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Using financial data, Mark Sibthorpe compares the performance of TD bank to its rivals. TD grew faster in 2017 than its rivals, but was cited for aggressive sales practices.

Mr. Michael R. King, Tangerine Chair in Finance and Co-Director, Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab / Ivey Business School at Western University

This video covers XE.com's presentation at the AI, Big Data and Analytics event which took place in Toronto February 7/8, 2018. Cecelia Tamez and Jean Louis provide insights into their evolution and winning strategy.

Greenpeace's campaign to stop TD financing the oil sands is delusional. Trillions of dollars are at stake for the banks and the Canadian economy. This video explores the related financial issues.

This video provides an overview of the main differences between Canada's approach to overland flooding versus the US approach.

Canadian bank overview part 5, medium-large banks. Banks include Manulife, Tangerine and Laurentian Bank.

Canadian banking industry overview of Canadian Tire Bank, Presidents Choice Financial, Equitable Bank, B2B Bank

Overview of small-medium size banks in Canada. Banks covered include Versabank, Hollis Bank, Equity Bank and Caisse Populaire Acadienne.

Review of small banks including Bridgewater,Vancity Bank, Concentra, Wealth One, Zag...

Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a fraud used by criminals, yet he has jumped into the blockchain with both feet.

RBC invested $24 million into Wave Technologies and now they will roll out Waves accounting, invoicing, reporting and billing platform to SMEs.

Overview of Canadian banking industry. This multi-part series looks at issues facing Canadian banks from a variety of angles. Part 1 examines the types of banks and scale using ROE and EBITDA as measures.


About

About BankNews TV: financial services industry monitor (FSIM), analytics and research

Latest news and events for Canadian financial service companies, analytics, fintech and AI. BankNews.TV provide the latest technology news and reports for banks and insurance companies looking to compete in a rapidly changing market.

Analytical information and financial information related to technogies that can change your business.

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Research

Canadian banking industry overview  

Mark Sibthorpe

The industry overview is divided into 5 parts:

Introduction
Small banks
Small medium sized banks
Medium sized banks
Medium large banks


2014 Mobile payments the Apple pay way  

banknews.tv/docs/Mobile_Payments_Apple_Pay_2014.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

With Walmart Pay about to userp Apple Pay, I thought I would share my 2014 book on mobile payments and loyalty. The guilde was written for Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit, mobile payments and Apple Pay, but anyone involved with credit and loyalty might find it useful.
The book is a prelude to Walmart leaving MCX, and chronicles the evolution that led to Walmart Pay. There is an extensive case study of Walmart that looks into its efforts to become an ILC and to avoid paying credit card transaction fees ('merchant discount').
It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and industry facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives. 


Death to bitcoin, long live the blockchain   (See full report)

Mark Sibthorpe

Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a fraud used by criminals, yet he has jumped into the blockchain with both feet.


TD bank industry conduct  

banknews.tv/docs/tdind2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

TD’s share price recently collapsed by $7 bn in one day due to CBC’s allegations of aggressive selling tactics. A huge fall from a bank that was trading at a premium as recently as January. This was even before the most recent allegation of TD attempting to avoid paying taxes on advertising.
This report chronicles the events leading up to the collapse, shows TD's performance, analyses other related issues.


Book review: Back from the Brink  

banknews.tv/docs/backbrink.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This is a book review of the book Back from the Brink by Paul Halpern, Caroline Cakebread, Christopher C. Nicholls and Poonam Puri.


Footnote 151  

banknews.tv/docs/footnote151.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Footnote 151 implies an important regulatory change related to derivative contracts. It means that US Banks will not be required to hold as much capital against commodities. If you want to understand the implications of this regulatory change in more detail, see the enclosed related article detailing the changes. For contextual purposes, I have also included two Rolling Stones Magazines reports from 2010 and 2014 that chronicle the role large US banks have played in manipulating commodities. You might question the credibility of these sources, but rest assured, these reports are based on United States Senate hearings which outline the issues in a 396 page report related to the implied risks. 


Save the Canadian economy now  

banknews.tv/docs/helecopter-money.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Consumer debt spending appears to have insulated Canada from the worst of the credit crisis, but now the alarming magnitude of consumer debt ($1.92-trillion) could exacerbate a day of reckoning.
This report assesses the issues at hand and recommends the solution to get Canada's economy on track.


Reasons financial service companies should consider gamification  

banknews.tv/docs/Gamfin.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Gamification of business processes resulted on Mint.com growing to 10 million users within 4 years. This report explains how.


National Bank Special Report  

banknews.tv/docs/NatBSpec.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

According to Bloomberg, National Bank of Canada will take a C$64 million ($48 million) restructuring charge in the fourth quarter and said its investment in Maple Financial Group Inc., which is being probed by German regulators, may be at risk of a “substantial loss.”


Will Canadian banks charge companies for deposits?  

banknews.tv/docs/depgrowthimpact2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

In light of today’s possible rate cut, this report discusses how a bank rate cut and capital ratio pressure could precipitate negative corporate deposit interest rates in Canada.


Canadian Tire's (CTC) - Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) Scotia deal overview and risk assess  

banknews.tv/docs/ctfsfinal.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Review of the Canadian Tire Financial Services deal with Scotiabank, risks, opportunity and benefits.


Finance minisiter scorecard August 26, 2015  

banknews.tv/docs/Scorejo-August-2015.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report looks at Joe Oliver, minister of finance’s progress to date, and assigns a grade to his government’s performance to date.


Xtreme Branch  

banknews.tv/docs/xbranch.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Branches are evolving to meet the digital age. This documents tracks the evolution with real-world examples.


Canadian Nudge  

banknews.tv/docs/nudge.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Whether he knew it or not, Tom Reid, a senior vice-president at Sun Life, made a case for the behavior modification concept ‘Nudging’ when he recently proposed auto-enrolling Canadians in his company’s pension plans. Sun life cover 1.2 million Canadians, about 60% of the eligible employees.
According to Reid,


CWB cause for concern  

banknews.tv/docs/cwbupdate.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

In an earlier report BankNews.TV expressed concerns about CWB. Here are 5 charts that show cause:
1. First earnings drop in years;
2. Deposits dropping which will increase cost of funds in the future.


BNTV Overview  

banknews.tv/docs/overviewpdf.pdf

BNTV

BankNews.TV Publishing Corp services overview document:

  • Analytics
  • Financial services industry monitor (FSIM) industry briefings and developments reports
  • Research


Challenger banks not a threat to big banks  

banknews.tv/docs/challenger.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report looks at Canadian challenger banks (apart from merchant led banks) and explains why they have not threatened larger institutions. It also looks at ways in which these upstarts have achieved success.


Gamification of financial data project  

banknews.tv/docs/GamingEventProposal-printsample--en-final.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This document contains details on how BankNews.TV is helping kids learn programming via gamification of financial data.


The impact a rate rise will have for Canadian banks  

banknews.tv/docs/irr-f.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canadian banks have made money throughout the credit crisis, but this trend may be about to reverse. The rational supporting this prediction is that revenue has grown despite a declining net interest margin (NIM). It has grown in spite of this fact because Canadian debt (loan lease volume) has risen significantly, as shown in chart 2.

This report looks at the issues facing Canadian banks in the event of a Bank Rate rise.  


FIFA: the new goldenballs  

banknews.tv/docs/goldenballs.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Yesterday, the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) opened criminal proceedings related to the FIFA scandal. This report outlines some of the events related to the criminal investigation, with a particular focus on banking.


Scorecard Minister of Finance: JIm Flaherty  

banknews.tv/docs/Scorecard Min Fin Flaherty April 8 2014.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

March 18, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigned from cabinet after having endured a difficult year due to health issues. This report looks at his legacy and attempts to grade his government’s performance to date.


Sample RFP for a Loyalty Program  

banknews.tv/docs/sample RFP for a loyalty program.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe


Merchants extend financial services  

banknews.tv/docs/merchantfs.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Merchant led financial services are growing in importance once again. This is exemplified in the ongoing UK rivalry between ASDA, Sainsbury and Tesco. Together these merchant/financial service companies provide the backstop for three different approaches for merchants looking to extend their financial services.


Hot Money: real-estate  

banknews.tv/docs/hotmoney.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canadian and London real estate, like Macau, may also be a convenient means for China’s elite to move money offshore; with the deleterious effect of driving up home values. Louise Shelley`s research concurs. In a published paper written for the National Defense University, Shelley argues that money laundering in real estate (MLRE) increases prices.


Currency Cheat Sheet: a guide for the rest of us  

banknews.tv/docs/currencycheatsheet.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Readers of this document will be presented with monetary policy issues and facts
that show the USD will likely remain the dominant reserve currency, despite
questionable Chinese practices, record US debt levels, and a shaky economy.


Riches to Rags? Summary of possible risks for Genworth MI CANADA, INC.  

banknews.tv/docs/gq4risk.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Genworth had its Q4 2014 earnings call. Genworth own about 30% of the mortgage default insurance in Canada. Not surprisingly, the earnings call became focussed on Alberta; and for good reason, with 20% of its outstanding insured mortgage balance in Alberta, sensitivity to the oil shock and how Genworth plan to manage related risks were discussed in detail.


Canadian Western Bank Competitive Forecast  

banknews.tv/docs/cwbf.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Based on historical financial data (see detailed charts pages 5-8), the oil based recession in Alberta, and comparison against two of its peers, this document outlines my observation with respect to CWB’s future performances.


Liquid Canada: the tipping point  

banknews.tv/docs/Liquid.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report examines liquidity issues in the Canadian financial service industry.


Bank Fees  

banknews.tv/docs/Bank fees.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Recently the CBC and The Globe and Mail both reported on what has been referred to as a consumer “bank fee outcry”. CBC compares banks to cable and phone companies, standing accused of trying to gouge customers with service fees. The backlash appears to have originated in conjunction with the NDP and the Consumers Council of Canada which argues that there is anxiety ‘among consumers about banking fees’.


Cheap Oil Report  

banknews.tv/docs/co2.pdf

Cheap oil has pushed the Bank of Canada's governor, Stephen Poloz onto a slippery slope. For some background on this, take October 22nd, when Poloz bid farewell to forward guidance, resulting in yesterday's surprise rate cut. A cut that has enraged TD and other banks, which see this as eroding profits.
 


Canada's Economy, a strategic solution  

banknews.tv/docs/ces.pdf

This report explores Canada's strategies to compete globally. The report begins with an analyses of the housing market, because housing is the canary in the coal mine; explores what happens in the event of collapse; and analyses the underlying problem causing Canada to be uncompetitive.
 


Complete loyalty RFP  

banknews.tv/docs/booksample.pdf

Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit and mobile payments should read this book. It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives.
 


Mobile Payments Blueprint: guide to credit and loyalty transformation for merchants  

banknews.tv/docs/booksample.pdf

Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit and mobile payments should read this book. It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives.
 


Report on merchants extending financial services  

banknews.tv/docs/

Special report explaining why some merchants in the UK, U.S. and Canada are expanding their financial services. The paper discusses the structural and regulatory pressures facing merchants and explains the rational behind key decisions. This is an 8 page high level report
 


Guide to system selection  

banknews.tv/docs/gssnow.pdf

Read sample report: Guide to system selection. This sample would normally cost $99 but is available free as a sample. Click here view sample report.


News feed

HOW ECONOMICAL PLANS TO REMAIN INDEPENDENT AFTER DEMUTUALIZATION

Canadian Underwriter - Greg Machbach (2018-08-10)

If Economical Insurance becomes publicly-traded on the stock exchange, it could eventually be acquired, but company officials have no intention of making Economical an easy acquisition target.


BANK OF CANADA WARNS SPOILS OF INNOVATION IN HANDS OF A FEW ‘SUPERSTAR’ TECH GIANTS

G&M - Barrie McKenna (2018-08-08)

The Bank of Canada is calling for tougher regulation to thwart a growing concentration of the spoils of innovation in the hands of a clutch of "superstar" tech giants.


ECONOMICAL EXPOSED TO ONTARIO’S AUTO MARKET CYCLES

Canadian Underwriter - Greg Machbach (2018-07-10)

Exposure to Ontario’s regulated auto market is one factor leading to the “unsatisfactory” financial performance at Economical Insurance, CEO Rowan Saunders suggested to mutual policyholders attending the company’s annual general meeting, held Monday at the Bingemans Centre in Kitchener, Ont.


MAJOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SET UP THIRD-PARTY RISK MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-06-16)

Several of America’s biggest banks have come together to create a new company that will carry out risk assessments on suppliers and partners.


CANADA SHOULD NOT PROCEED WITH THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA AS PLANNED

CBC - David Kryden (2018-06-10)

After the last week or so of avoiding questions about whether marijuana would indeed be legalized by summer as planned, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed last Thursday that the process will not be delayed. Some senators have called for a one-year deferment to allow for further consultation with Indigenous groups, but the government's plan — at least for now  — is of full steam ahead.


WHY IS MY U.S. DIVIDEND ETF UNDERPERFORMING RELATIVE TO GENERAL MARKETS?

G&M - John Heinzl (2018-06-04)

A while ago I bought the iShares U.S. High Dividend Equity Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) for my registered retirement savings plan. However, I was shocked when the ETF (XHD-T) fell precipitously at the start of 2018, and had another fall since. These moves have been out of step with the general markets. Can you explain what happened?


GOLDMAN CEO LLOYD BLANKFEIN LIKELY TO STEP DOWN IN DECEMBER

G&M - Kate Kelly (2018-05-19)

A new era at Goldman Sachs is taking shape.


INFLATION ABOVE BOC’S TWO-PER-CENT TARGET FOR THIRD STRAIGHT MONTH

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2018-05-19)

Canadian inflation data gave off mixed signals for April, with closely watched core measures inching higher even as the country’s overall inflation rate eased slightly amid signs that consumer spending has bounced back from its recent lull.


OSC WARNS ABOUT FIVE UNREGISTERED CRYPTOCURRENCY GROUPS

G&M - CP (2018-05-19)

The Ontario Securities Commission is warning the public that several groups are promoting investments in cryptocurrencies without having the necessary provincial registrations.


WALMART REACHES DEAL TO SELL CANADIAN BANKING OPERATIONS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2018-05-18)

Walmart Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Canadian banking operations to financier Stephen Smith and private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP.


ATB FINANCIAL NAMES CURTIS STANGE AS NEW CEO

G&M - James Bradshaw (2018-05-18)

ATB Financial has chosen Curtis Stange to be its next chief executive officer, reaching within its own ranks for a successor to retiring leader Dave Mowat.


NEW CPPIB STRATEGY FOCUSED ON BOOSTING COMPETITIVENESS

G&M - Jacqueline Nelson (2018-05-18)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is charting a new investment strategy aimed at making the fund more competitive as it prepares to manage more of Canadians’ money than ever before.


THE CHART YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION TO IF YOU’RE BUYING A HOME OR RENEWING A MORTGAGE

G&M - Rob Carrick (2018-05-18)

If the mortgage-rate outlook was a weather forecast, you’d see gathering clouds and rain.


A GOLD-RUSH ATTITUDE WON’T HELP CANADA’S MARIJUANA INDUSTRY

G&M - Jeanette Vandermarel (2018-05-18)

In the 19th century it was gold rushes in British Columbia. In the 20th century it was the discovery of oil in Alberta. In the 21st century, it will be the growth of cannabis across Canada.


CANADA ENJOYS A MANUFACTURING BOOM, FOR NOW

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2018-05-18)

Over the past couple of decades, we’ve grown unaccustomed to hearing the words “Canada” and “manufacturing boom” in the same sentence. But over the past few months, Canada has put together a nice little manufacturing boom.


CPPIB PLEDGES 'HUGE PUSH' ON CLIMATE CHANGE RISK ASSESSMENT

FP - Barbara Schecter (2018-05-18)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board chief executive Mark Machin pledged Thursday to step up the assessment of global climate change risks to make better investment decisions, as the fund he oversees posted an annual net return of 11.6 per cent.


WALMART LAUNCHES FREE PICKUP OF ONLINE MERCHANDISE, GOBBLES UP MORE GROCERY MARKET SHARE IN CANADA

FP - Hollie Shaw (2018-05-18)

Customers will be able to pick up Walmart.ca merchandise at the retailer’s stores across the country as the big-box giant battles Amazon.com Inc. and Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd. with its digital offerings.


ALCOHOL BROKER SOUTHERN GLAZER’S PARTNERS WITH APHRIA TO SELL WEED

FP - FP (2018-05-18)

The new company, Great North Distributors Inc., will represent Aphria products to retailers and regulators across the country, essentially acting as Aphria’s on-the-spot salesforce, the company said on Thursday.


ARGENTINA'S WOES 'MAY BE TIP OF THE ICEBERG' OF AN EVEN BIGGER CRISIS FOR WORLD ECONOMY

FP - Ambrose Evans-Prictchard (2018-05-18)

The dramatic events in Argentina may be the “tip of the iceberg” of a broader systemic crisis across Asia, Latin America and Africa, the top emerging market watchdog has warned.


LEMONADE RELEASES OPEN-SOURCED INSURANCE POLICY THAT ANYONE CAN EDIT

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-18)

Lemonade, an AI-powered insurance company, has launched what it calls the world’s first open-sourced insurance policy.


NEWS LIFE RESOURCES SPECIALTY EXPERT ADVICE FORUM SUBSCRIBE CONTACT US TORONTO ACHIEVES DROP IN INSURANCE LIABILITY RATING

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-18)

Thanks to improvements made over several years, the city of Toronto has managed to reduce its insurance liability.


'HUGE OPPORTUNITY' IN TRADE CREDIT INSURANCE MARKET

Insurance Business - Bethan Moorcraft (2018-05-18)

In today’s digital-driven global marketplace, trade credit insurance has never been more important. It protects a seller against losses from non-payment of a commercial trade debt.


NATIONAL LACROSSE TEAMS DISPUTE FLARES OVER INSURANCE

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-18)

Earlier this week, the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) cut all communication with the Lacrosse Team Players’ Association (LTPA), threatening Canada’s participation in the upcoming men’s field lacrosse world championship.


TWO-YEAR DEADLINE FOR FORT MCMURRAY INSURANCE CLAIMS EXTENDED

Canadian Underwriter - CP (2018-05-18)

 Deadlines have been extended for hundreds of insurance claims that remain unresolved more than two years after a wildfire dubbed “The Beast” tore through Fort McMurray and surrounding areas in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.


NO HARD MARKET DESPITE 2017 HURRICANE LOSSES: FAIRFAX

Canadian Underwriter - Greg Machbach (2018-05-18)

Despite nearly US$100 billion in hurricane losses in 2017, insurance buyers are not experiencing a hard market like they did after the 2001 terror attacks that brought the World Trade Centre down, the head of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. suggests.


PROVINCE SEES FLURRY OF P&C INSURANCE LEGISLATION

Canadian Underwriter - Jason Contant (2018-05-18)

Quebec is seeing several proposed legislative changes that will – or could – impact property and casualty insurance in the province, the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) director of communications and public affairs told Canadian Underwriter Thursday.


PAYPAL AGREES TO BUY EUROPEAN FINTECH STARTUP IZETTLE FOR ABOUT $2.2 BILLION

WSJ - Ben Dummett (2018-05-18)

PayPal Holdings Inc. has agreed to buy European financial-technology startup iZettle AB for about $2.2 billion, a move that would catapult the U.S. digital-payments giant into hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar retailers around the world.


WELLS FARGO EMPLOYEES ALTERED INFORMATION ON BUSINESS CUSTOMERS’ DOCUMENTS

WSJ - Emily Glazer (2018-05-18)

Some employees in a Wells Fargo & Co. unit that handles business banking improperly altered information on documents related to corporate customers, according to people familiar with the matter.


U.S. BANK STOCK GAINS MAY STALL AFTER TWO-YEAR RALLY

Reuters - Sinead Carew (2018-05-18)

The S&P 500 bank sector index .SPXBK beat first quarter earnings estimates by 3.1 percent, and Wall Street’s 2018 earnings growth consensus for the sector climbed to 32.2 percent in early May from 28.4 percent on April 1, according to Thomson Reuters data.


SAN FRANCISCO FED BEGINS SEARCH FOR A NEW LEADER

WSJ - Michael S. Derby (2018-05-17)

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said Wednesday it has begun searching for a successor to President John Williams, who is set to become leader of the New York Fed next month.


BANKS FINALLY SEE A LENDING BOOST

WSJ - Aaron Back (2018-05-17)

Weak corporate loan growth, one of the few worrisome statistics in the economy, has turned positive, potentially boosting growth and bank profits.


AT TOYS ‘R’ US, A $200 MILLION DEBT PROBLEM COULD LEAD TO $348 MILLION IN FEES

NY Times - Michael Corkery (2018-05-17)

Last spring, Toys “R” Us, struggling in the face of competition, wanted to refinance about $200 million in debt.


ICELAND’S ARION BANK HEADS FOR IPO A DECADE AFTER CRISIS

FT - Katie Martin (2018-05-17)

Almost a decade after a crisis that devastated  the Icelandic banking sector, the successor to the failed Kaupthing bank has announced its long-awaited intention to list on the Nasdaq markets in Iceland and Stockholm.


BIG FOUR ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS PLAN FOR FORCED BREAK-UP

FT - Madison Marriaage (2018-05-17)

The Big Four accountancy firms have drawn up contingency plans for a break up of their UK businesses, an option politicians and regulators are increasingly pushing to solve conflicts of interest embedded in the industry.


OTTAWA VOWS TO COVER TRANS MOUNTAIN LOSSES DUE TO B.C. DELAY

G&M - Steven Chase (2018-05-17)

The Trudeau government is pledging to cover financial losses suffered by Kinder Morgan if the B.C. government obstructs or delays the Trans Mountain project, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Wednesday.


'READY AND PREPARED TO TURN OFF THE TAPS': NOTLEY ISSUES STARK WARNING TO B.C. AS PIPELINE FIGHT ESCALATES

FP - Geoffrey Morgan (2018-05-17)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley threatened to cut off oil shipments to British Columbia “very quickly” on Wednesday, as her government passed its controversial new law that grants the government sweeping new powers over oil and gas shipments.


PROPOSED PRIVACY BREACH CLASS ACTION LAUNCHED AGAINST THE PERSONAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Insurance Journal - Andrea Lubeck (2018-05-17)

The law firm Waddell Philips Professional Corporation has launched a proposed class-action suit against The Personal Insurance Company and its parent company, Desjardins General Insurance Group. The plaintiff, Kalevi Haikola, filed the suit against his automobile insurer because it accessed his credit file when he filed a claim following an accident.


DESJARDINS ANNOUNCES SURPLUS EARNINGS OF $501 MILLION FOR Q1 2018

Insurance Journal - IIJ (2018-05-17)

Desjardins Group announced on May 15 that it has recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $501 million. This is up $118 million or 30.8 per cent from the same quarter of 2017.


EXCLUSIVE: RBS LAWYERS ASK EX-STAFFER TO DESTROY DOCUMENTS, DOJ INFORMED

Reuters - Sinead Cruise (2018-05-17)

Lawyers for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) asked an ex-employee to destroy confidential documents, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a move which the former staffer’s lawyer said put him at risk of legal action by the U.S. government.


GOLDMAN AIMS TO PRESERVE PRE-IPO CULTURE, EVEN AS PARTNERSHIP DWINDLES

Reuters - Henry Engler (2018-05-17)

Bank leaders, including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and his deputy, Chief Operating Officer David Solomon, have been anchoring 2-1/2-hour sessions with managers across the globe since September, focused on improving culture and employee conduct, executives involved with the effort told Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence.


FED GOVERNOR: DIGITAL TOKENS FOR FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT HOLD PROMISE FOR CENTRAL BANKS

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-16)

UBS, for instance, has drawn wide support for the concept of a Utility Settlement Coin, for the settlement of securities transactions. The Bank of Canada has also played a leading role through its Project Jasper initiative. 


TMX AND BANK OF CANADA CONCLUDE BLOCKCHAIN 'FEASIBLE' FOR SECURITIES SETTLEMENT

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-16)

Gerry Gaetz, CEO, Payments Canada, says: "This proof of concept shows that it is possible to deliver payments in a way that has never been done before - by directly swapping cash from buyers to sellers, resulting in instant settlements".


