Capital Markets Corporate

March 20, 2020

Our Weekly Newsletter


Across Instinctif Partners’ Financial Services team, we are always keeping an eye on the key developments taking place across the sector to evaluate their impact on the many businesses we work with. Here we share our picks of the week’s most interesting news, and our expert views.


Scammers are exploiting Coronavirus fears
Spy agency GCHQ warns that cyber criminals are exploiting mounting fears over Coronavirus by posing as the World Health Organisation and medical supply sellers to trick people into sending their money online. The scams, which often aim to dupe victims into clicking links falsely claiming to provide health or prevention information also infect devices with malware designed to siphon off sensitive personal details to be used for fraud or lock devices until victims pay a ransom to the hackers. (From The Telegraph, 15 March 2020)

Digital bank Monzo set to win a larger market share
Monzo is expanding its services to accommodate small and medium-sized companies in a bid to ramp up competition in the concentrated business banking market. The bank is launching two new business account services aimed at freelancers and small business owners, which Monzo’s CEO Tom Blomfield states were developed to solve the problems found in mainstream banks’ small business services, such as the slow process of opening accounts and additional transaction fees. While four high street banks control roughly 80% of the small business banking market, Blomfield believes that Monzo could reach 250,000 business accounts if they achieve the same market share as they currently hold in retail banking. (From The Times, 17 March 2020)

Social distancing from bank branches as new users go online
The spread of Covid-19 means that millions could be unable to travel to their closest bank branch and subsequently, many people – particularly in the elderly generation – may be forced to use online banking for the first time. The FCA have said that banks must make extra efforts to support vulnerable customers to bank online or by phone, whilst also stating that people should be vigilant to avoid scams. (From The Telegraph, 17 March 2020)

Zooming in on community
Throughout the world, pubs and restaurants have been closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and people are staying inside as part of social distance measures. In Japan, people of all ages are sending out Zoom meeting invitations, allowing people to join and create their own coronavirus-friendly congregations. On-nomi is the new Japanese trend for drinking online, people are holding beers up the camera to toast, sharing their worries about the virus, and trying to relax during these worrying times. (From Metro, 17 March 2020)

World’s three biggest fund houses assets shrink by $2.8tn
The world’s largest fund managers have all seen their assets shrink by $2.8tn as a result of global sell-offs amid the recent market chaos, which saw US stocks fall into bear market territory after a decade of growth, signaling the conclusion to the industry’s “golden era”. BlackRock’s assets, which were valued at a record $7.4tn earlier this year, have fallen by nearly $1.4tn, with Vanguard’s assets – valued at $6.2tn – similarly falling to $5.4tn. Former CEO of Principal Global Investors, Jim McCaughan argues that the outlook remains difficult for active managers, and that “declining fees will no longer be countered by market buoyancy”. (From Financial Times, 15 March 2020)