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Our Weekly Newsletter

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.

News you can use

The rehabilitation opportunity for banks

As coronavirus brings the global economy to a near standstill, just as with the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, global leaders are meeting with bankers and lenders. This time, they are being called on to help distribute unprecedented stimulus programmes designed to save it from collapse. The banks may have an opportunity to repair their public image but also have the challenging task of deciding which companies should receive financial aid, which brings its own reputational risk. Above all else, the global financial systems and banks’ survival depends on governments effectively containing the public health crisis. (From Financial Times, 1 April 2020)

Use of fintech apps skyrockets as coronavirus lockdowns widen

Research by the deVere Group has found the use of fintech apps has increased by over 72% as traditional means of private banking have been curtailed by the coronavirus. In addition to the dramatic changes in how individuals use fintech apps, the value attributed to fintechs and digital communications platforms has increased. For example, Zoom’s share price has increased by more than 32% since mid-February when the wider market decline began. (From The Verdict, 30 March 2020)

Adidas shunned for bad sportsmanship

Adidas’ brand and reputation took a hit this week as outrage ensued from the Group’s decision to suspend rental payments on its own-brand retail outlets in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The outcry included appeals to boycott the group’s products, a German member of parliament filming himself setting an Adidas shirt on fire, the Finance minister calling the conduct “irritating” and the VP of the European parliament denouncing the move as “shabby”. Despite stating that private landlords will now receive their rental payments, the damage to the Adidas brand and reputation has been done. Brands should take note of the public outrage: in a time of crisis, private companies are expected to be ‘good citizens’ more than ever by using their vast resources – financial, technological or organisational – to help fight the pandemic. Those that have effectively done this have earned positive headlines, gratitude and praise from consumers and political leaders. (From Financial Times, 1 April 2020)

UK insurers call for public-private sector partnership to cover future outbreaks

With many contracts up for renewal this month, the insurance industry has moved to tighten terms of business coverage to exclude claims related to the coronavirus pandemic . One insurer has introduced a blanket exclusion for any loss relating directly or indirectly to a communicable disease, while another has tightened rules about “denial of access” cover to exclude diseases. The trend is widespread and providers argue pandemics have been excluded from standard business interruption cover for many years. In a letter to Parliament , the Association of British Insurers suggested that providing more coverage for future outbreaks “would require significant state partnership with the insurance sector”. (From Financial Times, 31 March 2020)

“The phone slipped into the bath”: Conference call tales

With videoconferencing becoming the norm for the workplace, there are no shortage of predicaments and pitfalls to avoid. Line quality, technology problems and of course user ineptitude add kerfuffle to meetings. Every call needs a host, as if they were presenting a radio phone-in, as well as the need to look presentable on camera. “I remember a client was on a call while in the bath, and you could hear splashing and the tap running. He then realised the microphone was on and the phone slipped into the bath,” recalls Neil Henderson from Zurich Insurance. On the social side, the Friday night pub trip may be off the cards, but many are trying to keep normal daily interaction between colleagues going, from yoga sessions to a daily quiz. (From BBC News, 31 March 2020)

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