MARIJUANA INDUSTRY — NOW WORTH $31 BILLION — LOOKS ABROAD FOR GROWTH

FP - FP Video (2018-05-16)

Countries like Spain, Italy, and Colombia are likely the next growth opportunities


WELCOME TO CANNABIS COUNTRY: A PROVINCE-BY-PROVINCE BREAKDOWN OF WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN MARIJUANA BECOMES LEGAL

FP - FP (2018-05-16)

While growing rules will be the same across the country, details, such as where the drug can be bought and used, are being left up to the provinces and territories.


AURORA CANNABIS TO BUY MEDRELEAF IN $3.2B TAKEOVER

CBC - Pete Evans (2018-05-16)

Aurora Cannabis will buy medical marijuana firm MedReleaf for $3.2 billion in stock, cementing the company's status as the biggest company in the fast-growing cannabis space.


AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE IN CANADA FELL 11% IN PAST YEAR, CREA SAYS

CBC - Pete Evans (2018-05-16)

The realtor group said the number of sales plunged by 13.9 per cent compared with the previous year's level, and fell to the lowest April showing since 2011.


HIGHER MORTGAGE STRESS TEST ALSO PUTTING THE SQUEEZE ON RENEWALS

CBC - Pete Evans (2018-05-16)

"They want to make sure you can afford your mortgage with a good, solid rate in place," said Cynthia Holmes, with the Faculty of Real Estate Management at Toronto's Ryerson University. "Not that you can only afford it if rates are really really low."


90% OF DRIVERS IN THIS PROVINCE THINK THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE “PROFITABLE

Canadian Underwriter - Jason Contant (2018-05-16)

Nine out of 10 drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador believe insurance companies operating in the province are profitable, according to a new poll commissioned by Aviva Canada.


WHY THE CREDIT-CARD BOOM MAY HAVE JUST PEAKED

WSJ - ANNAMARIA ANDRIOTIS (2018-05-16)

Following some of their strongest years ever, credit-card issuers are grappling with an uneasy future.


VOLCKER RULE 2.0 DRAFT COMING SOON

WSJ - Ryan Tracy (2018-05-16)

Large Wall Street banks would have more trading freedom under the Volcker rule as a result of changes U.S. regulators are considering, according to people familiar with the matter.


CIRCLE RAISES $110 MILLION, PLANS TO CREATE DOLLAR-PEGGED CRYPTOCURRENCY

Reuters - Anna Irrera (2018-05-16)

Goldman Sachs-backed (GS.N) cryptocurrency startup Circle has raised $110 million in an investment round led by Chinese virtual coin mining giant Bitmain Technologies, Circle said on Tuesday.


SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE HYDRO ONE EXECUTIVE PAY PLAN DESPITE OUTCRY

G&M - Andrew Willis (2018-05-16)

Shareholders voted 92 per cent in favour of Hydro One Ltd.’s executive compensation plan, which has faced intense scrutiny during the lead up to Ontario’s election campaign.


HOME CAPITAL SECURES NEW CREDIT LINE TO REPLACE BUFFETT FUNDING

G&M - James Bradshaw (2018-05-16)

Alternative mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. has secured a smaller, less expensive credit line from two Canadian banks to backstop any unexpected funding needs.


THE FORCES OF CHANGE ARE TRUMPING BANKS AND REGULATORS

G&M - Patricia Meredith (2018-05-16)

Most businesses fail to respond to the challenge of disruptive technology. But disruptive technologies, including mobile devices, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain and social networking, are transforming financial services.


WHY BLOCKCHAIN IS HARD

Medium - Jimmy Song (2018-05-16)

What the heck is a blockchain, anyway? And can it really do all these things? Can blockchain bring something amazing to industries as diverse as health care, finance, supply chain management and music rights?


FORGING PARTNERSHIPS: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BANKS AND PAYMENT SERVICE PROVIDERS

Bobsguide - Paul Marcantonio (2018-05-16)

Collaboration, cooperation, competition. Banks and payment service providers tend to engage in one of three ways. This relationship is contingent on the operational models of both parties. Players within the payments space include payment processors, payment gateways, and acquirers. Each tends to operate within its own niche, but these operations can and do intersect. The conditions of partnership between bank and payment service provider depend on the latter’s capabilities, such as whether or not the payment institution holds a card acquiring license to enable the processing of client transactions directly, as well as the added value it can offer merchants seeking bank accounts.


WHAT CAN START-UPS LEARN FROM PARTNERING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES?

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-16)

“It’s been absolutely amazing for us. We’ve been learning so much and we were quite transparent with Aviva,” said Furtado. “We went in there and said, ‘we’re experts in personal finance and building amazing user experiences, but we just want to learn as much as possible about insurance,’ and they’ve just been absolutely amazing at giving back to the start-up ecosystem.”


WHAT IMPACT IS AUTOMATION HAVING ON INSURANCE EMPLOYMENT?

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-16)

In Ontario’s insurance sector though, the adoption of technology – think artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud services – hasn’t yet resulted in less jobs, according to a new report, “Better, Faster, Stronger: Maximizing the benefits of automation for Ontario’s firms and people,” from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.


TORONTO-BASED GIG EMPLOYMENT APP RAISES INSURANCE CONCERNS

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-16)

"We've grown exponentially," Hyr co-founder Erika Mozes told CBC News. "The first demand for it really came from workers because [of] this new economy and the way that people want to be able to make money when they want to make money."


B.C. BRACES FOR SECOND SURGE OF FLOODWATERS

G&M - Ian Bailey (2018-05-15)

Soaring temperatures and melting mountain snow packs are threatening to swell floodwaters in British Columbia and force the evacuation of thousands more from their homes, emergency officials say.


MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS A MIRAGE

G&M - Margaret Wente (2018-05-15)

Another day, another multibillion-dollar deal. That’s the way it goes in the marijuana market these days as eager entrepreneurs scramble to position themselves for legalization. On Monday, a medical-marijuana company called MedReleaf (get it?) was snapped up for a dizzying $3.2-billion. The medical market is the back door to the honeypot.


AURORA CANNABIS IS CHASING BILLION-DOLLAR DEALS. DO INVESTORS BENEFIT?

G&M - Tim Kiladze (2018-05-15)

During a news conference to unveil his signature deal, the chief executive of Aurora Cannabis Inc. was hailed as a “pioneer and visionary” by his executive team.


POWER CORP. LOOKS TO PLAY THE ‘CONSOLIDATION GAME’

G&M - Jacqueline Nelson (2018-05-15)

After half a century under Desmarais-family control, Power Corp. of Canada wants investors to know it isn’t running out of steam – in fact, it’s planning a multibillion-dollar spending spree.


ROBOTS, AI, AND JOBS: ALL THREE ARE COMING

G&M - Joe Atikian (2018-05-15)

The robots are not coming for our jobs. In 1915, the industrialist Lloyd Raymond Smith asked, “Can automobile frames be built without men?” The same question has been asked about entire industries. It never happened, even though automation has appeared in every workplace. And it didn’t merely appear. Factory labour got intensively more mechanized from the moment factories were born. The surprise was that factory employment kept growing for another 65 years, including the early computer era.


BANK OF MONTREAL MUSCLES INTO MARIJUANA M&A BY ADVISING AURORA IN BIGGEST DEAL YET

FP - Doug Alexander (2018-05-15)

Bank of Montreal is emerging as the most aggressive of Canada’s big banks in the cannabis industry after landing a mandate to advise on the largest takeover in the sector.


JACK MA'S ANT FINANCIAL SAID TO SNAG CARLYLE, CPPIB FOR $10 BILLION FUNDRAISING ROUND

FP - Lulu Yilun Chen (2018-05-15)

Ant Financial, the Chinese payments giant controlled by Jack Ma, is expected to close a fundraising of at least US$10 billion in the next few days, attracting Carlyle Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as first-time investors, according to people familiar with the matter.


FAREWELL TO A TOP-PERFORMING REIT: RBC'S NEIL DOWNEY REFLECTS ON CANADIAN REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST

FP - Barry Critchley (2018-05-15)

And for CREIT unit holders, the ride was a good one: $10,000 invested in September, 1993 was worth $229,000 at the end of last year and $261,000 when the plan of arrangement was completed last week. Those numbers show the magic of compound interest, which has been described by many, including a certain Albert Einstein, as the “eighth wonder of the world.”


CANOPY GROWTH APPLIES TO LIST SHARES ON NYSE

CBC - Pete Evans (2018-05-15)

Canopy becomes the first Canadian pot company to list on the NYSE. But smaller rival Cronos Group made a similar cross-border leap earlier this year, listing on the Nasdaq.


MARSH LOSES TRADEMARK TUSSLE WITH INSURTECH START-UP MARSHMALLOW

Insurance Business - Lucy Hook (2018-05-15)

An insurtech company called Marshmallow has won a trademark battle against Marsh after the broking giant attempted to block the use of the start-up’s name – describing it as a “sweet victory.”


FLOOD ALERTS FOR INSURERS

Insurance Business - Insurr (2018-05-15)

...with some insurance companies now including overland flooding, the DFAA program will no longer bail out those who had the option of taking out this cover.


DRIVERS SAY AUTO INSURANCE IN THIS PROVINCE IS “FINANCIALLY DIFFICULT” TO AFFORD: POLL

Canadian Underwriter - Jason Contant (2018-05-15)

Nearly two-thirds of polled drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador have said that auto insurance has become “financially difficult” to pay for, according to a new poll commissioned by Aviva Canada.


FORMER CITIGROUP CEO VIKRAM PANDIT MAKES $100 MILLION INVESTMENT IN CREDIT-CARD STARTUP

WSJ - Peter Rudegeair (2018-05-15)

Vikram Pandit, the former Citigroup Inc. chief, is making a big bet on credit cards.


PLEASE, PLEASE BUY THIS GUN COMPANY

NY Times - Andrew Ross Sorkin (2018-05-15)

What if the big banks that have provided financing to Remington during its bankruptcy were to back — and partner with — one or more of the big private equity firms in an effort to transform the company into the most advanced and responsible gun manufacturer in the country?


WHY A.I. AND CRYPTOCURRENCY ARE MAKING ONE TYPE OF COMPUTER CHIP SCARCE

NY Times - Cade Metz (2018-05-15)

Artificial intelligence systems, made by companies ranging in size from Google to the Chinese start-up Malong Technologies, rely heavily on a computer chip called a graphics processing unit, or G.P.U. The chips are also very useful in mining digital currencies like Ethereum, a Bitcoin alternative riding the same wave of hype as its more famous cousin.


YOUR GUIDE TO CRYPTOCURRENCY REGULATIONS AROUND THE WORLD AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADED

CNBC - Kate Rooney (2018-05-15)

As demand for cryptocurrency grows, global regulators are divided on how to keep up. Most digital currencies are not backed by any central government, meaning each country has different standards.


BANK OF MONTREAL GOES ALL-IN ON POT DEALS

Bloomberg - Doug Alexander (2018-05-15)

BMO Capital Markets was the exclusive adviser to Aurora Cannabis Inc. on its C$2.9 billion ($2.3 billion) all-stock bid to buy MedReleaf Corp., encroaching on the territory dominated by smaller investment banks Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. and GMP Capital Inc. Canaccord advised MedReleaf on the acquisition announced Monday.


HOW MISBEHAVING AUSTRALIAN BANKS ARE CAUSING GLOBAL PAIN

Bloomberg - Emily Cadman (2018-05-15)

Taking bribes. Falsifying documents. Lying to regulators. Extracting fees from dead customers. A public inquiry into Australia’s financial services industry has uncovered a laundry list of wrongdoing that’s shocked the public, cost senior executives their jobs and wiped billions off the market value of the nation’s biggest banks. That may be just the beginning. The so-called Royal Commission, established by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government amid public anger, still has months to run.


THE GROWTH OF CANADA’S MONEY SUPPLY IS SLOWING, HERE’S WHAT IT MEANS FOR REAL ESTATE

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2018-05-15)

Canada’s ever expanding supply of money is finally starting to take a breather. Bank of Canada (BoC) numbers show M1+, a narrow measure of country’s money supply, is slowing in growth. The taper is most likely a sign that higher interest rates are impacting households. The measure is a useful indicator for the sale of assets that need financing, like homes.


