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Home » Daily Briefing » Morning briefing - 3 October 2016

Morning briefing - 3 October 2016

The German powers that be lined up on various sides of Deutsche Bank over the weekend, with deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel attacking John Cryan, while other corporate chiefs offered their backing to the Deutsche Bank CEO. "I didn't know whether I should laugh or be furious that a bank which turned speculation into a business model now declares itself the victim of speculators," Mr Gabriel said. "I'm really worried about the people employed at Deutsche Bank." A parliamentarian stated that the DoJ fine against Deutsche Bank had "the characteristics of an economic war".

News of thousands of job cuts at both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank is followed this week by similar news at ING, which plans to accelerate its digitisation processes, cutting 5,800 positions in the process. "Unfortunately, digital transformation means less jobs," chief financial officer Patrick Flynn said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. "The Netherlands and Belgium need to rely less on bank branches." The cuts will happen gradually over the next five years.

Banks worrying about fintech should direct their fears instead to fast-accelerating platforms such as Alibaba, with its suite of financial services, according to DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta. Speaking at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2016, focused on private equity and venture capital, Mr Gupta said that many fintech businesses have struggled to scale up — and more importantly, it's very difficult for fintechs to build up a large customer base from scratch. Alibaba however, already has a large user base. According to Mr Gupta, the company gave out about 60 million lines of credit during its Singles' Day shopping festival. "No bank in the world does that in a day," he said. "These companies have an installed customer base and so are a far more formidable challenge for banks."

World-straddling logistics business UPS will benefit greatly from an increase in e-commerce, which will increase the number of daily deliveries of small items to individual households — but that will mean a big leap in delivery trucks spewing pollution into an already overworked atmosphere. So UPS is going back to basics, testing part-human and part-electric powered tricycles that drivers will pedal around inner cities. "UPS is testing the e-trikes and thousands of other alternative fuel vehicles in various scenarios around the world as part of a "rolling laboratory" approach to its most vexing business problem: how to keep up with the boom in e-commerce while at the same time reducing its impact on the environment," writes Forbes.

Facebook's latest foray into payments involves an AI-enabled service in Messenger that picks up phrases such as 'You owe me $20' in chats, and then pops a payment button into the conversation, according to CDA News. For reasons unclear to Facebook and the rest of the world, payments has not really taken off in the way that Facebook hoped, nor has its e-commerce offering.

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