The development financing gap in Latam, Bank of America’s innovation culture, Citi’s busy bond team and BNP Parbias facing climate change lawsuits dominate this week’s trending topics. Opinions on the EU Green New Deal and Islamic finance’s role in sustainability, along with evolving views on embedded finance and the UK digital pound are shared. We look towards Dubai, Bahrain and Turkey for a global outlook. Meanwhile, we launched several new series this week — The Banker Midweek Podcast, The Banker Board people moves column and our View On series examining trends affecting financial services.
Cover story: Redefining development banks’ purpose in Latam — Barbara Pianese | Click here to read
In Latin America alone, an estimated $650bn in annual development financing is needed to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Should development banks’ focus change to support increasingly high ambitions?
In the current high-interest-rate environment, multilateral development bank (MDB) lending could be much more attractive in terms of costs and availability. Thanks to their triple-A rating, MDBs have the ability to borrow at low interest rates on global markets and in turn lend at a lower cost.
This will be especially true for Latin America and other emerging market borrowers, which usually experience capital outflows when developed countries’ interest rates rise.
Bank of America innovation culture drives patent applications — Bill Lumley | Click here to read
According to Bank of America (BofA), a key driver of the growth in its patent approval is the diversity of its workforce. The proportion of female inventors responsible for approved patents from the bank has risen to 26%, compared with a worldwide average of just 16.5%. And it reports that its 5387 patents last year originated from more than 6700 inventors across 42 states.
Andrew McKibben, international head of technology at BofA, says that the bank does not have an innovation lab committed to exploring new ways of solving a particular problem. Instead, he says, the culture of innovation is enterprise-wide: “By design, it’s not siloed that one team or employee can invent new solutions. By leveraging all of our employees and their diverse perspectives, it better drives client-focused solutions. And we encourage that to be everyone’s team’s responsibility. Any team-mate can innovate and we support them with that.”
Strong SSA sentiment plays to Citi’s strengths — Edward Russell-Walling | Click here to read
The first quarter of the year saw a burst of enthusiasm for sovereign, supranational and agency bond issuance, with the bank’s team experiencing one of the busiest Januarys for some time.
BNP Paribas hit by climate lawsuit in France — Philippa Nuttall | Click here to read
Three non-governmental organisations are suing BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, for failing to comply with the country’s duty of vigilance law and for taking insufficient action to end fossil fuel financing. The case is the world’s first climate lawsuit against a commercial bank.
BNP Paribas insists it is exiting from fossil fuels and says it “regrets” the decision by Friends of the Earth, Oxfam France and Notre Affaire à Tous “to engage in litigation rather than dialogue”.
Inflation: beyond the headlines — Barbara Pianese | Click here to read
Headline inflation does not help in investigating how inflation affects distinct population groups and countries differently. Since mid-2021, inflation in the euro area has increased at a pace last seen in the 1970s and early 1980s, after having been below the European Central Bank’s 2% target for almost a decade.
Two new series launched!
The Banker Board | March 2 2023 — Simon Duffy | Click here to read
A weekly look at some of the most recent and influential people moves across the global banking industry, including moves from Credit Suisse, Ecobank, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, MUFG, Commerzbank, Goldman Sachs and Citibank.
The Banker Midweek Podcast | March 1 2023 – Liz Lumley and Barbara Pianese| Click here to read
Your weekly look at what the industry is talking about, offering the information that bankers like you need to know. This week, our March cover story, IWD23, Blade Runner and ChatGPT.
Editor’s blog: Strong demand for Islamic finance products to support sustainability goals — Joy Macknight | Click here to read
A global survey among Islamic banks’ retail customers found that the vast majority want their bank to offer products aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals — and most are willing to pay a premium.
Views on … embedded finance: “Should a good brand put its customers in debt?” — Liz Lumley | Click here to read
Up until now, most of the banking service stuff has ended on a path towards debt and I don’t think that is socially responsible. I think most people will recognise that the ‘buy now, pay later’ industry could well be the next payment protection insurance in the UK in terms of litigation. That has longer-term ramifications if you’re a brand that’s been using those services for some time.
The EU’s Green Deal is an opportunity to improve data governance — David van Boven | Click here to read
The initiative will require companies to collect and process personal data in order to report on environmental, social and governance issues, which presents some challenges but, more importantly, gives organisations an opportunity to embrace digital transformation.
Grand designs: the next phase in the digital pound build — Marina Reason and Pat Horton | Click here to read
Plans for a digital pound are moving forward as the Bank of England and UK government agree it has a use case, but a launch is still years away.
Salik’s road to IPO success — Shanny Basar | Click here to read
In its first foray into the market, the sole operator of Dubai’s automated road toll collection system saw its retail tranche 190 times oversubscribed.
Bahraini lenders eye mortgage boost — James King | Click here to read
Having benefited from high government spending during the pandemic, Bahrain’s banks are looking to the retail sector to support growth in the coming year.
Turkey’s controversial monetary policy continues — James King | Click here to read
The central bank of Turkey’s macroprudential adjustments has made the operating environment for the country’s banks increasingly complex.