BANK OF CANADA SEEKS TO IMPROVE COLLABORATION IN FIGHT AGAINST CYBERATTACKS

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-15)

Speaking at the Payments Canada conference in Toronto, Bank of Canada chief operating officer Filipe Dinis said of the new initiative: "The goal is to have a rapid, collaborative approach to recovery should a key participant be affected by a serious cyber security event, such as the corruption of critical data that results in a prolonged operational outage."


FORMER JPMORGAN BLOCKCHAIN LEADS UNVEIL NEW STARTUP

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-15)

Billing itself as more than just a development framework, Clovyr intends to create an ecosystem of decentralised applications and services for firms to experiment, iterate, and grow products to production at speed. 


LET’S MAKE SURE WE ALWAYS LEARN FROM THE PAST

ATB Financial - Brian Pynn (2018-05-15)

“Think about it. If you are not smoking pot now, are you suddenly going to start toking up next July? Unlikely. In addition, if every single person in Canada spent $100 a year on pot, the market would still only be $3.7 billion. But based on the market valuation of public marijuana companies, investors seem to think the market size is going to be $20 billion. We would expect marijuana stocks to perk up into July and then likely roll over when quarterly numbers reveal far less growth than expected.”


ATB GIVES NEARLY $1 MILLION TO U OF A TO STUDY FRAUD DETECTION

Edmonton Journal - Postmedia (2018-05-15)

Three initial projects are already underway between ATB’s data scientists and university scientists who are looking at real-time fraud detection, predictive analytics and a recommendation system similar to Amazon focused around financial literacy and health.


THE EXTRA COST TO BUILD A VANCOUVER DETACHED HOME IS $644,000. IT’S HALF THAT ELSEWHERE: REPORT

Global News - Jesse Ferraras (2018-05-15)

Addressing that issue could be one way to make the region more affordable, if a new report out of a national think tank can be believed.


NATIONAL HOME SALES SINK 14% TO LOWEST LEVEL IN 5 YEARS: CREA

BNN Video - CP (2018-05-15)

Sales sank 13.9 per cent year-over-year and the national average sale price dropped by 11.3 per cent year-over-year to just over $495,000. But excluding large declines in the pricey Vancouver and Toronto markets, the national average price was down 4.1 per cent to $386,100.


HOME SALES DROP AS WEAKER MARKETS ‘DESTABILIZED’ BY NEW STRESS TESTS: CREA

G&M - Janet McFarland (2018-05-15)

The Canadian Real Estate Association said the number of homes sold across Canada in April fell 2.9 per cent compared with March, with sales falling in 60 per cent of local markets. Adjusted for seasonal variations, it was the weakest level of monthly sales in more than five years, CREA said.


OSC FLAGS CONCERNS ABOUT GROWTH OF ALTERNATIVE MORTGAGE LENDING

G&M - Alexandra Posadzki (2018-05-15)

peaking at a Toronto Centre event about financial stability on Monday, Maureen Jensen said recent efforts to remove risk from the banking system have caused activity to move into other, less heavily regulated areas such as syndicated mortgage lending as well as mortgage investment corporations (MICs), which are unregulated.


LEGAL CHALLENGE TO B.C.’S FOREIGN-BUYERS TAX HEADS TO COURT IN JUNE

G&M - Kerry Gold (2018-05-15)

Local real estate experts are submitting their testimonies for both sides of what promises to be a hugely significant lawsuit, not just for British Columbia, but for other provinces.


WHY AIR CANADA IS ABANDONING AEROPLAN—AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR YOUR POINTS

G&M - Tim Kiladze (2018-05-15)

Lindsay Brooks was about as loyal as they come. An owner of several small businesses in Regina, Brooks spent three decades accumulating Aeroplan reward miles by paying for nearly all of his expenses, both personal and professional, with plastic. “I charge every single thing I can on a credit card,” he says. What began as a bit of a hobby eventually made him a hoarder, and ultimately he racked up 734,000 Aeroplan miles. “I was hoping to use them to fly first class to Australia or something like that.”


FED’S WILLIAMS SEES NO RISE IN NEUTRAL RATE FROM STRONGER GROWTH

G&M - Reuters (2018-05-15)

Continued U.S. economic growth and a positive outlook have done nothing to raise the underlying neutral rate of interest, San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said in remarks on Tuesday that highlight an intensifying debate at the central bank over how high rates might rise in its move to “normalize” monetary policy.


CANADIAN DOLLAR TUMBLES FAST (THOUGH NOT FROM PARTICULARLY LOFTY HEIGHTS TO START WITH)

G&M - Michael Babad (2018-05-15)

There are several issues knocking the currency down, said Mark McCormick, North American head of foreign exchange strategy at TD Securities.

 


MARIJUANA COMPANIES FACE RESISTANCE AS THEY LOOK TO GROW

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2018-05-15)

“The pushback was from the adjoining property owners who were not used to having large-scale facilities,” Sony Rai, SvN’s lead architect, said at a land development conference in Toronto on Tuesday.


INSURANCE GROUP RECEIVED ‘ANGRY’ CALLS FROM FINANCE MINISTER’S OFFICE FOR BUDGET BILL CRITICISM

G&M - Bill Curry (2018-05-14)

An insurance lobby group says it was the subject of two “angry” phone calls from Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office aimed at blocking it from raising privacy concerns over new measures in the budget bill related to how banks use customer data.


FROM ‘BUSTED!’ IN 1972 TO TODAY’S $1-BILLION PROFIT FORECAST: A DEEPER LOOK AT CANADA’S LEGAL MARIJUANA MARKET

G&M - Michael Babad (2018-05-14)

Who’d have thought, in around 1972 when some of your school acquaintances may have been getting busted, that in 2018 we’d be talking about the outlook for EBITDA among producers and sellers of legal marijuana.


AURORA CANNABIS TO BUY RIVAL MEDRELEAF IN $3.2-BILLION ALL-STOCK DEAL

G&M - Reuters (2018-05-14)

The $29.44 per share deal represents an 18.2 per cent premium to MedReleaf’s Friday closing price.


OIL SLIPS FROM MULTIYEAR HIGHS AS U.S. RIG COUNT RISES

G&M - Reuters (2018-05-14)

Oil prices eased from 3-1/2-year highs on Monday as resistance emerged in Europe and Asia to U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran, while rising U.S. drilling pointed to higher North American production.


BANK OF CANADA'S WILKINS SAYS MORE DIVERSITY AT POLICY TABLE ESSENTIAL IN MODERN ECONOMY

FP - Armina Ligaya (2018-05-14)

The Bank of Canada’s senior deputy governor is calling for more diverse perspectives at the policy decision-making table to avoid falling into an “echo chamber” that reinforces the same viewpoint.


HOW MANY AIR MILES DOES YOUR PURCHASE EARN? IT DEPENDS ON THE FINE PRINT

CBC - Yvonne Colbert (2018-05-14)

"Sobeys states on their receipts: one reward mile for every $20. However, this is not true," Dartmouth, N.S., resident Keith Kerr wrote in an email to CBC.


FOUNDER OF CHINESE COMPANY WITH BILLIONS IN B.C. ASSETS GETS 18 YEARS FOR FRAUD

CBC - AP (2018-05-14)

Anbang controls the largest retirement and care home provider in the province through its subsidiary Retirement Concepts, which has 20 locations in B.C., two in Alberta and one in Quebec.


WHAT IMPACT IS AUTOMATION HAVING ON INSURANCE EMPLOYMENT?

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-14)

In Ontario’s insurance sector though, the adoption of technology – think artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud services – hasn’t yet resulted in less jobs, according to a new report, “Better, Faster, Stronger: Maximizing the benefits of automation for Ontario’s firms and people,” from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.


SUN LIFE UNVEILS NEWLY ELECTED DIRECTORS

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-14)

Sun Life Financial has disclosed the list of new directors its shareholders elected during its most recent annual common shareholder meeting.


BROKERS WORRIED THAT ONTARIO AUTO PROBLEMS WILL FORCE COMPANIES TO EXIT MARKET

Canadian Underwriter - Jason Contant (2018-05-14)

Traci Boland, chairwoman of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO), spoke to Canadian Underwriter Thursday about trends in Ontario auto (as well as home and commercial lines). She said that companies are filing for rate increases, but not getting them; sometimes, not even close to what they were requesting.


‘MANY MORE SIGNIFICANT LOSSES’ DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE: ECONOMICAL EXECS

Canadian Underwriter - Greg Machbach (2018-05-14)

“Climate change has resulted in many more significant losses from water and wind events,” said Gerald Hooper, a former chair of Economical on Monday at his last annual meeting Monday as an active director.


STARTUPS SHOW CAR AND HOME INSURERS THEY NEED TO GET SMARTER

WSJ - WSJ (2018-05-14)

Established insurers will struggle to boost profits while the property and casualty industry is flooded with capital and investment returns remain depressed. Their only option is to get quicker and smarter.


WALL STREET IS GETTING IN ON THE HOUSE FLIPPING GAME

WSJ - Ryan Dezember (2018-05-14)

KKR & Co. is raising its bet on high-interest, short-term home loans, the latest sign that Wall Street firms are aiming to cash in on the risky but lucrative house-flipping market.


HSBC SAYS PERFORMS FIRST TRADE FINANCE DEAL USING SINGLE BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEM

Reuters - Sumeet Chatterjee (2018-05-14)

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) said on Monday it has performed the world’s first trade finance transaction using a single blockchain platform, in a push to boost efficiency in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade.


CREDIT RATERS PUT PRESSURE ON DEUTSCHE BANK OVER NEW STRATEGY

Reuters - Tim Sims (2018-05-14)

Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) new chief executive Christian Sewing needs to come up with a convincing strategy swiftly to stave off the threat of costly credit downgrades, the leading rating agencies told Reuters.


IRISH BANK CAUGHT IN SOCIAL MEDIA SPYING STORM

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-14)

According to a report in the Irish Independent newspaper, mortgage applicants now have to sign a consent form allowing the bank to check their social media accounts.


DISCLOSURE OF FEDERALLY REGULATED MORTGAGE INSURERS ON OSFI’S WEBSITE

OSFI - OSFI (2018-05-14)

Under the Property & Casualty Insurance Companies section of the page, mortgage insurers have been moved from being listed under the Canadian P&C company category to a new category called Canadian Mortgage Insurers.


CANADA FACES ‘CRITICAL COMPETITIVENESS CHALLENGE,’ RBC CEO SAYS

G&M - Doug Alexander (2018-05-13)

Canada faces a competitiveness challenge that the nation must address with “tremendous urgency" or get left behind countries like the U.S. and China, warns Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive officer.


CANADIAN TIRE EYES GLOBAL EXPANSION WITH HELLY HANSEN DEAL

G&M - Marina Strauss (2018-05-11)

Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. is taking a big step outside the country by agreeing to acquire the Norway-based Helly Hansen sportswear and industrial clothing line for $985-million with an eye to eventually using it as a springboard to expand its own brands globally.


REMEMBER HALCYON DAYS AND TIMES A-CHANGIN’? CANADIAN BABY BOOMERS NOW FACE A HOUSING CRISIS

G&M - Michael Babad (2018-05-11)

There’s a housing crisis in Canada, rating agency DBRS Ltd. warns, and it spells particular trouble for seniors.

 


WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT WON’T USE HEAVY HAND WITH AI RULES

G&M - Ben Brody (2018-05-11)

The White House unveiled a hands-off regulatory approach to foster the development of artificial intelligence at a gathering of more than 40 companies in Washington Thursday.


HOW ONTARIO TEACHERS’ TURNED HELLY HANSEN AROUND

G&M - Tim Kiladze (2018-05-11)

Three years ago, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan appeared stuck with a bad investment. Its buyout of apparel brand Helly Hansen had all the hallmarks of a private equity deal gone sour.


APPLE WILL REPORTEDLY LAUNCH A CREDIT CARD WITH GOLDMAN SACHS

The Verge - Micah Singleton (2018-05-11)

Apple is preparing to release a credit card in partnership with investment bank Goldman Sachs, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The new credit card — which marks the end of Apple’s credit card partnership with Barclays — would use the Apple Pay branding, and it’s expected to be released early next year. Goldman Sachs will also offer in-store loans to Apple customers, according to the report.


