Can financial institutions embrace their inner Uber?

first_imgby: Safwan Zaheer2014 was an exciting year for payments, and digital solutions played an important role in rewriting the rules of product design and customer engagement. Did anyone have a better September than Jack Ma, CEO and founder of Alibaba, whose business is largely online powered via its digital payments subsidiary, Alipay? Probably not! Long-awaited by many in the industry, Apple officially entered into payments, Starbucks continued to gain customer traction on its payments app, and Uber officially became a verb in discussions centered on payments and commerce. Thousands of startup founders were collectively able to raise c.$1B from investors in 2014.Banks had an eventful year with digital becoming front-and-center in most planning and product decisions. Most banks adjusted their digital wallet strategies, forged new partnerships, acknowledged the role of digital in risk and compliance management, and desired products that employed a Uber-like experience. One bank CEO, for instance, said “… the industry is in the midst of a transition that occurs once every 100 years.”While most of banks’ digital efforts have focused on retail applications, such as for lending, cards, loans and mortgage products, but 2015 will be the year when digital applications will gradually expand to other areas of bank businesses, such as Wealth, Investment, and Asset Management. Failing to ignore the ramifications of digital on these areas and lack of planning will negatively impact market share, and subsequent effects will become evident in a few years’ time – arguably when non-traditional competitors will have usurped the bank’s existing business.A seismic shift in the way wealth and asset management customers, i.e. wealthy individuals and small corporations, are interacting with financial service providers and its implications for banks, are as follows: continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

What makes now the time to get back in the game of home equity loans?

first_imgIn past years, lenders haven’t always received the best news when surveying the home equity market. This year, when asked if they wanted the good news or bad news first, financial institutions were pleasantly surprised when choosing good news — home equity demand is on the rise.The demand for loans has increased significantly over the last few years, from a low of 19% in 2015 to 21% just last year. In fact, according to the research study, 28% of consumers in the market today anticipate taking out a loan in the next 12 months.i This increase in demand is being fueled by rising home prices (up by one-third since 2009) and lower inventories of houses on the market.However, there are still a few factors holding potential borrowers back — including rising interest rates and tax code changes. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

There’s no evidence to support claims that election observers were blocked from counting rooms.

first_img– Advertisement – A judge in the Nevada case dismissed the bid, ruling that Mr. Trump’s lawyers “failed to prove” that local election officials “interfered with any right they or anyone else has an observer.” In the Philadelphia case, the Trump campaign succeeded in forcing city elections officials to allow observers to be up to six feet from counting tables, as opposed to the roughly 20-foot observation line officials had previously set. But during a hearing for a federal version of that suit on Thursday, Judge Paul Diamond of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania pressed a lawyer for Mr. Trump on whether the campaign’s observers did, in fact, have access to the facility. The lawyer said, grudgingly, that there were “a nonzero number” of people in the room. (In the interest of expediting the case, Judge Diamond pushed the Philadelphia board to agree to an expanded number of observers.)- Advertisement – The charge was without any basis in fact, and was, in reality, contradicted by several of Mr. Trump’s own legal filings.In cases that his campaign brought in Nevada and Pennsylvania — one dismissed, the other pending — it acknowledged that its observers were indeed present in the counting rooms. His lawyers were, rather, asking the courts to force election officials to allow Mr. Trump’s observers to get even closer views of the counting activity. – Advertisement –center_img On Twitter and in interviews, President Trump and his supporters have alleged that his campaign observers were blocked from ballot-counting rooms, hindering their ability to witness and report several instances of what the Trump campaign has baselessly claimed was widespread election fraud that has marred the results.“THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS,” Mr. Trump alleged in a tweet on Saturday. “BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE.”- Advertisement – A case the Trump campaign brought in Chatham County, Ga., was, in fact, based on a Trump observer’s allegation that he had seen workers count some 53 ballots that weren’t valid — a thin charge that the observer could not support in court; the judge threw out the suit on Thursday.Mr. Trump and his allies have seized on photographs of election workers at one point using cardboard to block windows of a large counting room inside the TFC Center in Detroit, alleging that workers there were covering up nefarious activity.In fact, The Detroit Free Press reported, the cardboard was meant to block the view of boisterous protesters outside the room who were trying to photograph and video the workers handling ballots with sensitive personal information about voter preferences. At the time, The Free Press reported, there were 134 Republican observers inside the counting area, along with a similar number of Democratic observers.last_img read more

