Alt Lending Week ended 27th May 2022



HSBC suspends banker over Nutjob climate change comments

Stuart Kirk certainly made some injudicious comments about climate change but why suspend him when what he said was common sense. I am not a climate change zealot but that does not mean that I don’t believe in climate change. I just have faith that technology will solve the problem of CO2 emissions and other environmental problems in the fulness of time and Kirk was completely right to point out that there are a lot of Nutjobs out there that don’t make it easier for anybody. It is another instance of a major player getting its priorities wrong. Kirks job is to make money for the banks clients. That means solving problems that are in the here and now. Solving problems that don’t exist yet doesn’t help anybody. If only banks would stick to what they are supposed to do  instead of trying to change the world?


Turkey loses $ 5bn of reserves in one week.

Turkey looks like it will soon be joining the bad boys club of troubled sovereigns if it continues to haemorrhage reserves. TD securities in London called the fall “shocking”. Erdogan  is indeed following an unorthodox economic policy  but one man’s unorthodox is another one’s mismanagement. In this case  I think sovereign bondholders will start to take serious look at how long this can go on for without serious repercussions. The IMF is not able to solve too many problems arising all at the same time. Time to get back to basics.


A dose of reality about to hit Fintech start ups.

Sometimes the truth is hard to take. I remember the dotcom boom rather well when the company of which I was an executive director was valued by one of the  masters of the universe at a staggering $1bn on turnover of $ 10m. I didn’t believe it then and I still find the valuations placed on money transfer and deposit collecting AP companies unbelievable.  After all there is nothing new or genuinely revolutionary in what they are automating. Most of these loss making ventures cannot carry on ad infinitum without periodic cash injections. However as one seasoned wag says “ conversations between investors and companies are taking longer” . Nice use of semantics. Some of these outfits will have to contemplate down rounds which will not sit nicely with existing investors or slash expenses and expectations. Time waits for no one as the Moody Blues once sang, The clock is indeed ticking.

Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior  Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information. For context on Alt Lending please read the Interview with Howard Tolman about the future of Alt Lending and read articles tagged Alt Lending in our archives.

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