SCOTIABANK IS BUYING 51% OF PERU-BASED LENDER, BOOSTING ITS LATIN AMERICAN FOOTPRINT

FP - Geoff Zochodne (2018-05-11)

Scotiabank said in a release that its Peruvian subsidiary had agreed to pay around $130 million for a 51-per-cent interest in retailer Cencosud Peru’s Banco Cencosud, which offers credit cards and consumer loans in Peru.


BANK OF CANADA'S MORTGAGE 'STRESS TEST' RATE CLIMBS HIGHER

CBC - CBC (2018-05-11)

The interest rate used by the Bank of Canada for mortgage stress-testing went up by 20 basis points Wednesday to 5.34 per cent from 5.14 per cent, where it had been since mid-January of this year.


INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE REPORTS NET INCOME OF $139 MILLION

Insurance Journal - IIJ (2018-05-11)

Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. reported, on May 10, net income attributed to common shareholders of $139.2 million, a 26 per cent increase compared to $110.3 million for Q1 2017.


J.D. POWER: CANADIAN SATISFACTION WITH AUTO INSURERS DECLINING

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-11)

The study suggests the decline was driven mainly by rising consumer expectations and a lack of proper communication on rate action.


EXPERTS: FLOODS AND FIRES COULD BE THE "NEW NORMAL" FOR BC

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-11)

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said that insurance payouts for water damage resulting from extreme weather have been on the rise since the 1980s. Flooding has recently overtaken wildfires as the main driver of damage, IBC also noted.


CEO’S $43.1 MILLION PAY PACKAGE GETS GO-AHEAD IN SHAREHOLDER MEETING

Insurance Business - Terry Gangcuangco (2018-05-11)

It looks like Brian Duperreault, who is celebrating his first year as chief executive of global insurer AIG, has a huge reason to be merry. His 2017 pay package, worth US$43.1 million, has been approved by shareholders despite the ‘reject’ recommendation from proxy advisory firms.


WHAT CLAIMS CRAWFORD EXPECTS TO SEE FROM NEW BRUNSWICK FLOODING

Canadian Underwriter - Jason Contant (2018-05-11)

Shelley Landry, director of operations of Crawford Canada’s Atlantic region, told Canadian Underwriter Thursday that as water levels continue to drop, “we will likely see an increase in reported losses, as those impacted slowly return to their homes and begin to pick up the pieces.” Landry noted that losses resulting from these types of events are typically reported a few days afterwards, as people need to come to terms with the event, understand the impact and then reach out for assistance.


AXA EQUITABLE FLOPS IN LARGEST IPO OF THE YEAR

WSJ - Maureen Farrell (2018-05-11)

The largest initial public offering of the year received a weak reception from investors as shares of insurer AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. made their debut Thursday at a price well below earlier expectations, showing that recent strength in the new-issue market is largely confined to the technology sector.


JPMORGAN APPLIES TO LAUNCH JOINT-VENTURE BROKERAGE IN CHINA

WSJ - Allison Prang (2018-05-11)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is seeking approval from a Chinese regulator to launch a joint-venture brokerage in the country, becoming the latest bank to explore the opportunity after Chinese authorities loosened rules on foreign firms controlling such ventures.


WITH JAIL SENTENCES AND CORPORATE FLAMEOUTS, CHINA IS TACKLING ITS DEBT

NY Times - Alexandra Stevenson (2018-05-11)

A Shanghai court imprisoned a tycoon who used a mountain of debt to buy the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Small Chinese companies are increasingly saying they cannot repay their bills, as money gets more expensive or harder to find. For other private businesses, the cost to borrow has shot up.


RIPPLE CLAIMS SUCCESS IN FIRST PILOT TRIALS OF XRP FOR CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-11)

While big banks continue to shy away from the use of XRP as a form of reserve currency in funds transfers, Ripple appears to have found a sweet spot for the adoption of xRapid in the $569 billion remittance market.


LUXURY HOME SALES PLUMMET IN TORONTO, VANCOUVER

G&M - Bret Jang (2018-05-10)

Sales of luxury properties have tumbled in Canada’s two largest housing markets, the latest sign that the party is over when it comes to rapid price gains, according to Royal LePage.


SUN LIFE CEO IN NO RUSH TO SPEND $2.9-BILLION IN EXCESS CAPITAL

G&M - Jacqueline Nelson (2018-05-10)

Sun Life Financial Inc.’s CEO Dean Connor is sitting on an influx of spare cash, but it isn’t burning a hole in his pocket.


SCOTIABANK TAKES 51% CONTROLLING INTEREST IN PERU’S BANCO CENCOSUD

G&M - CP (2018-05-10)

Scotiabank continues to expand its footprint in Latin America, with a plan to acquire a 51 per cent controlling interest Peru’s Banco Cencosud for approximately $130 million.


FINTECH FIRMS A POTENTIAL WEAK LINK IN CYBERDEFENCES OF FINANCIAL SYSTEM, BOC WARNS

G&M - Barrie McKenna (2018-05-10)

The proliferation of outside fintech companies supplying financial institutions with cloud computing and other data services is a potential weak link in the cyberdefences protecting Canada’s financial system, a top Bank of Canada official said.


HOME CAPITAL ISSUING MORE NEW MORTGAGES AS REBUILD CONTINUES

G&M - CHRISTINA PELLEGRINI AND JAMES BRADSHAW (2018-05-10)

Home Capital Group Inc. continued to rebuild its mortgage business in the first quarter of 2018, issuing nearly $1.2-billion in new home loans − a 33-per-cent increase from the prior quarter.


AS MIDDLE CLASS GETS PRICED OUT OF HOUSING MARKET, CANADA TAKES DRASTIC STEPS TO MAKE IT AFFORDABLE

FP - Natalie Wong (2018-05-10)

Jaxson Khan, 24, encountered the nightmare that is Toronto’s rental market when he moved to the city to join a small tech startup. He ended up sharing a basement apartment almost an hour away from work.


BEHIND MANULIFE'S HISTORIC $600 MILLION GREEN BOND ISSUE: FIRST FOR AN INSURER IN DOMESTIC MARKET

FP - Barry Critchley (2018-05-10)

Manulife Financial made financial history this week when it priced a $600 million offering of green bonds, the first insurer to raise capital in this form in the domestic market.


AIMIA'S APPOINTS JEREMY RABE AS CEO, NEXT STEP IN A RECENT SHAREHOLDER SHAKEUP

FP - CP (2018-05-10)

Loyalty rewards company Aimia Inc. announced Jeremy Rabe as its new president and chief executive.


SUN LIFE REPORTS FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME OF $669 MILLION

Insurance Journal - IIJ (2018-05-10)

The company reported return on equity of 13.1 per cent for the first quarter, compared to 11 per cent for Q1 2017. Sun Life Financial’s capital strength in the first quarter was 149 per cent and 139 per cent for Sun Life Assurance.


WISDOMTREE CANADA LAUNCHES DIGITAL PORTFOLIO CONSTRUCTION TOOL FOR ADVISORS

Insurance Journal - IIJ (2018-05-10)

WisdomTree Asset Management Canada announced May 9 the launch of its Digital Portfolio Developer (DPD). The company says this tool for Canadian advisors provides “deep data analytics” to evaluate client and prospect portfolios.


LLOYD’S WITHDRAWS FROM ALL NRA PROGRAMS

Insurance Business - Bethan Moorcraft (2018-05-10)

A statement released today (May 09) announced: “The Lloyd’s Corporation has given very careful consideration as to whether syndicates at Lloyd’s should continue to insure programs offered, marketed, endorsed or otherwise made available through the NRA.


NB OFFICIALS REMIND RESIDENTS TO REMAIN CAUTIOUS AS FLOODWATERS RETREAT

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-10)

“The threat is not over,” New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization director Greg MacCallum said in a recent briefing. “It’s not time to let anyone’s guard down. It’s still an emergency situation in some areas.”


RBS IN $4.9 BILLION U.S. SETTLEMENT OVER MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES

WSJ - WSJ (2018-05-10)

RBS has agreed to pay $4.9 billion to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice over the sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the global financial crisis, clearing the path for the bank’s privatization.


ARREST WARRANTS ISSUED FOR FINANCIERS WHO ALLEGEDLY USED INSURER FOR PERSONAL GAIN

WSJ - WSJ (2018-05-10)

Oklahoma authorities filed arrest warrants for two New York financiers, alleging they took control of a local insurer using millions of dollars of counterfeit assets.


A SIMPLE RULE HAS CONSTRAINED BANKERS’ FREEDOM. NOW IT IS GETTING ‘RETOOLED’

WSJ - WSJ (2018-05-10)

The largest big-bank rule changes proposed since President Donald Trump took office would refashion one of the core responses to the 2008 financial crisis, generating an unusual level of opposition for the consensus-driven world of bank regulation on caital ratios.


CHINA SENTENCES ANBANG FOUNDER TO 18 YEARS FOR FRAUD

NY Times - Alexandra Stevenson (2018-05-10)

Wu Xiaohui, the Chinese tycoon who rose to international prominence to buy the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday after having pleaded guilty to defrauding investors.


CANADIAN COMPANIES DOMINATE GLOBAL MARIJUANA TRADE, SAYS REPORT

Ottawa Citizen - Ottawa Citizen (2018-05-10)

The companies that are frantically building growing facilities to supply Canadians with marijuana are also in a unique position to sell their products and expertise around the world, says the report from New Frontier Data. The independent research firm’s report provides a snapshot of Canada’s cannabis industry.


SUN LIFE, DISNEY AND SEVERAL REITS ARE AMONG THESE STOCKS THAT COULD SEE BIG MOVES WEDNESDAY

G&M - David Milstead (2018-05-09)

Sun Life Financial Inc. reported $1.26 in “underlying earnings,” versus analyst expectations of $1.11. The company also said it would increase its monthly dividend by 2 cents, to 4.75 cents per share.


CANNABIS SALES TO TOP HARD LIQUOR BY 2020, BUT THERE WILL BE 'MANY LOSERS'

FP - Mark Rendell (2018-05-09)

Legal recreational marijuana sales could hit $6.5 billion by 2020, topping the $5.1 billion Canadians spent on spirits in 2017 and approaching $7 billion spent on wine, according to the report released Tuesday.


WHY WALMART AND COSTCO KEEP STEALING MARKET SHARE FROM CANADA'S GROCERY GIANTS

FP - Hollie Shaw (2018-05-09)

Sales of food at traditional grocery and convenience stores were flat last year, while food sales at general merchants — a group that includes Walmart, Costco and Dollarama — were up 15 per cent, according to a new report from Kevin Grier Analysis and Consulting. Overall, retail food sales rose four per cent during the year to $98 billion, Grier noted, citing data from Statistics Canada.


PACE OF CANADIAN HOUSING STARTS EASES IN APRIL: CMHC

CBC - CBC (2018-05-09)

CMHC said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home starts pulled back to 214,379 units last month compared with 225,459 in March.


"VERY SATISFIED" MUNICH RE IN FIRST QUARTER PROFIT CLIMB

Insurance Business - Terry Gancuangco (2018-05-09)

The world’s largest reinsurer has reasons to celebrate, starting the year off right with an €827 million (around CA$1.268 billion) profit in the first quarter.


CHUBB EMBROILED IN LEGAL BATTLE WITH HARVEY WEINSTEIN

Insurance Business - Ryan Smith (2018-05-09)

Weinstein paid Chubb more than $1.2 million in premiums for his policies, including one that promised $300,000 in crisis assistance benefits, according to an Insurance Times report. But in February Chubb companies requested a judicial declaration that they wouldn’t have to defend or indemnify Weinstein in 11 cases. Weinstein, a prominent movie producer and executive, has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women, including prominent actresses.


DAMAGING STORMS ARE HAPPENING EARLIER AND MORE OFTEN - AVIVA

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-09)

From ice storms to floods to high winds, Canadians across the country have seen their share of extreme weather in the past month. Following the recent severe ice storm in Ontario, Aviva Canada put extra measures in place to help customers impacted by the weather.


