RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: German bankers sees digitalisation as threat to employment; US investigates possible StanChart Iran breaches

And South Africa pushes banks to innovate amidst new competition.

From Bloomberg: After lenders in Germany have already slashed about 188,000 jobs since the year 2000, many employees are now increasingly seeing digitalisation as the next big threat to employment. 

In the country’s private banking industry alone, around 40 percent of employees believe that digitalisation will worsen long-term job security over the next two years, according to a study by the employers’ association seen by Bloomberg. In a 2015 survey, only 31 percent of respondents expected a deterioration. At the same time, the proportion of those predicting improvements has remained almost constant at around 25 percent.

From Reuters: U.S. authorities are investigating whether Standard Chartered breached Iran-related compliance rules as recently as 2013, a year after it settled with them over earlier allegations of breaches and pledged to improve internal controls.

Standard Chartered’s chief executive Bill Winters said in a memo to senior staff addressing recent media reports, that “the vast majority of the payments under investigation pre-date 2012, and none occurred after 2014,” in the first public acknowledgement by the bank of the later timeframe.

From Bloomberg: South Africa will strive to allow competition into its banking system in a way that won’t threaten the stability of the industry as more and more entrants seek to rival the nation’s biggest lenders, said Kuben Naidoo, the chief executive of the Prudential Authority.

Whilst many new banking licences are expected to be granted, these would be done within “reason” and in a way that doesn’t allow too much of a disruption that will put the system at risk or make it fragile, he said at a Banking Association of South Africa summit in Johannesburg on Monday. While he hopes the industry will become innovative, “safety and soundness is important,” Naidoo said.

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