Generali Germany, Viridium ‘confident’ about run-off regulatory approval

first_imgViridium Holding’s Heinz-Peter Roß, addressing delegates at the 2019 Handelsblatt occupational pensions conference“Generali has a very complex occupational pension offering and this is a field in which we lack the necessary resources – and an area where we do not aim to build in-house know-how,” Roß acknowledged.Viridium would therefore take on the assets in the pension insurance accounts – for which no asset value has been disclosed – but would then “commission Generali’s occupational pension team to administer the accounts”.The announcement last year of Generali’s plan to sell the life insurance business branch in Germany came at a time when external run-offs had suddenly appeared on many insurers’ agendas.Two occupational pension plans, Axa’s probAV and the pension plan for the Cofra Group, were also sold to run-off platforms last year.In his presentation to delegates, Roß addressed fears about the outsourcing of parts of an insurance business.“Occupational pension provision is not something to toy with”Heinz-Peter Roß, CEO, Viridium HoldingHe told them that the private equity group that co-owns Viridium was “itself rooted in the pension provision for miners in the UK”.“Occupational pension provision is not something to toy with,” he added.Private equity firm Cinven was an investment arm of the former British Coal pension schemes before becoming independent in 1995. Roß stressed that it was not new for insurers to close parts of their business, but that what was new for Germany was the outsourcing the assets and liabilities of these closed branches.He reminded the audience that Viridium was “a regulated insurer just like any other” with the only difference being that its only business was in run-offs.A poll at the Handelsblatt conference showed that over half of the delegates think the run-offs make it harder for companies to convince worker representatives of the long-term security of occupational pension arrangements.Next stepsRoß explained that Viridium would have to find a new label for the Generali products it would be taking on as the insurance group “has not given permission to keep on using the name”.He also noted that Viridum had committed to using Generali Investments Europe for the management of the Generali Leben assets for five years.Earlier this year, Generali started pushing its new provider of occupational insurance solutions, Dialog Lebensversicherung.The long-term subsidiary of the Generali group is now taking on new occupational pension business for the group using the insurance group’s occupational pension team and know-how for client and account administration.Also speaking at the conference in Berlin, Stille, who is also CEO at Dialog Lebensversicherung, said that selling off Generali Leben was “part of the strategy”.Several life insurance companies in Germany have been struggling to continue business with their old fully guaranteed products.Some decided to keep this part of the business open but Generali closed the sales department for classic life insurance contracts, which also sold occupational pension insurance contracts.Stille is also CEO of Generali’s Pensionsfonds AG, a vehicle to which companies can outsource their pension plans. It is not part of the deal with Viridium as it is a separate entity within the Generali Group. In an unprecedented move, BaFin, the German financial supervisor, had issued a press release – in German as well as English – last summer after the sales announcement to reassure the public.“BaFin can prohibit the planned acquisition if the interests of the insured are not sufficiently safeguarded,” it had said. Viridium’s Roß said BaFin had carried out “in-depth screenings” of his company to ensure “financial solidity and the operational capabilities”. Talks were still ongoing.The deal with Generali Leben would mark the first time Viridium takes on occupational pension insurance contracts and for those it would buy-back Generali’s expertise, he said. The planned sale of Generali Germany’s life insurance business, including pension contracts, to run-off platform Viridium could be given the green light over the coming months, according to executives at the companies.Speaking at this year’s Handelsblatt occupational pension conference in Berlin, Heinz-Peter Roß, CEO at Viridium Holding, and Michael Stille, head of pensions for the Generali Group in Germany, said they were “confident” regulatory approval would be given before the summer.Generali announced the external run-off of Generali Leben, its life insurance business, last summer. It is worth around €41.5bn and includes over 550,000 individual pension contracts set up by employers as part of employee-only financed occupational pension plans.The selected buyer is the life insurance run-off platform Viridium, for whom the deal with Generali Leben would be its biggest since 2014. last_img read more

Premier Oil getting ready for Catcher first oil in December

first_imgUK oil and gas company Premier Oil has confirmed the first oil from its Catcher field in the North Sea remains on schedule for December.In a trading update on Thursday, Premier Oil said the full hook-up of the Catcher FPSO, which arrived in October, “has been essentially finished with with the risers, umbilicals and the installation of the ESDVs now complete.“The swivel stack is in place and the geostationary pipework connected with the final rotation test due imminently. Testing of the offloading interface with the cargo tanker is underway.The company said that commissioning activities including the running of main power generation, chemical bunkering, system filling, shutdown system testing and system leak testing, which started in parallel were ongoing, and will be ready for the introduction of hydrocarbons from the Catcher field shortly. According to Premier, first oil is expected “during December”.Also, Premier Oil said the development drilling program at the project continued ahead of schedule.The 12 wells originally planned pre-first oil (eight producers and four injectors) have been drilled, completed and tied back to the FPSO and drilling activities on phase 2 of the Catcher development wells are ongoing.“The first of these phase 2 wells (CCP9) continued the trend of delivering results on, or better than, prognosis in terms of reservoir quality and flow rates. Total project capex, including remaining contingency is forecast at $1.6 billion, 29 per cent lower than the sanctioned estimate,” Premier said.The Catcher development, made up of several fields discovered between 2010 and 2013, is located 170 kilometers south-east of Aberdeen. The full development entails 22 subsea wells, 14 producers and 8 water injectors, on the Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields which will be tied back to the BW Catcher FPSO.Field ramp up will be over 3-4 month period with Catcher being the first field online followed by Varadero and Burgman. Catcher will be the initial field on production due to its crude oil stability and the lowest gas to oil content of  the three fields.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