MANITOBA AT HIGH RISK OF WILDFIRES DUE TO DRY SPRING

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-09)

According to the most recent data from Natural Resources Canada, the province of Manitoba is at high risk of experiencing wildfires due to recent dry spring weather.


HOW CANADIAN INSURANCE REGULATORS HAVE ALIGNED WITH THEIR INTERNATIONAL COUNTERPARTS

Canadian Underwriter - David Gambrill (2018-05-09)

Prompted by a growing focus on fair treatment of consumers by international regulators, the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) and the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO) have invited Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry to comment on a new draft paper, Guidance Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers.


HOOPER STEPS DOWN FROM ECONOMICAL INSURANCE BOARD

Canadian Underwriter - Greg Meckbach (2018-05-09)

Hooper, a former executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Schneider Foods, joined the board of directors of Waterloo, Ont.-based Economical in 1999.


METLIFE WILL TAKE OVER PENSIONS FOR 41,000 FEDEX RETIREES

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2018-05-09)

MetLife Inc. has reached an agreement with FedEx Corp. to take responsibility for about $6 billion of pension payments to approximately 41,000 retirees and beneficiaries, one of the biggest risk-transfer deals for U.S. life insurers in recent years.


HOUSE READIES VOTES ON BANK-DEREGULATION BILL

WSJ - Andrew Ackerman (2018-05-09)

The House will soon vote on a Senate-approved bill to ease rules for small and midsize banks, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, a move that would allow the bill to clear Congress and become law.


TOP AI THINKERS: HUMAN-MACHINE COLLABORATION IS HERE

WSJ - Video (2018-05-09)

Top AI thinkers including Future Today Institute founder Amy Webb, Primer CEO and founder Sean Gourley, and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, share their thoughts on the future of machine and human interaction, at WSJ's Future of Everything Festival.


MUSK VS. BUFFETT: AN INVITATION FOR INVESTORS TO TAKE SIDES

NY Times - John Foley (2018-05-09)

Elon Musk and Warren E. Buffett clashed over the weekend after Mr. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, derided as lame Mr. Buffett’s concept of companies having “moats” to keep potential competitors at bay. When Mr. Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman, cited his confectionery maker, See’s Candies, as proof to the contrary, Mr. Musk pledged to launch his own candy maker. It’s an invitation for investors to take sides; many already have.


UBS POACHES INVESTMENT BANKER ILLY FROM CREDIT SUISSE

Reuters - Staff (2018-05-09)

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Marco Illy as Head Investment Bank Switzerland. Marco brings client and leadership experience as a 30-year veteran of the industry, having built his career at CS, most recently as chairman of the Corporate & Investment banking division in Switzerland,” a memo announcing the move seen by Reuters said.


BUFFETT TARGETS CEO FOR BERKSHIRE-AMAZON-JPMORGAN HEALTHCARE VENTURE SOON

Reuters - Jonathan Stempel (2018-05-09)

Warren Buffett on Saturday said he hoped a chief executive would be found within a couple of months for the healthcare company being set up by Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Amazon.com Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to lower patient costs.


VANCOUVER LUXURY PROPERTY IS NORTH AMERICA’S WORST PERFORMER

Bloomberg - Natalie Obiko Pearson (2018-05-09)

Prices at the top end of the market plunged 7.6 percent in the six months to March, making it the world’s second-worst performer during that period, according to the latest global survey of prime properties by Knight Frank LLP. Only Stockholm did worse, falling 9 percent, while Toronto rose 6 percent and the top gainer was Seoul.


A FIX EVERYONE LOVES TO HATE FOR THE $4 TRILLION RETIREMENT SAVINGS GAP

Bloomberg - Katherine Chiglinsky, Ben Steverman (2018-05-09)

For years many retirement experts have pointed to a potential solution: annuities. In its simplest form, buying an annuity involves taking part of your savings and handing it over to an insurance company. The insurer then pays out a guaranteed income for the rest of your life. In theory, putting at least part of retirement savings into an annuity can make sure you always have some income no matter what the markets do.


CANADA’S RENTAL HOUSING GROWTH OUTSTRIPS HOME OWNERSHIP

G&M - Shane Dingman (2018-05-08)

For the first time in decades, demand for rental housing is outpacing ownership, driving rent prices higher and deepening Canada’s housing affordability woes.


FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL HARMONY TO FOSTER ‘MORE ROBUST’ MARIJUANA SECTOR THAN IN U.S. (PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPELINE AND SMOKE IT)

G&M - Federal-provincial harmony to foster ˜more robust marijuana sector than in U.S. (2018-05-08)

Here’s a little something for governments squabbling over the Trans Mountain pipeline: A major credit rating agency says Canada should end up with a “more robust” marijuana industry than that of the United States because of federal-provincial harmony.


WHY THE STREET HAS SUDDENLY TURNED BULLISH ON MANULIFE

G&M - David Berman (2018-05-08)

Analysts are turning overwhelmingly bullish on Manulife Financial Corp. amid a brightening economic backdrop and the company’s improving financial performance. Is the stock at last regaining the lustre it lost nearly a decade ago?


MARIJUANA MARKETING: THE RACE TO STAND OUT

G&M - Susan Kranshinsky (2018-05-08)

The waiter sidled up to the table to deliver an order of beer and a well-worn marketing tactic: tossing down cardboard coasters advertising a different brand of suds. This moment at a bar on a recent night in downtown Toronto would have been unremarkable, if it weren’t for the image decorating each of those coasters: a large gold cannabis leaf.


CRIES OF 'RANK HYPOCRISY' AS DISCLOSURES REVEAL B.C. GOVERNMENT PENSION FUND INVESTS IN KINDER MORGAN

FP - Geoffrey Morgan (2018-05-08)

While the British Columbia government wages war against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, its own employees are invested in the U.S. company behind the $7.4-billion project.


CANADA SLOW TO EMBRACE GREEN BOND MARKET, EVEN THOUGH INVESTORS ARE EAGER TO BUY

FP - Barry Critchley (2018-05-08)

When they’re offered, investors crawl over each other to buy them. But if Canadian issuers don’t see the opportunity in offering green bonds and don’t get creative, the market will not develop to the extent possible.


BANK OF MONTREAL PLANNING TO OFFER ACTIVELY MANAGED ETFS STARTING THIS YEAR OR NEXT

FP - Kristine Owram (2018-05-08)

Bank of Montreal plans to start offering actively managed ETFs but will avoid the exotic niches that some of its competitors offer.


HALF OF CANADIANS ARE EMBARRASSED ABOUT THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION, SAYS SURVEY

Insurance Journal - IIJ (2018-05-08)

Fifty-one per cent of Canadians say they are embarrassed about lacking control over their financial situation, says a Leger survey commissioned by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). When the survey was conducted four years ago, the result was 44 per cent.


DOES A TRUSTEE HAVE TO DISCLOSE THE EXISTENCE OF A TRUST TO A BENEFICIARY?

Insurance Journal - Doug Carroll (2018-05-08)

It is important to note that a beneficiary’s right to be informed of a trust is not absolute. Before reaching its conclusion in Valard, the SCC points out that where the interest of a beneficiary is remote, “it would be rare to find that the beneficiary could be said to suffer unreasonable disadvantage if uninformed of the trust’s existence.”


IIROC RELEASES ENFORCEMENT REPORT

Insurance Journal - IIJ (2018-05-08)

The total sanctions imposed on disciplined individuals increased year over year to $3.4 million, up from $3.1 million in 2016. The regulator collected 91.2 per cent of the fines it imposed against firms in 2017 and 16.2 per cent of fines against individuals. This is almost double last year's rate of 8.3 per cent. However, despite this increase in its collection rate, IIROC acknowledged that there remains much work ahead, “with more than $32 million in outstanding fines imposed over the past decade across the country.”


PROVINCE'S FLOODING COULD REAP MORE DAMAGE THAN HISTORIC FLOODS

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-08)

The number of roads and bridges completely closed to traffic totalled 81. The number of metres that the Saint John River was above sea level on May 03 in the Saint John and Quispamsis areas was 5.34. And, the number of homes evacuated by that same morning added up to 100.


BITCOIN SEES WALL STREET WARM TO TRADING VIRTUAL CURRENCY

NY Times - Nathaniel Popper (2018-05-08)

Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warming up to Bitcoin, a virtual currency that for nearly a decade has been consigned to the unregulated fringes of the financial world.


QUéBECOR RACHèTE LA PARTICIPATION DE LA CAISSE DE DéPôT ET PLACEMENT DU QUéBEC

Les Affaires - CP (2018-05-08)

Québecor a annoncé mardi qu'elle a conclu une entente avec Québecor Média et la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec en vue de racheter la totalité du capital-actions de Québecor Média encore détenu par la Caisse.


TORONTO DETACHED REAL ESTATE BUYERS HAVE LOST OVER $114K SINCE LAST YEAR

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2018-05-08)

The benchmark price of a detached home made a seasonal climb, but is still down bigly from last year. TREB reported the benchmark detached is now $927,800, down 10.34% compared to last year. The City of Toronto benchmark detached reached $1,109,700, down 9.55% from the year before. Decades of price climbs, and a few months of declines won’t shake too many existing homeowners. Those that bought at peak last year, expecting a quick flip, are learning an expensive lesson.


LA PRESSE TO SWITCH TO NOT-FOR-PROFIT STRUCTURE

G&M - Jacqueline Nelson (2018-05-08)

Montreal’s Desmarais family plans to transfer ownership of La Presse to a not-for-profit organization, changing the business model of the French-language media company.


AIMIA APPOINTS JEREMY RABE AS NEW CEO AMID UNCERTAIN OUTLOOK

G&M - Tim Kiladze (2018-05-08)

With investors fretting about its future, Aimia Inc., the parent company of the popular Aeroplan rewards program, has quickly named a new chief executive to cap off a tumultuous year.


PITY THE TWO-VEHICLE FAMILY WITH A MORTGAGE UP FOR RENEWAL THIS SPRING

G&M - Rob Carrick (2018-05-08)

We are starting to accumulate all the irritations you normally see when the economy’s going great.


BMO OFFERS RECORD VARIABLE DISCOUNT AS MORTGAGE WARS HEAT UP

G&M - Doug Alexander (2018-05-08)

Bank of Montreal is wooing homebuyers with a variable mortgage rate with the biggest discount ever by a large Canadian bank, according to one market watcher.


MOBILE PAY REVOLUTION, MNUCHIN'S PIPE DREAM, MULVANEY'S SIBERIA?: TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

American Banker - Slide show (2018-05-07)

China's mobile payment lessons for U.S. bankers; unpacking Mick Mulvaney's CFPB relocation musings; Steven Mnuchin's wishful thinking on GSE reform; and more from this week's most-read stories.


CANNABIS USE AMONG VETERANS SOARS AS OTTAWA CUTS PAYBACKS

G&M - Mike Hager (2018-05-07)

The number of Canadian veterans prescribed opioids or tranquilizers has declined significantly in the past six years while those authorized to use medical cannabis has skyrocketed, even as Veterans Affairs​ capped reimbursement for it.


YOUNG CANADIANS ARE BUILDING WEALTH AND GROWING NEST EGGS − WHILE RENTING

G&M - Anna Sharratt (2018-05-07)

Renting has left 29-year-old Sam Nasser with a sense of financial freedom.


CANADIAN GOVERNMENTS MUST DOUBLE-DOWN TO FOSTER TECH BOOM HERE, END BRAIN DRAIN TO U.S.

G&M - Barrie McKenna (2018-05-07)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously urged the world’s business and political elites gathered in Davos, Switzerland, in 2016 to see Canada for its “resourcefulness,” rather than just its resources.


TORONTO BECOMES LATEST CITY TO CRACK DOWN ON PAYDAY LENDERS

FP - Amanda Ligaya (2018-05-07)

Toronto City Council adopted new interim regulations last week that cap the number of physical locations allowed across the city and require operators to be licensed. That permit will cost lenders an initial $633, plus $309 to renew it annually.


