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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Spanish bank Sabadell plans to transform TSB by installing a new IT system which will offer "digital oppportunities" to customers, including a mobile payments system — built on Proteo, the Spanish bank's IT system.

Sabadell's chief financial officer Tomas Varela told the FT that the new digital service would be launched ahead of a full transfer to the new IT system in 2017.

UK Chancellor George Osborne told Sky News this morning that the government was ready to dispose of its final £2 billion worth of shares in Lloyds. "We've got a big task here to get the British government finally out of owning banks. I don't want all those shares to go to institutions," he said, according to the Telegraph."It will favour smaller investors. The process of getting the paper work and getting the prospectus ready takes a little bit of time, but the shares will be coming online." It is expected that the sale will proceed in the spring of 2016.

More expensive market funding is expected to contribute to a slowdown in the growth of Islamic banks, according to the Gulf News.

Analysts at Standard & Poor's said that after seven years of uninterrupted growth in assets and profits, a loss in momentum of customer deposits and capital market volatility would cause liquidity issues. Lower oil prices are contributing to a weakness in deposits from governments and public-sector bodies.

Western sanctions continue to bite into the Russian economy, with Sberbank's chief executive German Graf telling reporters that its profits could fall up to 50 percent from last year.

Russia's largest bank has been forced to increase its loss-loan provisions as the sanctions impact on the economy.

An apocryphal story about Joe Kennedy and a shoeshine boy — whose stock tip to Kennedy convinced Kennedy that the dumb money was piling into the market — is behind Carole Callwalladr's analysis of what exactly is happening in Silicon Valley.

"The shoeshine boy wouldn't be tipping stocks in 2015, but what would he be doing? I ask Ned Desmond, the chief operating officer of TechCrunch. He thinks for a moment. "He would probably be an Uber driver who has his own angel investment line," he says.

A bit like 2008, investors know there's a bubble, but they're all waiting to rush for the exit while not wanting to miss out on the last possible opportunities.

(Another historian suggests that the man in the shoeshine story was in fact JP Morgan.)

Is digital banking the solution for people in need of financial services who live in rural areas?

Perhaps — but for now, 90 percent of people using mobile banking in India are in urban and semi-urban areas, according to new research by the Reserve Bank of India.

Along with that, there's a lack of integration in services, with heavy fragmentation of mobile handset hardware and operating systems, and a small ecosystem of buyers and sellers in any single payment/wallet solution.

"India needs to innovate to consolidate the complex matrix of m-commerce, m-wallet players, banks, customer and telcos," the study said.

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