2017 for challenger banks is best characterised as a story of expansion and investment: BNP Paribas completed the acquisition of CompteNickel for €200m, N26 continued to impress by scaling all over Europe, Monzo raised another £71m, Revolut added £50m in funding plus applied for a banking licence, peer-to-peer lender Zopa raised £32m to fund the build-out of its banking infrastructure and Tandem acquired Harrods Bank for its deposits, customers and banking licence, a deal that GreySpark acted as a technology advisor for.
While many banks are still highly focused on MiFID II, it is time to start planning ahead for the upcoming Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) regulation. The case for proactive action is simple: the FRTB can result in substantial punitive capital charges and the implementation of the apparatus needed to lessen its effects will require a large effort on the part of the banks.
Day 1 of GreySpark’s existence began in the corner of a shared office space in Finsbury Square, otherwise known as “the shoebox”. The Partners walked to PC World on Moorgate, bought a couple of laptops, set up the phones and started making the first calls. Eight years later, and now with a global footprint, we fondly look back on what we have achieved and look ahead to a bright future.
The broker community and asset managers let out a collective sigh of relief last week as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a number of “no-action” letters to address clashes between the US government and the upcoming MiFID II regulations.
Retail investment is undergoing a shift away from managed equity funds and towards index tracking passive funds and exchange-traded funds. Passive funds charge their clients lower fees than managed funds, mainly due to the simplicity of their operations, the buying power they can exert on their brokers and the lack of the requirement for brokers to provide research offerings. By focusing on following their indices and reducing commissions for re-balancing trades, passive funds are becoming increasingly attractive investments.
Just three months remain before the rollout, on Jan. 3, 2018, of one of the EU’s most ambitious, yet controversial packages of financial reforms: MiFID II. Right across the bloc, firms are in full implementation mode, despite some requirements still being poorly understood or lacking clarity and key pieces of market infrastructure still being designed.