WHY THE 'FLIPPING' SCANDAL IN VANCOUVER’S CONDO MARKET IS PURE FLAPDOODLE

FP - Terence Cocoran (2018-05-07)

The Globe and Mail’s latest claim to have uncovered a Vancouver real-estate scandal managed not only to create the usual policy flaps within B.C.’s snake pit of coiled housing regulators, it also dragged out an all-too-familiar explanation for rising housing prices in the city. Under a headline that claimed “Flipping of condo units by insiders fuels hot Vancouver market,” the Globe this week reported that Vancouver condo speculators were “sucking up supply, further driving up prices.”


CANNABIS LEGALIZATION "NOT AN EVENT - IT'S A PROCESS"

Insurance Business - Bethan Moorcraft (2018-05-07)

The Senate of Canada keeps on stirring the pot when it comes to the Liberal Government’s cannabis legalization bill. In the years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 election campaign promise, the marijuana plans have been anything but an easy high for the Liberal leader.


TWO YEARS AFTER FORT MCMURRAY WILDFIRE, ONLY 20% OF HOMES REBUILT

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-07)

It has been two years since a devastating wildfire caused billions of damages in Fort McMurray - and not all homeowners have yet had the opportunity to rebuild their damaged homes.


ONTARIO ICE STORM ESTIMATED TO COST INSURERS UP TO $164 MILLION

Canadian Underwriter - Greg Meckbach (2018-05-07)

The historic ice storm in Ontario and Quebec in mid-April could cost the insurance industry more than $150 million in damage claims, Verisk Analytics Inc.’s Property Claim Services unit reported Thursday.


PLAN TO MAKE RECREATIONAL POT LEGAL TO PROCEED AS PLANNED

Canadian Underwriter - Teresa Wright (2018-05-07)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t backing down from his government’s much-maligned timeline for legalizing marijuana, despite a growing chorus of calls from senators, Indigenous leaders and others to delay the plan for up to a year.


WARREN BUFFETT’S LIEUTENANTS ARE INCREASINGLY RUNNING BERKSHIRE

WSJ - Nicole Friedman (2018-05-07)

Warren Buffett is still the face of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., but behind the scenes, his deputies are frequently calling the shots.


AUSTRALIAN BANK TO STOP BASING ADVISER BONUSES ON SALES

WSJ - Robb M. Stewart (2018-05-07)

One of Australia’s biggest banks has scrapped sales-based bonuses for its financial planners and vowed to drop planners who provide inappropriate advice.


WHY FUND MANAGERS, ACCOUNTANTS MAY REST EASIER THIS WEEKEND

WSJ - Michael Rapoport (2018-05-07)

Managers at many mutual funds have one less thing to worry about after a Securities and Exchange Commission move this past week.


NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION SUES ITS INSURANCE BROKER

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2018-05-07)

The National Rifle Association sued insurance broker Lockton Cos, alleging the firm breached its contract to administer an insurance program for the firearms advocacy group.


SHOULD THE FED CREATE ‘FEDCOIN’ TO RIVAL BITCOIN? A FORMER TOP OFFICIAL SAYS ‘MAYBE’

NY Times - Neil Irwin (2018-05-07)

Many enthusiasts of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are motivated by deep skepticism of the central banks that control the world’s money supply.


AIRLINE INDUSTRY AND DEUTSCHE BANK TO ROLL OUT ELECTRONIC PAYMENT SYSTEM

Pymnts - Pymnts (2018-05-07)

According to a report in the Financial Times, the real-time electronic payment system is being designed to save the airline carriers billions of euros in transaction fees. The payment systems, which will enable travelers to purchase web-based tickets, will be rolled out in Europe starting toward the end of this year. The Financial Times reported that Germany will be the first market to get the service.


MASTERCARD AND UNILEVER’S MICRO-LENDING HAS MACRO RESULTS FOR KENYAN SMBS

Pymnts - Pymnts (2018-05-07)

Building, sustaining and growing a small business isn’t easy in the best of circumstances. Even in a developed economy, margins are narrow, and tough decisions must be made daily, if not hourly.


STARTUP PLANS TO TAKE ON TICKETMASTER WITH FACIAL RECOGNITION

Pymnts - Pymnts (2018-05-07)

According to The Wall Street JournalRival has raised $33 million from investors, including Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Upfront Ventures. Teams from every major sports league in the U.S. and the English Premier League have signed on as clients, as well as their home arenas and stadiums.


FS FIRMS RAMP UP CYBERSECURITY INVESTMENT

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-07)

When asked about what they wanted to achieve from their technology investment in the coming year, 14% cite improved cyber-security as their top priority. It is the third highest priority area flagged behind reducing operating costs and revenue growth.


HOW MOBILE MONEY IS SPREADING

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

IT IS A measure of how fast and unpredictably technology and finance have developed that the two most influential new payment systems of the 21st century so far both came about more or less by accident. M-PESA, Kenya’s mobile-payment system, evolved out of a pilot scheme in 2005 by Safaricom, the country’s biggest mobile operator, financed by DFID, the British government’s aid agency. Its researchers had noticed that Kenyans were transferring mobile-phone airtime between each other as if it were money. They thought this might offer a way to handle microcredit repayments, reducing costs.


THE BATTLE FOR THE REMITTANCES MARKET

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

BLOCKCHAIN HOLDS GREAT potential for improving payment systems, but for the moment that potential remains largely unrealised. In March Swift, a Brussels-based service owned by 11,000 banks that handles more than half of all cross-border interbank payments, said further progress was needed before distributed-ledger technology “will be ready to support production-grade applications in large-scale, mission-critical global infrastructures”.


MOBILE FINANCIAL SERVICES ARE CORNERING THE MARKET

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

KAUSAR PARVEEN, of Chakwal district in the north of Pakistan’s Punjab province, is a star beneficiary of the work of Karandaaz, a Pakistani financial-inclusion charity. The owner of just one buffalo, she borrowed 75,000 rupees (about $650) to buy another one and started selling milk.


EUROPEAN UNIVERSAL BANKS CAN SUCCEED. BUT CAN DEUTSCHE BANK?

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

AFTER just 18 days as Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, Christian Sewing had two tasks to perform on April 26th. The easy one, inherited from his ousted predecessor, John Cryan, was to report predictably glum first-quarter results. Net profit dropped by 79%, year on year, to only €120m ($147m). Harder was indicating where he might lead Germany’s troubled leading lender. The rough answer is: back towards Europe, and away from any aspiration to be a global investment bank.


ALLIANZ CHIEF SAYS TAKEOVER TARGETS HARD TO FIND

FT - Olaf Storbeck (2018-05-07)

The chief executive of Allianz has suggested he is open to the idea of a “merger of equals” with a large rival but said high stock market valuations and rising acquisition premiums were big obstacles to transformative M&A.


WELLS FARGO LOOKING TO HIRE 20 MANAGING DIRECTORS

FT - Laura Noonan (2018-05-07)

Wells Fargo’s investment bank plans to hire a “couple of hundred” people this year, including about 20 managing directors, a person with direct knowledge of the bank’s plans said, rejecting suggestions that the lender was restructuring and in retreat. 


HBC, RIOCAN AGREE TO SELL DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER STORE FOR ABOUT $675-MILLION: SOURCE

G&M - Nichola Saminather (2018-05-07)

Canadian department store owner Hudson’s Bay Co and joint venture partner RioCan REIT have signed a conditional agreement to sell HBC’s flagship store in downtown Vancouver for about C$675 million ($524.4 million) to an Asian buyer, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.


U.S. OIL BREAKS THROUGH $70 AMID SIMMERING TENSIONS OVER TRUMP’S NEXT MOVE ON IRAN

G&M - Michael Babad (2018-05-07)

Tensions over Iran’s nuclear pact appear near the breaking point as President Donald Trump weighs a decision that would ripple across the global economy.


BUFFETT BASHES BITCOIN, SAYING THE PRICE IS DRIVEN BY MYSTIQUE

G&M - Jennifer Ablan, Jonathan Stempel (2018-05-07)

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Monday said buyers of bitcoin, which he has characterized as “rat poison squared,” thrive on the hope they’ll find other people who will pay more for it.


MAS LOOKS TO STRENGTHEN SINGAPORE'S AI ECOSYSTEM

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-07)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is stepping up its efforts to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence in the financial services sector, teaming up with a trio of organisations to foster a "thriving AI ecosystem".


News feed

OSC WARNS ABOUT FIVE UNREGISTERED CRYPTOCURRENCY GROUPS

G&M - CP (2018-05-19)

The Ontario Securities Commission is warning the public that several groups are promoting investments in cryptocurrencies without having the necessary provincial registrations.


LEMONADE RELEASES OPEN-SOURCED INSURANCE POLICY THAT ANYONE CAN EDIT

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-18)

Lemonade, an AI-powered insurance company, has launched what it calls the world’s first open-sourced insurance policy.


PAYPAL AGREES TO BUY EUROPEAN FINTECH STARTUP IZETTLE FOR ABOUT $2.2 BILLION

WSJ - Ben Dummett (2018-05-18)

PayPal Holdings Inc. has agreed to buy European financial-technology startup iZettle AB for about $2.2 billion, a move that would catapult the U.S. digital-payments giant into hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar retailers around the world.


FED GOVERNOR: DIGITAL TOKENS FOR FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT HOLD PROMISE FOR CENTRAL BANKS

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-16)

UBS, for instance, has drawn wide support for the concept of a Utility Settlement Coin, for the settlement of securities transactions. The Bank of Canada has also played a leading role through its Project Jasper initiative. 


TMX AND BANK OF CANADA CONCLUDE BLOCKCHAIN 'FEASIBLE' FOR SECURITIES SETTLEMENT

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-16)

Gerry Gaetz, CEO, Payments Canada, says: "This proof of concept shows that it is possible to deliver payments in a way that has never been done before - by directly swapping cash from buyers to sellers, resulting in instant settlements".


CIRCLE RAISES $110 MILLION, PLANS TO CREATE DOLLAR-PEGGED CRYPTOCURRENCY

Reuters - Anna Irrera (2018-05-16)

Goldman Sachs-backed (GS.N) cryptocurrency startup Circle has raised $110 million in an investment round led by Chinese virtual coin mining giant Bitmain Technologies, Circle said on Tuesday.


THE FORCES OF CHANGE ARE TRUMPING BANKS AND REGULATORS

G&M - Patricia Meredith (2018-05-16)

Most businesses fail to respond to the challenge of disruptive technology. But disruptive technologies, including mobile devices, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain and social networking, are transforming financial services.


WHY BLOCKCHAIN IS HARD

Medium - Jimmy Song (2018-05-16)

What the heck is a blockchain, anyway? And can it really do all these things? Can blockchain bring something amazing to industries as diverse as health care, finance, supply chain management and music rights?


FORGING PARTNERSHIPS: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BANKS AND PAYMENT SERVICE PROVIDERS

Bobsguide - Paul Marcantonio (2018-05-16)

Collaboration, cooperation, competition. Banks and payment service providers tend to engage in one of three ways. This relationship is contingent on the operational models of both parties. Players within the payments space include payment processors, payment gateways, and acquirers. Each tends to operate within its own niche, but these operations can and do intersect. The conditions of partnership between bank and payment service provider depend on the latter’s capabilities, such as whether or not the payment institution holds a card acquiring license to enable the processing of client transactions directly, as well as the added value it can offer merchants seeking bank accounts.


WHAT CAN START-UPS LEARN FROM PARTNERING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES?

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-16)

“It’s been absolutely amazing for us. We’ve been learning so much and we were quite transparent with Aviva,” said Furtado. “We went in there and said, ‘we’re experts in personal finance and building amazing user experiences, but we just want to learn as much as possible about insurance,’ and they’ve just been absolutely amazing at giving back to the start-up ecosystem.”


WHAT IMPACT IS AUTOMATION HAVING ON INSURANCE EMPLOYMENT?

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-16)

In Ontario’s insurance sector though, the adoption of technology – think artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud services – hasn’t yet resulted in less jobs, according to a new report, “Better, Faster, Stronger: Maximizing the benefits of automation for Ontario’s firms and people,” from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.


TORONTO-BASED GIG EMPLOYMENT APP RAISES INSURANCE CONCERNS

Insurance Business - Lyle Adriano (2018-05-16)

"We've grown exponentially," Hyr co-founder Erika Mozes told CBC News. "The first demand for it really came from workers because [of] this new economy and the way that people want to be able to make money when they want to make money."


