Weekly Analysis and Opinion – 21 June 2021

For this week, we are looking at community banks, the potential of Indonesia as a hotspot for banking, Mifid II, EMIR, cyber security, tech like 5G and AI, build or buy strategies for tech businesses, and how assertive owners such as pension funds can make a real difference in terms of climate change. Enjoy the materials!

How community banks can thrive in a post-pandemic world (Finextra)

Helene Panzarino, banking-innovation consultant & evangelist, advises that now is the time to be forward-looking (or in some cases, sideways) to safeguard the future of community and regional banking. One direction community banks should be looking is towards fintechs. The regional banks now have a stake in the technology that will power the next two centuries of American community and regional banking. Read more

Asia’s Tech Juggernauts Zero In On Indonesia’s Digital Banking Market (Forbes)

Zennon Kapron, fintech contributor at Forbes, highlights the gap in the digital banking sector across Asia, where the focus has primarily lied on markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore. One example of potential financial services reach is Indonesia, with an unbanked population alone estimated to be 83 million – larger than the population of many countries. Read more

Too many firms still missing the mark on Mifid II and EMIR, financial advisor warns (

Tom Lemmon, journalist at, emphasizes that a striking majority of financial firms assessed by financial advisor ACA Group are filing inaccurate data reports, falling short of requirements from both the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid) and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Read more

Ransomware and hacking now bigger threat to UK businesses than hostile states (Payments Cards & Mobile)

Alex Rolfe, Managing Director at Payments Cards & Mobile, looks at the mission of the G7 countries’ leaders, who signalled their determination to clamp down on criminal hackers. They pledged in their summit communiqué that they would “urgently address” the “escalating shared threat from criminal ransomware networks”. Read more

How Consumers Live In The Connected Economy (PYMNTS)

Karen Webster, CEO of Market Platform Dynamics, highlights that almost everyone in the U.S. today participates in the connected economy – and across every single one of the 10 pillars that define it. In addition, we are expected to see innovators continue to leverage the existing, cloud-based tech and payments tech infrastructure created and refined over the last decade – as well as new tech like 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) – to rapidly accelerate participation in those segments where digital connections are not as well-adopted by providers and consumers. Read more

Build vs buy? Time for a rethink (AltFi)

Emma Hollingworth, Distribution Director at MQube, advises businesses on whether a build or buy strategy is most suited, depending whether they are seeking to develop or exploit innovative technologies. The pros and cons of both approaches are familiar to most businesses. On the ‘build’ side of the argument, the potential benefits of a tailor-made solution are balanced against the risks and costs associated with starting from scratch and relying on internal expertise. With a ‘buy’ approach, convenience and cost-effectiveness are weighed against the risks of incompatibility with existing IT solutions, business processes and/or corporate cultures. Read more

Activist shareholders must push for environmental change (Financial Times)

Lakshmi Naaraayanan, Assistant Professor of Finance at London Business School, explains that divestment is not the only way for driving environmental change, but also assertive owners such as pension funds can make a real difference. The analysis suggests that engagement by long-term shareholders such as pension funds is an effective way to improve companies’ environmental impact. Activism, combined with monitoring and the threat of discipline by investors, can drive improvements. Read more

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