Securefact Round Ups are published once a month and feature summaries and opinions from our in-house experts on select handpicked articles that caught their eyes in the areas of Fintech, Compliance, Know Your Customer, Secured Lendng, AML, and Fraud.

Chris Skinner: Beware the mice of fintech

Today’s consumers are craving a more engaging bank experience, demanding convenience, and expecting value. With customer loyalty to their financial institutions at an all time low and competition from FinTechs heating up, should banks be on the defensive?

Chris Skinner explores the duality of competition and co-operation between traditional banks and their start-up counterparts in his piece, “Beware the Mice of Fintech”. Today, we’re seeing banks and smaller financial initiations seeking to work with, not just against, these emerging players to strengthen their product offerings.

For FinTechs, being able to leverage the strength of their products with the brain-power and scale that comes with a large bank is a win for everyone. Banks get to protect their market share from erosion and differentiate themselves. Small financial institutions are empowered to provide their service on a larger scale and in new markets. Consumers are then blessed with the choice of superior products and services.

Embracing change and adapting to the times is critical to move forward and prosper. In Canada, we’re more frequently seeing large banks open their arms to these FinTechs to catch up with customer demands and keep ahead of their competition.

The future of finance does not need to be a grim one for traditional banks. There’s no question that FinTechs will change the way Canadians invest, borrow, grow their business, and save. The real question is, how will the banks embrace this inevitable shift and adapt?

Read the full article here.

Will Obama get U.S. aligned with global transparency and anti-corruption regulations?

Essentially, financial transparency and anti-corruption measures are all about taxes. Around the world there are countries that permit you to hold assets in the equivalent of an anonymous corporation – a place to park money and earn income and try not to get taxed on it anywhere. Years ago the U.S. administration introduced rules under bilateral treaties that forced financial institutions everywhere in the world to start disclosing information in order to collect U.S. tax, while the U.S. itself houses a number of states that permit the most anonymous corporate jurisdictions in the world – think Nevada or Delaware.

It took the release of the panama papers for the U.S. government to step forward and realize that the requirements they were imposing on everybody else, should also apply to them. That scandal is bringing the U.S. in line in many of ways, as noted by Tanya Somanader  who outlined “President Obama’s Efforts on Financial Transparency and Anti-Corruption: What You Need to Know” . The rest of the world has been subjected to rules and scrutiny around the idea of signing conventions against corruption, signing treaties to exchange tax information, but there are 8 financial crimes deterrents treaties that the U.S. hasn’t yet signed. Whether President Obama can push them through their governing system and make them part of his presidential legacy will be something to watch. For more detailed information on the state of U.S. financial transparency, see our post on Hypocrisy USA