16:40 - 17:30
There exists between Wall Street Banks and Big Tech in Silicon Valley what can be described until now as healthy tension. Every more evident in examining the manner in which certain Technology stocks have rallied since the 2007-08 Financial Crisis particularly given the changing tide of regulatory appetite following the Financial Crisis with considerable focus placed on the risk appetites and management of Wall Street and minimal focus on Technology companies, which arguable regulators have struggled to define and in so firmly regulate.
As regulatory explosion and then inertia set in over the past decade, the focus has come back to payments, beckoned by the European Commission drive for Payment Services Directive II (PSD2) and the worlds growing appetitive for a phenomenon known as Open Banking. Arguably the dawn of a revolution in Banking and the Financial Services. Some can regard this regulation as a death kneel to the present dominance of Visa and MasterCard in payments in Europe and the US, who have largely held a tight grip over the payments space with the ubiquity of card payments and their dominant relationships with Banks, Merchant and other intermediaries in the payments chain. Which has been perceived by the Commission as requiring market interventions to free Europe from the strangle hold of US payments technology companies.
Banks have had a rough ride from being the ‘Masters of the universe’ to now trailing Silicon Valley in terms of market capitalisation, who would have been lucky to have been bought at the height of MBS, ABS and the securitisation boom which nearly brought down the global financial system. When comparing the market capitalisations of Apple with the largest Banks in the world, it is truly cause for concern, but not for the obvious reasons. With huge cash piles, lower margins, there should be grave concerns because of their plans for the financial services.
To dispel confusion it would appear the plans are already clear and would likely not have required firm consideration until the advent of Open Banking, making very clear the real possibility of the Banking and BigTech worlds crossing or even in some cases merging, with the bridge of payments. Consideration will be made of the potential market impacts.