ROBOTS, AI, AND JOBS: ALL THREE ARE COMING

G&M - Joe Atikian (2018-05-15)

The robots are not coming for our jobs. In 1915, the industrialist Lloyd Raymond Smith asked, “Can automobile frames be built without men?” The same question has been asked about entire industries. It never happened, even though automation has appeared in every workplace. And it didn’t merely appear. Factory labour got intensively more mechanized from the moment factories were born. The surprise was that factory employment kept growing for another 65 years, including the early computer era.


JACK MA'S ANT FINANCIAL SAID TO SNAG CARLYLE, CPPIB FOR $10 BILLION FUNDRAISING ROUND

FP - Lulu Yilun Chen (2018-05-15)

Ant Financial, the Chinese payments giant controlled by Jack Ma, is expected to close a fundraising of at least US$10 billion in the next few days, attracting Carlyle Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as first-time investors, according to people familiar with the matter.


WHY A.I. AND CRYPTOCURRENCY ARE MAKING ONE TYPE OF COMPUTER CHIP SCARCE

NY Times - Cade Metz (2018-05-15)

Artificial intelligence systems, made by companies ranging in size from Google to the Chinese start-up Malong Technologies, rely heavily on a computer chip called a graphics processing unit, or G.P.U. The chips are also very useful in mining digital currencies like Ethereum, a Bitcoin alternative riding the same wave of hype as its more famous cousin.


YOUR GUIDE TO CRYPTOCURRENCY REGULATIONS AROUND THE WORLD AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADED

CNBC - Kate Rooney (2018-05-15)

As demand for cryptocurrency grows, global regulators are divided on how to keep up. Most digital currencies are not backed by any central government, meaning each country has different standards.


ATB GIVES NEARLY $1 MILLION TO U OF A TO STUDY FRAUD DETECTION

Edmonton Journal - Postmedia (2018-05-15)

Three initial projects are already underway between ATB’s data scientists and university scientists who are looking at real-time fraud detection, predictive analytics and a recommendation system similar to Amazon focused around financial literacy and health.


FROM ‘BUSTED!’ IN 1972 TO TODAY’S $1-BILLION PROFIT FORECAST: A DEEPER LOOK AT CANADA’S LEGAL MARIJUANA MARKET

G&M - Michael Babad (2018-05-14)

Who’d have thought, in around 1972 when some of your school acquaintances may have been getting busted, that in 2018 we’d be talking about the outlook for EBITDA among producers and sellers of legal marijuana.


WHAT IMPACT IS AUTOMATION HAVING ON INSURANCE EMPLOYMENT?

Insurance Business - Alicja Grzadkowska (2018-05-14)

In Ontario’s insurance sector though, the adoption of technology – think artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud services – hasn’t yet resulted in less jobs, according to a new report, “Better, Faster, Stronger: Maximizing the benefits of automation for Ontario’s firms and people,” from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.


STARTUPS SHOW CAR AND HOME INSURERS THEY NEED TO GET SMARTER

WSJ - WSJ (2018-05-14)

Established insurers will struggle to boost profits while the property and casualty industry is flooded with capital and investment returns remain depressed. Their only option is to get quicker and smarter.


HSBC SAYS PERFORMS FIRST TRADE FINANCE DEAL USING SINGLE BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEM

Reuters - Sumeet Chatterjee (2018-05-14)

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) said on Monday it has performed the world’s first trade finance transaction using a single blockchain platform, in a push to boost efficiency in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade.


WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT WON’T USE HEAVY HAND WITH AI RULES

G&M - Ben Brody (2018-05-11)

The White House unveiled a hands-off regulatory approach to foster the development of artificial intelligence at a gathering of more than 40 companies in Washington Thursday.


RIPPLE CLAIMS SUCCESS IN FIRST PILOT TRIALS OF XRP FOR CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-11)

While big banks continue to shy away from the use of XRP as a form of reserve currency in funds transfers, Ripple appears to have found a sweet spot for the adoption of xRapid in the $569 billion remittance market.


TOP AI THINKERS: HUMAN-MACHINE COLLABORATION IS HERE

WSJ - Video (2018-05-09)

Top AI thinkers including Future Today Institute founder Amy Webb, Primer CEO and founder Sean Gourley, and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, share their thoughts on the future of machine and human interaction, at WSJ's Future of Everything Festival.


BITCOIN SEES WALL STREET WARM TO TRADING VIRTUAL CURRENCY

NY Times - Nathaniel Popper (2018-05-08)

Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warming up to Bitcoin, a virtual currency that for nearly a decade has been consigned to the unregulated fringes of the financial world.


MOBILE PAY REVOLUTION, MNUCHIN'S PIPE DREAM, MULVANEY'S SIBERIA?: TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

American Banker - Slide show (2018-05-07)

China's mobile payment lessons for U.S. bankers; unpacking Mick Mulvaney's CFPB relocation musings; Steven Mnuchin's wishful thinking on GSE reform; and more from this week's most-read stories.


CANADIAN GOVERNMENTS MUST DOUBLE-DOWN TO FOSTER TECH BOOM HERE, END BRAIN DRAIN TO U.S.

G&M - Barrie McKenna (2018-05-07)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously urged the world’s business and political elites gathered in Davos, Switzerland, in 2016 to see Canada for its “resourcefulness,” rather than just its resources.


CANNABIS LEGALIZATION "NOT AN EVENT - IT'S A PROCESS"

Insurance Business - Bethan Moorcraft (2018-05-07)

The Senate of Canada keeps on stirring the pot when it comes to the Liberal Government’s cannabis legalization bill. In the years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 election campaign promise, the marijuana plans have been anything but an easy high for the Liberal leader.


SHOULD THE FED CREATE ‘FEDCOIN’ TO RIVAL BITCOIN? A FORMER TOP OFFICIAL SAYS ‘MAYBE’

NY Times - Neil Irwin (2018-05-07)

Many enthusiasts of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are motivated by deep skepticism of the central banks that control the world’s money supply.


MASTERCARD AND UNILEVER’S MICRO-LENDING HAS MACRO RESULTS FOR KENYAN SMBS

Pymnts - Pymnts (2018-05-07)

Building, sustaining and growing a small business isn’t easy in the best of circumstances. Even in a developed economy, margins are narrow, and tough decisions must be made daily, if not hourly.


STARTUP PLANS TO TAKE ON TICKETMASTER WITH FACIAL RECOGNITION

Pymnts - Pymnts (2018-05-07)

According to The Wall Street JournalRival has raised $33 million from investors, including Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Upfront Ventures. Teams from every major sports league in the U.S. and the English Premier League have signed on as clients, as well as their home arenas and stadiums.


FS FIRMS RAMP UP CYBERSECURITY INVESTMENT

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-07)

When asked about what they wanted to achieve from their technology investment in the coming year, 14% cite improved cyber-security as their top priority. It is the third highest priority area flagged behind reducing operating costs and revenue growth.


HOW MOBILE MONEY IS SPREADING

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

IT IS A measure of how fast and unpredictably technology and finance have developed that the two most influential new payment systems of the 21st century so far both came about more or less by accident. M-PESA, Kenya’s mobile-payment system, evolved out of a pilot scheme in 2005 by Safaricom, the country’s biggest mobile operator, financed by DFID, the British government’s aid agency. Its researchers had noticed that Kenyans were transferring mobile-phone airtime between each other as if it were money. They thought this might offer a way to handle microcredit repayments, reducing costs.


THE BATTLE FOR THE REMITTANCES MARKET

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

BLOCKCHAIN HOLDS GREAT potential for improving payment systems, but for the moment that potential remains largely unrealised. In March Swift, a Brussels-based service owned by 11,000 banks that handles more than half of all cross-border interbank payments, said further progress was needed before distributed-ledger technology “will be ready to support production-grade applications in large-scale, mission-critical global infrastructures”.


MOBILE FINANCIAL SERVICES ARE CORNERING THE MARKET

Economist - Economist (2018-05-07)

KAUSAR PARVEEN, of Chakwal district in the north of Pakistan’s Punjab province, is a star beneficiary of the work of Karandaaz, a Pakistani financial-inclusion charity. The owner of just one buffalo, she borrowed 75,000 rupees (about $650) to buy another one and started selling milk.


BUFFETT BASHES BITCOIN, SAYING THE PRICE IS DRIVEN BY MYSTIQUE

G&M - Jennifer Ablan, Jonathan Stempel (2018-05-07)

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Monday said buyers of bitcoin, which he has characterized as “rat poison squared,” thrive on the hope they’ll find other people who will pay more for it.


MAS LOOKS TO STRENGTHEN SINGAPORE'S AI ECOSYSTEM

Finextra - Finextra (2018-05-07)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is stepping up its efforts to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence in the financial services sector, teaming up with a trio of organisations to foster a "thriving AI ecosystem".


FSIM briefings and developments reports


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OSC WARNS ABOUT FIVE UNREGISTERED CRYPTOCURRENCY GROUPS

The Ontario Securities Commission is warning the public that several groups are promoting investments in cryptocurrencies without having the necessary provincial registrations.

The OSC says Bitserial, Hypercube, CabinCoin and BaapPay have not provided a prospectus, as required, or received an exemption.

It says none of the four, or a fifth entity called BTCReal, is registered to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities.

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INFLATION ABOVE BOCS TWO-PER-CENT TARGET FOR THIRD STRAIGHT MONTH

Canadian inflation data gave off mixed signals for April, with closely watched core measures inching higher even as the country’s overall inflation rate eased slightly amid signs that consumer spending has bounced back from its recent lull.

Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.3 per cent month over month in April, in a broadly based increase that was highlighted by a nearly 7-per-cent jump in gasoline prices. That left the year-over-year CPI inflation rate at 2.2 per cent, down slightly from the three-and-a-half-year high of 2.3 per cent posted in March. Despite the slight pullback, it’s the third consecutive month that the annual inflation rate has run above the Bank of Canada’s target of 2 per cent, the central bank’s key guide for setting interest rate policy.

Meanwhile, two of the Bank of Canada’s three preferred measures for core inflation – designed to filter out short-term volatility and temporary fluctuations – posted year-over-year gains, while the third held steady. That edged the average of the three measures above 2 per cent for the first time in more than six years.

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Both the CPI and retail sales reports were closely scrutinized by financial markets, as they gauge whether the pace of inflation and economic growth are sufficient to prompt the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates again – either at its next rate decision at the end of May or the following decision in July.

The Canadian dollar fell more than half a cent against its U.S. counterpart in the wake of the two reports, as the market interpreted the dip in the overall year-over-year inflation rate as easing the pressure on the central bank for a near-term rate increase. Economists noted that overall inflation was a touch weaker than the consensus expectation of a repeat of March’s 2.3-per-cent level, and that the central bank’s core inflation measures, while up slightly, aren’t accelerating meaningfully above the central bank’s 2-per-cent target.

“The underlying trend is right where the central bank wants it,” Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Katherine Judge said in a research report.


GOLDMAN CEO LLOYD BLANKFEIN LIKELY TO STEP DOWN IN DECEMBER

A new era at Goldman Sachs is taking shape.

The Wall Street giant’s president, David M. Solomon, is likely to be named chief executive officer by the end of this year, and he is already structuring his senior management team, according to people familiar with the firm’s plans.

The time frame for Solomon’s ascension has evolved since he was named sole president of the firm in March, establishing him as the heir apparent to longtime chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, who is 63. But exactly when Solomon would take over from Blankfein, who colleagues say remains as engaged as ever in running Goldman, was not then clear. Blankfein said in an April television interview that his successor needed time to get better acquainted with parts of the company where he had never worked.

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The timetable is not settled and could change, these people cautioned.

Given what is likely to be a relatively short run-up to his promotion, Solomon is starting to sketch out the possibilities for a new management team, according to Goldman employees.

One big question is who will succeed him as Goldman president, a role that is often shared by two executives. Contenders include John Waldron, the firm’s co-head of investment banking; Eric S. Lane, who co-heads its investment management division; and Stephen M. Scherr, who runs the consumer banking division.

“The simple fact is that no decisions have been made,” said Jake Siewert, a Goldman spokesman.



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