Solent swim, John Lothian in London and a Symphony ABC...RWC

Please note the following with this posting.
1.    The Isle of Wight swim: please give me a heads up if you’re aware of anyone with MND.

2.    The forthcoming John Lothian education event in London. Free registration and spots available at:

3.    Do enjoy the Rugby World Cup, whoever your team.

Well, after much preparation, conditions did not lend themselves to the Isle of Wight crossing going ahead.

I always knew health and safety was a risk...and so it was.

That said, it takes nothing away from the frustration.

I geddit: The Harbour Master has to have his (/her) say, as after all there is a shipping channel to cross; The RNLI have to have their say, as they're on the water on standby; and The Organisers and support crew have to have their say, because they want to host an event of good repute and be able to adequately support the swimmers.

As a participant, you hear the logic but you do feel there is no voice calling out to say, well maybe we could try this, or that. (I did suggest entering the water up-current and making a final call on the channel crossing once we were actually at the shipping lane, which is a good 40mins into the swim, allowing time for the weather to break).

Then what about fund raising? What do you say to people that sponsor you...for an event you don't do?

Anyway, rant over (and I do see the selfishness of this).

I'm just grateful to have the luxury of the opportunity to take up the challenge.

There were 2 reasons I chose to take up the Solentchallenge.

My mother had initially sewn the seed in 2013. A friend of hers, Ian Pratt, had been diagnosed with MND and the swim was being done in his honour.

Her logic: She likes Ian and I like swimming.

But the real catalyst was when, after returning from another stint in Australia, I bumped into a long standing industry colleague, Dave Setters (ex FOW) at an FIA event. It was when he explained the immobility in his arms was a result of MND that my resolve was set. I wanted to do something to acknowledge the bravery that Dave displayed.


We’re lucky to have choices, even if they are not always easy ones...but we have choices.

My heart goes out to those who don’t have choices, like those with MND.

The image with this weeks blog is Dave and I with the Isle of Wight in the background.

Not prepared to settle down, Dave has…

… just started to investigate with the MND Association as to the possibility of setting up a City Network for MND with the goal of raising awareness and funds. I'm therefore interested in finding out through my contacts, if they know of anyone in the City who has been "touched" by MND in some way. That is people who have it, like myself, and are still relatively healthy or people that are caring for or have cared for or who know friends, family and colleagues with it.

If you think that you know someone whose life has been touched by MND, please do let me know and I’ll pass your details onto Dave.

Events & John Lothian

I have been a long term fan of John Lothian News, indeed, an important news feed for me, for many of my blog musings.

The team there also do a tremendous amount of good work in terms of educating both new and old on what is happening in our markets. E.g.

Occasionally, they come to visit London with the intent of spreading the good word. This event in October is free to register / attend. It is ideal for those who are new to the industry and looking for a better understanding and some insights.

Do feel free to pass this link:

Blockchain and Disruptive Technology

Whose doing what?

I’m pulling together a matrix of all the providers and vendors in the space.

My objective is to end up with a sample of ‘real’ use cases (supported by web sites with tangible content).

This is one starting point.

Ripple Labs

Ripple Unveils Next-Generation System for Digital Transaction Consensus

Basically Ripple have published a White Paper: The Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA) which takes a new look at getting around the burdensome proof-of-work.

The goal of the RPCA is to make it possible for a globally disconnected network to agree without relying on proof-of-work infrastructure.

Each server in the Ripple network is tasked with voting on a new batch of candidate transactions during rounds that take place every few seconds. Transactions agreed upon by the network are confirmed and made permanent once the round closes.

This approach is different from bitcoin’s, for which several confirmations by the mining network are often needed before bitcoins can be used or re-spent. Election node systems have been utilized in other block chain applications in the past, including projects like darkcoin that mix transactions through a network of master nodes.

Full paper available here:


Google Alphabet is to participate in a new round of funding for bank-backed messaging platform Symphony, valuing the startup at $650 million.

The financial institutions partnering to establish this new communication ecosystem include BofA Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, BlackRock, Citadel, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, JPMorgan, Maverick, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Wells Fargo.