PFA’s 2020 Player of the Year awards suspended

first_img The gala was due to be held at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, having spent the last 25 years in London – at the Grosvenor Hotel. read also:Racists Tweets Directed At Iheanacho To Feature In PFA Dossier That suggests the awards could be written off entirely for 2020, with Liverpool pair Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold shoe-ins for the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year gongs, respectively. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 PFA’s 2020 Player of the Year awards have been suspended. The voting process for the awards have been suspended due to coronavirus. Now the dinner – set to be held on April 26 – has been cancelled for the first time ever in its 47-year existence with no new date in the diary.Advertisement Loading… Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More10 Largest Cities In The WorldA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them8 Best 1980s High Tech Gadgets7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe7 Netflix Shows Cancelled Because They Don’t Get The RatingsWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do10 Hyper-Realistic 3D Street Art By OdeithThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love Withlast_img read more

Some Without Water Thursday After Main Break

first_imgSome downtown Batesville residents were without city water for the majority of Thursday afternoon after a water main break occurred around 1 p.m.It happened on N. Walnut Street, between Franklin St. and Hillcrest Ave., forcing traffic down to one lane for about five hours.The Batesville Police Department confirmed the water main break had been repaired at 6:03 p.m.last_img

Area Baseball Sectional Scores-Indians Champs @ SR

first_imgWRBI Area Baseball Sectional Scores.Tuesday (6-2)Class 1A @ Shawe Memorial.Jac-Cen-Del 7     Oldenburg Academy 3Rising Sun 2     Hauser 1Class 2A @ South Ripley.Championship.Milan 7     Austin 2Congrats to The Indians on winning The Sectionals from Country 103.9 WRBI!last_img

UFC Champ Zhang Weili starts isolation at hotel after return from US

first_imgBeijing: UFC Champion Zhang Weili is in a 14-day mandatory isolation at a hotel in Tianjin, China, after being stranded in US more than 40 days ago.”Everything was fine on our way back home. Temperature was normal. Though it’s really a little bit boring here in a hotel, I feel safe now,” said Zhang during her online broadcast on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.The 29-year-old was crowned China’s first ever UFC champion in August 2019, and defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk in Las Vegas last month to retain her strawweight belt.Zhang could hardly sleep because of the excitement for going back home. Her team got up at four o’clock and drove five hours to travel to Los Angeles, United States. During the 13-hour flight, the whole team were protected from head to toe.”I didn’t drink or eat anything before arriving at hotel on Monday evening. Everyone on the plane and in the airport were very nice and said ‘welcome back home’ to us. I can tell that everything was well prepared and arranged to protect us. I was so moved.” IANSAlso Read: UFC Women’s Strawweight champion Zhang Weili returns to ChinaAlso Watch: Quick Shoppe in Guwahati takes precautionary measures against the spread of Coronaviruslast_img read more

Estwick believes Windies cricketers can build on recent Test win

first_imgPOTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa, (CMC) – Bowling coach Roddy Estwick believes West Indies can build on last week’s Test win over Pakistan and use it to create a new culture in the embattled Caribbean side.West Indies have endured a lean run of late in the longest format but broke out of their prolonged slump when they beat Pakistan by five wickets in the third and final Test in Sharjah.Estwick said the victory was more than just a triumph as it had served as a template of how West Indies ought to approach their cricket going forward.“What we’ve got to do is build on it. We’ve got to make sure that anybody coming into the side now would see a culture of hard work and discipline and once you can achieve that, [improvements will come],” Estwick pointed out.“[When players] come in, you don’t sit back, you’ve got to work hard and if you want to stay in the unit, you’ve got to be prepared to work hard and stay disciplined. West Indies cricket is very important to all of us and especially to the people of the Caribbean.“I know it’s only one game we’ve won but we’ve won because of hard work and proper planning. We’re trying to take the cricket to another level and once we continue to do that, we’ve got a greater chance of success.”The match was the only success for the Windies on tour after suffering 3-0 whitewashes in the Twenty20 and One-Day International series, and also losing the first two Tests of that three-match rubber.West Indies lost the opening Test in Dubai by 56 runs and the second in Abu Dhabi by 133 runs but despite this, Estwick said the side needed to take heart from the way they challenged Pakistan.“It should give you confidence. You’ve come to the UAE against the number two side in the world. Not a lot of teams have success here and we managed to push them in all three Test matches,” he noted.“Obviously it’s a young team but it should give them confidence and it should give them the belief that if they work hard and are prepared to be disciplined that you can reap the rewards.”He continued: “It shows that the hard work and fitness they are trying to implement into West Indies cricket is beginning to pay off and it’s a good sign that we came away with a win.“I thought we played reasonably well in the UAE. We still have a way to go but if we can keep that discipline and work ethic up, I’m sure we’ll be ok.”West Indies kicked off a one-week preparation camp here on Sunday as they tune up for the Tri-Nations Series against Sri Lanka and hosts Zimbabwe from November 14-27.last_img read more