Cheryl Newton will be joining as Chief Information Officer. She will be responsible for developing Metro Bank’s technology agenda to further enhance the service it provides to colleagues and customers, across all of its channels.
Cheryl is a technology specialist and has held global managing director and IT Board level positions implementing IT solutions for financial companies worldwide including JP Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Credit Suisse and Barclays.
Also joining the leadership team will be Daniel Frumkin, who has been appointed as Chief Transformation Officer. He will take the lead in delivering the bank-wide efficiency programme to further enhance customer experience and continue to create even more FANS.
Daniel joins after eight years at The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited, a full service community bank based in Bermuda, most recently as their Global Chief Operating Officer and prior to that as Global Chief Risk Officer. He has previously worked at Parex Bank, Northern Rock and RBS.
Commenting on the appointments, Craig Donaldson, CEO at Metro Bank, says: “Both these appointments are a significant step forward in our year of transition for Metro Bank and will help us deliver on our strategic initiatives. Cheryl and Dan bring deep experience and expertise and share our vision for creating FANS. I’m really looking forward to working with them.”
Cheryl Newton added: “I’m really excited to be joining Metro Bank as it continues its expansion across Britain, giving customers real choice in who they bank with. We have a huge opportunity through our investment in stores and digital to really transform the banking experience for people and SMEs across the UK.”
Daniel Frumkin added: “I’m looking forward to joining the team at such an important time during this year of transition for Metro Bank. There is real potential for the future as we focus on driving long-term growth by delivering great customer service at the right cost.”
Cheryl will start with the bank next week and Daniel will join in September. Both roles will report directly to Chief Executive Officer, Craig Donaldson.
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Testing of Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts starts today as the ICE-backed startup is trying out the underlying infrastructure to see how things will evolve before it launches its much-anticipated product to the masses.
The new Bitcoin offering involves two futures contracts; daily future contract, which will enable customers to transact in a same-day market, and a monthly bitcoin futures contract. The contracts will be margined by ICE Clear US, including the collection of initial margin collateral and variation margin to manage risk.
During the test-launch phase, aka “user acceptance testing”, each contract on the Bakkt’s platform will consist of one bitcoin with a minimum tick size for trading set at $2.50 per bitcoin. The futures contract will be cleared through ICE Clear US, which also clears trades for NYSE.
COO Adam White previusly shared a figure illustrating the benefits that institutions would expect when they trade with their yet-to-launch crypto venue. The list includes block trades; a fee holiday through the end of the year; market maker incentive programs to encourage liquid markets; and integrations with ISVs and regulated brokerage platforms.
ICDX, JFX Announce the 2019 Winners of the Bilateral Transactions VolumeGo to article >>
Resolving the custodian issue
And in order to placate the CFTC, the physical delivery and storage of bitcoin will be provided by Bakkt’s qualified custodian. This was the issue that has made the agency most concerned about the NYSE owner’s product as crypto assets have been vulnerable to the risks of possible theft and manipulation.
Bakkt also revealed that it would pay $35 million to contribute into arrangements of hedging against clearing risks. “This puts our own “skin in the game” and aligns our interests for market integrity and safety with market participants,” said CEO Loeffler.
Earlier this year, Bakkt acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC), which provides cryptocurrency custody solution for institutional investors and token issuers holding digital assets. The takeover should help Bakkt secure the NY regulator’s approval to operate as a so-called ‘qualified custodian,’ which permits the company itself to hold custody of customers’ tokens. In addition, Bakkt also announced it has partnered with BNY Mellon to offer geographically-distributed storage of private keys secured by the bank.
Property worth over Rs 38 Crore ($ 5.5 million) has been seized in the Indian state of Gujarati from promoters of the Bitconnect cryptocurrency scam. According to the Times of India, the property includes 280 Bitcoins which at the current prices are worth nearly $ 2.9 million. The seizure of the properties follows the arrest of Bitconnect […]
Ultimately, our business model was simple: introduce a new, licensed, fully regulated national bank, modeled as a financial market utility, that would work with individuals and banks to create a dematerialized bank deposit, denominated in USD. The bank was Frank Financial.