What's the difference between Google and Alphabet?

Most of Alphabet's staff still work for Google, which remains the corporate home of Android, YouTube, Google Apps, Google Maps and Google Ads, as well as the eponymous search engine that started it all. Another seven companies have been established as Alphabet subsidiaries. These are Calico, Google Life Sciences, Nest Labs, Google Fiber, Google X, Google Ventures and Google Capital.

and some good (cynical) comments at the foot of this article.


£400 million – to be spent on RBS and NatWest branches refurbishments this year, with 16 a week expected at the programme’s peak

2% – of payments and transfers by HSBC customers are now done in a branch

The Bank of England on Cash (and the future of)

..Despite the advancements in technology, cash continues to offer a unique set of attributes as a medium of exchange that sets it apart from the alternatives. The Bank commissioned 2014 survey found that people like cash because it is:

·         Fast and convenient;

·         Universally accepted;

·         Helpful for budget management;..

·         provides immediate final settlement at no visible to the consumer;

·         with no reliance on technology and central infrastructure; and

·         is entirely anonymous, enabling transfers of value without any record being kept.

Bank of England quarterly bulletin update on OTC Clearing.

Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets have grown significantly over recent decades. These markets facilitate the hedging of risk, but they can also give rise to complex exposures within the financial system. These include the greater use of central counterparties (CCPs) to ‘centrally clear’ transactions, managing risk within the system. The concentration of risk within CCPs does however highlight other challenges, including the need for supervisory co-operation internationally. Authorities are working to address these issues.

The Forum

The Bank will hold an Open Forum on 11 November in the Guildhall.  To map a positive future for financial markets, the event will bring together policymakers, financial market participants and users, academics, media representatives and wider society. 
Public registration is now open.  The online portal will be available until 23 October, with attendance determined shortly thereafter by a ballot.

Bank of England will announce the results of the UK stress tests on 1st Dec 2015.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has today published a report on the regulatory consistency of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) for counterparty credit risk. This study is a part of its wider Regulatory Consistency Assessment Programme (RCAP), which is intended to ensure consistent implementation of the Basel III framework.

Foreign Exchange Benchmarks: Report on progress in implementing the September 2014 recommendations

In 2014 the FSB published recommendations for reforms to foreign exchange (FX) benchmarks. The recommendations responded to concerns raised about the integrity of FX benchmarks stemming particularly from the incentives for potential market malpractice linked to the structure of trading around the benchmark fixings. This report draws on assessments of progress made by the main foreign exchange committees, as well as by central banks in other large FX centres, to meet the 2014 recommendations. 

Santander Group chair Ana Botin has called for a level playing field between banks and the raft of new tech firms looking to muscle their way into the financial services industry.
Although hailing the fact that digital has enabled Santander to have a 47% cost-income ratio, she stressed that "we have 13,000 branches and we believe very much in that personal contact.”


This paper discusses the EU’s finances with particular reference to two complaints frequently made about the European Union’s finances: that the European Court of Auditors each year ‘refuses to sign off the accounts’; and that the EU budget is subject to high levels of fraud.

By Jove….these are some jolly senior experts…eh wot!

Full paper here:

ICE names William Hague as incoming chairman of European unit

"Our markets will benefit from Mr. Hague's private and public sector expertise as we seek to continue to grow by serving our customers in new ways," Jeffrey Sprecher, chief executive officer of ICE, said in a statement.

Iress expands in UKwith acqusitions of Proquote and Pulse

Proquote, an LSE portfolio company since 2003, operates the Retail Service Provider network that offers retail trading in the United Kingdom. The acquisition by Iress also includes LSEHub, a FIX order routing business which provides trade order connectivity between institutional investors and brokers.
In announcing the sale, the LSE says that Proquote is "not central to its strategy" for the enlarged Information Services Division.


Amazing, Aust has another PM.

That’s s in as many years.

A tale of blood letting here:

Australia: Coup capital of the democratic world

Rugby World Cup: Englandexit prompts ticket resale bonanza