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.
A true vision of the customer mindset is essential for any company in interpreting what will be purchased and why. As businesses compete for popularity in a demanding economy, the ability to explain, predict and influence customer behaviour is crucial to creating stronger relationships and successfully developing products and campaigns.
This requires a combination of data science to understand what people are doing, alongside market research, neuroscience and behavioural economics to discover why.
For many years, business sales teams have been dominated by individuals understood to have the “gift of the gab”. The remaining nearly six in ten salespeople expect they will fail to hit their quota, and businesses often cannot identify the root cause.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is enabling those organisations to unlock the true potential of their staff, by identifying what works among the top performers, highlighting the key moments revenue is won and lost, and teaching the middle band of the team how to apply the lessons.
A selection of articles, reports and other content.