Mentioning the plan of the company, the announcement stated: “Ultimately, our business model was simple: introduce a new, licensed, fully regulated national bank, modeled as a financial market utility, that would work with individuals and banks to create a dematerialized bank deposit, denominated in USD. The bank was Frank Financial.”
Per Dowling, the company did not get the attention of venture capitals or crypto-focused investors. Though some other investors were interested in the company, banking regulations barred him to issue preferred shares to the initial investors, while the company failed to create a stablecoin without centralization.
ICDX, JFX Announce the 2019 Winners of the Bilateral Transactions VolumeGo to article >>
Stablecoins in crisis?
Though once engaged in bringing crypto to banks, Dowling now believes that blockchain might not be the best solution to streamline banking services. He revealed that the cost of disrupting the banking industry with blockchain solutions is massive.
A bank deposit, however, is. Stablecoins are doomed for failure for a couple reasons – but the main reason is because the bank deposit a stable coin points to is not owned (legally) by the token holder – its owned by the stable coin issuer.
Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) broke the $11,000 threshold earlier yesterday, but could not hold its position and dipped to its current price point of $10,406, down by 1.86% on the day. In terms of its weekly performance, BTC has lost 2.20%.
The second-largest crypto, Ether (ETH), has taken a downturn as well and is trading at $221.26 at press time, down by 1.34% on the day. ETH began the day at $233.61, hitting its highest mark at $236.05 in the middle of the day before reaching its current price.
XRP has also experienced slight losses over the last 24 hours, down 1.78% to trade at $0.323 at press time. The altcoin’s weekly chart is showing its price increase by 2.91%, with its lowest price mark of $0.293 on July 16.
On the top-20 digital currencies list, only Tether (USDT), EOS (EOS), UNUS SED LEO (LEO), Cosmos (ATOM) and Tezos (XTZ) are reporting gains, wherein XTZ is up by 9.37%.
Total market capitalization of all coins is over $288 billion at press time, which is its lowest point on the day. The daily trading volume of all cryptocurrencies is around $59.4 billion.
As reported earlier today, BTC outflows on major cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX notably exceeded the inflows after the firm was reported to be a subject in a regulatory investigation. Over the past 24 hours, BitMEX reportedly saw an outflow of $83 million worth of Bitcoin, while only $12 million came in.
Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here
Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of The Times Group, India’s largest media group, will invest up to US$6.5 million in Indorse, a blockchain-powered professional network. The company will make an initial investment of US$2 million as a convertible note at a valuation of US$15 million with the option of a further tranche of US$4.5 million, the company said on Wednesday.
The capital injection will be used for Indorse’s expansion into India and will allow the startup to build demand for its services through the Times Group’s media assets.
Singapore-incorporated Indorse offers a platform that uses blockchain and tokenization for professional social networking. On the Indorse platform, users create an account in just a few seconds, claim skills, and have their abilities validated by experts. The platform allows job seekers to find companies looking for their specific expertise, and companies hire qualified candidates with objectively validated skills.
“We believe Indorse creates real benefits for employers and job seekers alike and the way these groups connect,” said Sam Subramaniam, CEO of Brand Capital. “Our massive media reach to Indian companies and the country’s large talent pool will energize Indorse in a huge way.”
The deal marks Brand Capital’s second investment in a blockchain startup. Brand Capital has also invested in Inmusik, a blockchain-powered music ecosystem.
Founded in 2017, Indorse claims more than 40,000 user signups on the platform, 96 experts programmers in charge of validating and reviewing codes on a daily basis, and more than 1,000 candidates ranging from junior to mid-level programmers.
The company has worked with both small and large tech companies in finding suitable talent. It recently conducted a recruitment event for one of Southeast Asia hottest startups and the region’s first “decacorn,” Grab.
Commenting on the fundraising, Gaurang Torvekar, CEO and co-founder of Indorse, said the capital and support of Brand Capital will allow the company to build its brand and help it “become a major dependable source for employers seeking candidates with the right skills.”
“This is a privileged opportunity for Indorse,” Torvekar said. “The Times Group is a major media group and has a detailed understanding of key recruitment trends, so its support is a massive vote of confidence in our model.
Indorse raised US$9 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017 and has received a S$450,000 investment from UK-listed investment and advisory firm Coinsilium Group for a 10% equity stake.