but this is often costly and largely unnecessary.  In fact, new research found that upgrading an older system with more memory and an SSD costs 75% less than buying a new system.ii By installing your own system, you can eliminate the labour costs and save time.

SSDs change the pace of business – and your bank’s productive potential. By installing your own memory and SSDs you are enabling your team to work faster and more productively. Wait times can often seem inconsequential when it’s just one person or one department. But when your entire organisation is suffering under the strain of slow technology, the weight is crushing. So if you want to increase efficiency and generate productivity in your organisation then maximise your existing infrastructure. You don’t need new systems to run new software – just better components.

Banking

SoftBank Vision Fund set for new portfolio champion with Coupang IPO

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SoftBank Vision Fund set for new portfolio champion with Coupang IPO 1

By Sam Nussey and Joyce Lee

TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) – SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund is poised to have a new number-one asset in its portfolio with the upcoming floatation of top South Korean e-tailer Coupang, furthering a turnaround that has seen the fund yo-yo from huge losses to record profit.

The $50 billion target valuation that Reuters reported this month would likely see the decade-old firm surpass recently listed U.S. food deliverer DoorDash Inc on a roster of assets that also includes stakes in TikTok parent ByteDance and ride-hailers Grab and Didi.

The Vision Fund built up its 37% stake in Coupang for $2.7 billion, mostly at an $8.7 billion post-money valuation, a person familiar with the matter said. The fund is not expected to sell shares in the initial public offering (IPO) that Coupang filed for in New York, the person said, declining to be identified as the information was not public.

SoftBank Group Corp and Coupang declined to comment.

Achieving a $50 billion valuation would add to good news for the fund which is bouncing back from an annual loss in March. This month, it announced record quarterly profit, driven by the listings of DoorDash and home seller Opendoor Technologies Inc and share price rise of ride-hailer Uber Technologies Inc.

HIT PARADE

The fund has written big cheques for late-stage startups to fuel rapid growth, with two-thirds of the value of its portfolio concentrated in 10 assets including Coupang.

The 10 include 25% of British chip designer Arm – to be sold to Nvidia Corp pending regulatory approval – but not stakes in high-profile stumbles like office-sharing firm WeWork.

The fund’s largest assets include its 22% stake in DoorDash, whose share price has doubled since the firm’s December IPO, sending its market capitalisation to $65 billion.

FACTBOX: Vision Fund’s investment hit parade

SoftBank initially invested in Coupang in 2015, adding it to a stable of e-commerce hits that included 25% of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, before placing it under the fund.

The e-tailer has grown rapidly during stay-home policies while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced other portfolio firms like Indian hotel chain Oyo to scramble to preserve cash.

Analysts see Coupang’s $50 billion valuation as feasible given its first-mover status and as it expands beyond replacing brick-and-mortar retail with a rising number of online channels.

It is the biggest e-tailer in South Korea that directly handles inventory, with 2020 purchases at about 21.7 trillion won ($19.62 billion), showed data from WiseApp.

“The market’s assessment isn’t exaggerated,” said analyst Park Eun-kyung at Samsung Securities. “Coupang’s market leadership is a premium factor.”

($1 = 1,106.1800 won)

(Reporting by Sam Nussey in Tokyo and Joyce Lee in Seoul; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Banking

Five things to look out for in HSBC strategy update

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Five things to look out for in HSBC strategy update 2

By Alun John

HONG KONG (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings PLC will update its “transformation” plan announced a year ago on Tuesday, when the Asia-focussed lender also reports annual results.

As part of its latest strategy, the bank said in February last year it would shrink its investment banking operations and revamp its businesses in the United States and Europe resulting in 35,000 jobs being cut.

HSBC’s pretax profits for 2020 is expected to fall 38% to $8.3 billion, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are five key things to look out for in the new plan to revive its growth —

1. How will HSBC boost fee income?

The bank has promised details of its plans to make more money from the fees it earns from selling products to customers than it does by pocketing the difference between the interest rates it offers savers and charges borrowers.

This could involve selling more products to wealth management clients, charging corporate clients in different ways, and maybe even charging retail clients for basic banking services.

2. What do the plans to double down on China and Asia mean?

HSBC intends to refocus resources from elsewhere on what it calls its “high returning Asia business”, but investors want to know what this means in practice for markets and business lines.

Politics could make this harder. HSBC has been attacked by British lawmakers for assisting Hong Kong police with investigations into pro-democracy activists, including freezing some bank accounts.

CEO Noel Quinn said last month the bank had to comply with police requests and he could not “cherry-pick which laws to follow”.

3. Will HSBC resume paying a dividend?

HSBC has not announced a dividend since the third quarter of 2019, on instructions from the Bank of England. This angered retail investors in Hong Kong who tried unsuccessfully to have the policy changed.

The regulator has since lifted the ban, and British rival Barclays said Thursday it would pay a dividend of one pence a share. However, despite beating analyst expectations with its 2020 results, Barclays shares fell as a vague outlook without profit targets left investors underwhelmed.

HSBC investors will be looking beyond the day’s numbers for concrete commitments towards improved returns and a more positive outlook for key economies.

4. How will HSBC shrink its U.S. and European footprint?

HSBC’s French high street banking operations are up for sale, but it has had trouble finding a buyer.

The market is due an update on whether HSBC has managed to find a buyer on terms it will accept, or whether it will seek to wind the business down more gradually.

HSBC will also give details of how it will accelerate its existing efforts to shrink assets, staff and branches in the U.S., which accounted for 0.5% of the group’s pre-tax profit in the first half of last year.

5. More job cuts on the way?

HSBC employed 307,000 people at the end of 2010. The bank’s management said last year it was aiming to reduce the headcount of 235,000 closer to 200,000 by 2023. Investors want to know whether the new plan will mean deeper cuts. Nearly every new strategy launched by HSBC in the past decade has resulted in fewer people being employed by the bank.

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee & Shri Navaratnam)

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Banking

Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 – Welt am Sonntag

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Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 - Welt am Sonntag 3

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)

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