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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Payments and fintech companies in the UK are seeking the right to open accounts at the Bank of England, thereby gaining access to the payments system infrastructure. Fintech firms are in discussions with the BoE about opening settlement accounts which are currently only available to banks.

Under current practice, new payments players have to go through banks for access to the payments system, a practice which is both expensive and essentially involves relying on rivals in order to provide a service.

E-commerce companies in China are marking today's Chinese New Year with huge cash giveaways as they compete for the lucrative mobile payments market. Alipay is giving away 800 million yuan ($121 million) through its app to viewers of its New Year's Eve television show, while Tencent is offering 200 million yuan.

Credit Suisse chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, has asked the bank's board to cut his bonus after Credit Suisse announced a multibillion dollar loss in the fourth quarter last week. "I have asked the board of directors for a significant reduction in my bonus," he said in a statement on Sunday.

Small banks should not have to contend with the complex rules aimed at their global rivals, senior regulators in both the EU and the UK have said. "I acknowledge the framework is fiendishly complicated, especially for banks with very simple business models," Andrea Enria, chairman of the European Banking Authority said. "Regulators have a duty to ask if simpler ways can be found to achieve the same outcomes... the complexity of regulation should match the complexity of business models."

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