There is a lot of hype about the future potential of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. The US has shown the huge potential with platforms such as Lending Club and Prosper lending billions of dollars a year.
The global banking and financial services industry is facing unprecedented, historic challenges. With customer and regulatory demands soaring while revenues plateau, financial services enterprises (FSEs) cannot simply tinker with existing processes for incremental boosts in revenue or small cost reductions.
Banks are throwing piles of cash at dealing with the self-made disaster zone that currently trails in their wake. But they are years away from achieving their clear-up goal - and there are various reasons why.
Make no mistake: this is a major change and will shake up the cozy relationships some audit firms may have with their clients. Even this change is more significant than what was expected (I would have predicted 9-12 years). The Competition Commission is serious.
Do Banks Still Need Branches? Only If Offered as an Olive Branch Bridging Between Traditional and Online Worlds
There is no simple answer to whether retail banks still need branches for customers to visit. The truth is that, even though regulation and technology is moving at pace, it will depend on the bank, the region and the customer.
With gossip having become such a valuable asset for struggling newspapers, it is no wonder how these immoral journalists went to such extremes in order to provide their equally immoral readers with morbid obscenities. Those who assumed hacking was a practice that only thrived in the offices and newsrooms of Murdoch's empire have recently had to reconsider this.
The knives are out for the energy companies in the press and political spheres alike, with public outrage increasing with every new revelation aired. But their anger is not directed solely at the likes of BP and Shell, but also at the lax regulatory environment which has allowed such alleged abuses to flourish for years.
The public, and those who represent its interests, simply don't believe that financial organisations are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that the industry's reputation is restored and that future crises are avoided.
Since 2008 the financial services industry has struggled with the issue of trust. From banker bashing to deposed knights, the public mood is increasingly sceptical of the abilities of the investment industry to operate ethically and act in the best long-term interests of investors and the public.
With so much change in a what is often a 'spaghetti of legacy / new systems and processes' it will always be challenging and costly to make structural changes; hence banks will often take the least contentious path. After all, regulatory change is not revenue-generating and times are tough.