Capital Markets Corporate

October 5, 2018

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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.

FinTech Ranks High

LinkedIn’s annual report on the “best UK start-ups to work for” has crowned Monzo for the second year running. However, the digital bank is not the only one on the list. Three out of the top five business ranked high in the report operate in the emerging financial services sector, including ClearBank and Revolut. (From CNBC, 30 September 2018)

Not Too Cashless Britain

According to research by the Post Office, claims that Britain is going cashless are exaggerated. The average wallet in the UK still contains £26 in physical cash and fewer than 10% of Britons are ready to use digital payments and online banking only. The report also found that poorer members of society and smaller businesses are the most negatively impacted by the dwindling amount of cash and ATMs. The findings come as it was revealed that Visa and Mastercard will soon control 90% of UK electronic payments by 2026, with critics blaming both businesses for squeezing out free-to-use cash machines by ensuring they become unprofitable.  (From The Daily Telegraph, 29 September 2018 and The Observer, 1 October 2018)

Enough of PC…P?

Personal Contract Purchases (PCP) have become the UK’s most popular way to finance new cars, as deals promise affordable ways to get a new ride. However, sales strategies to get consumers to sign-up to PCP deals has come under increased scrutiny from the FCA, who want to ensure Britons fully understand what they’re signing-up for. Industry experts state that there’s nothing wrong with PCPs if they’re understood properly, but currently many customers are stuck with unaffordable rates. (From This is Money, 29 September 2018)

Crypto Heights

As far as marketing strategies go, the sky is the limit when it comes to the crypto currencies world. ASKfm, a Ukraine-based social network, might have taken this a bit too literally when it decided to launch a rocket filled with US$100,000 worth of crypto tokens over the Scottish Highlands as part of a PR stunt to raise the company’s profile. Though it resulted in brand mentions in the media, we are yet to read reports of trekkers finding their fortune while on their Sunday walks. (From FT Alphaville, 25 September 2018)

Quants-izeable

WorldQuant is taking steps to address maths and programming skills shortage to the next level. The company has organised the inaugural ‘International Quant Championship’ to gather the smartest minds in the fields of medical sciences, engineering, physics and mathematics. The aim is to find the next generation of quantitative analysts and traders to design algorithms to find and exploit profitable patterns in financial markets. (From Financial Times, 29 September 2018)

“Wherefore art thou, Henrys…”

There is a growing trend for banks and other financial services institutions to concentrate their efforts in chasing Henrys – “high-earners not rich yet”. But who are they exactly? And what is the best way to woo them?

Henrys – typically successful Millennials working in professional services – have been identified as those earning upwards of £70,000 a year. They are the prime target for just about every retail-focused business, obviously. They are typically educated, informed influencers who have disposable income. What’s not to like?

Banks are offering preferable mortgage rates, hotel stays and even free money to lure younger people who can deposit a sizable wage each month and are affluent enough to have a mortgage.

Wealth managers are unsurprisingly chasing Henrys too. In fact, Henrys are in such demand, that they are redefining the wealth management sector. Online solutions and superior digital customer experiences are now not an option but a necessity for those trying to tap younger affluent clients. Henrys have also made ethical or impact investing a mainstream offering that wealth managers must be able to advise on. Henrys are upending just about every part of the wealth management process, from onboarding to daily client interactions.

Wealth managers understand that the legacy of the wealth management industry is going to rely on the ability to imprint Henrys with brand loyalty now, so that they stick around for the long-term. Wealth managers are only too aware that their current client base is getting older. That said, a recent survey found that only 50% of wealth management firms have customer retention measures in place, so many might struggle to keep their Henrys happy without changing their ways.

It will not be long before Henrys do finally get rich and by then, it may be too late for financial firms to unstick established brand loyalties. The race to get the attention of the nation’s Henrys is on.

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