The insurance industry could face a public relations disaster if it maintains an across-the-board stance of rejecting claims under business interruption policies during the coronavirus pandemic. The situation appears to be worsening thanks to the actions of several firms that have clear terms including pandemic coverage, but which are nevertheless refusing to pay apparently valid claims.
The coronavirus crisis has created an acutely uncertain environment for businesses. Many are using physical assets to access the working capital needed to survive. But what about businesses whose rapid growth is driven by intangible assets?
Sanctions have long been a serious concern for banks. However, they are now being applied more regularly across a variety of industries. Breaking them can quickly lead to heavy fines, export bans, denial of access to the US banking system, reputational damage, and severe supply chain disruption. Individuals involved risk criminal charges.
Amidst great macroeconomic uncertainty during the coronavirus outbreak, banks are also facing immense pressure from stringent regulations. Among the most pressing and potentially impactful of these regulations is IFRS 9. Institutions must now spot signs of danger in their loan portfolios at a much earlier stage, requiring deep operational and strategic changes.
The last major financial marketplace to be transformed by technology is the corporate bond market, but a new online trading venue is now providing access to fixed income in affordable sizes.
This sudden liberalisation of the main corporate bond markets amounts to something of a revolution. While in the UK, 53 per cent of pension investments go into bonds, direct investment by individual investors in corporate bonds remains negligible. With equity trading becoming more volatile, access to corporate bonds gives investors a means to buy in to established companies with reliable returns.
A significant shift is gathering momentum in the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry. Return on investment from late‐stage pipelines in Big Pharma is at an all‐time low. The pressure to increase returns is driving a sharpened focus on reducing time to market. Faster drug development is being enabled through advances in data capture and analytics.
Causes for concern within the global economy are currently in plentiful supply, including the constantly talked-about threat of a deeper global downturn, Brexit uncertainties, the US-China trade war and different regional tensions.
There are, nonetheless, plenty of good opportunities available for savvy individuals, ranging from new areas of investment to companies that are democratising access to growth products.
Chief executives of smart companies across all industry sectors are beginning to see that a capacity for constant change is becoming fundamental to success and survival. Over a short time, implementing operational changes has shifted from being a one-off project to become a constant feature of what enterprises do.
Sustaining a global footprint of any scale requires businesses and public sector bodies to take a smart and long-term approach to their global payments, to avoid some serious and potentially costly pain points.
Traditionally, foreign payments have been left to well-known providers but now, with the help of new technology, rival providers are entering the market, tackling the common pitfalls and enabling organisations to pay the right person the right amount, at the right time, anywhere in the world.
When most private investors look at corporate bonds they see an appealing asset class, restricted by a powerful elite. The institutional, club nature of the corporate bond market, limited online trading venues and minimum purchase sizes typically above £100,000 a unit, immediately shut out almost all private investors. There has been an increasing clamour for this to change.
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