Back to the future for Export Credit Agencies

The good ship “Paris Club” riding at anchor

In the mid- to late 1980s Western banks lost colossal amounts of money on the export credit loans in Western currencies that they had lent into public sector borrowers and projects in the Third World, where the loans were insured or counter-guaranteed by government agencies such as ECGD […]’s Byzantine organisation promises longevity for the New Payments Architecture programme

The Byzantine Empire is deemed to have emerged in 476 A.D., its being based on the residual Eastern Roman Empire at the point at which the Western one collapsed.

The Byzantine Empire survived for nearly a thousand years, until brought to an end by the sack of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453.’s project to build […]

UK’s New Payments Architecture live by 2030 (indicatively) have issued their February 2019 NPA Programme Industry Newsletter, entitled “Enabling a vibrant UK economy”, NPA standing for New Payments Architecture.

The title should have had “…in the 2030s” appended to it, since that is the timeline inferred by the newsletter’s content, if not by its form or wording.

There is this beguiling diagramme, showing the […]

Cheques to be excluded from UK’s New Payments Architecture

Once again cheques in the UK are facing their demise, this time as a consequence of their being excluded from the New Payments Architecture project, or “NPA”.

This time it will be a slow and lingering death over a 10-15 year period, as investment is channeled into other services and the cheque service withers on the […]

Project Carlton research – a stock take on the PSR and PSF 2014-2018 and the cupboard is bare

Project Carlton has been conceived as a stock take of the efforts to reform the UK payments business since 2014 and to evaluate the case for a change in direction.

The reform efforts have been spearheaded by the Payment Systems Regulator and its creature the Payment Strategy Forum, involving a supporting cast of hundreds, including several […]

Golden Visa business alive and well

Governments such as the UK have come under renewed pressure to limit or suspend visa systems which have the effect of offering visas, residency or passports to the rich-and-famous, if they “invest” in the country concerned.

Recent editions of the British Airways “High Life” magazine have included an insert from St Kitts and Nevis that reads […]

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement gives the EU ample scope to continue to spend on the UK’s credit card

The Daily Express issued a “shock horror” story on 30th December that the EU was in financial meltdown over the loss of the UK’s budget contributions.

This seems overstated.

They have no need to worry for a little while if they get their €40 billion “divorce settlement” – which will be used to cover normal expenditure and […]

EU Open Banking rules could backfire for Cash Management Sweeps

The EU’s second Payment Services Directive, with live date January 2018, has had as a main objective to foster the emergence of non-bank intermediaries called Third Party Providers or “TPPs”.

The purposes of a TPP’s offering would be to:

Create a single view for the customer of the balances on payment accounts at whatever institution in […]

Marketplace volatility requires reviews of Key Performance Indicators of Liquidity Management

Financial markets have been seeing increased volatility lately, and one does not have to look as far as Bitcoin to see it:

Seasoned corporate bonds have suffered an extended rout;
Financial regulators have raised concerns about “zombie” companies – those that can just afford their debt service at very low rates of interest, but who […]

Banks club together to apply IT solutions to Trade Finance issues

There is a lot of movement in the Trade Finance space around moving the business into the digital era. This blog is an overview of the most significant moving parts.

We have the International Chamber of Commerce process, in which a very large number of banks are involved. The ICC Banking Commission most recently met in […]