At last, the banks are reaching out to UK Plc

first_imgWednesday 13 October 2010 8:31 pm More From Our Partners Florida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableyTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailautooverload.com40 Dated Fashion Trends That Shows Your Ageautooverload.comSearch | Programming CoursesInterested In Programming? Courses In India Might Surprise YouSearch | Programming CoursesMiss Penny StocksWhitney Houston’s Last Photo Is Truly TragicMiss Penny StocksOnline Dating | Sponsored AdsScottsdale Singles: Online Dating Could Actually WorkOnline Dating | Sponsored AdsThe Wallet Watcher7 Discounts Seniors Get Only If They AskThe Wallet Watcher KCS-content Show Comments ▼ At last, the banks are reaching out to UK Plc center_img THERE are two possible ways forward for the banking industry. The first is to do nothing and try and brave out the storm, chucking the occasional insult at detractors. The second is to show some humility, reach out, make sensible reforms – and invest some of its own cash – to improve matters and fight its opponents with genuine facts, arguments and economic analysis. After prevaricating for ages, the industry has now adopted the second strategy, responding at last to those who argue that it is unfairly limiting credit and charging too much.There are lots of good suggestions – and a few dud ones – in last night’s Business Lending Taskforce report, organized by the British Bankers’ Association and co-signed by the CEOs of Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander and Standard Chartered. A new £1.5bn growth fund will provide capital for viable businesses, a great move; if managed properly, this could pave the way for a new, 21st century tide of venture capitalism. It is right that this fund won’t be co-financed by the taxpayer. It will specialise in long term equity growth capital for firms requiring between £2m and £10m. Other good ideas include helping mid-sized firms gain access to syndicated debt and trade finance, largely by improving information. Other moves that may help include pre re-financing dialogues 12 months’ ahead of any term loan coming to an end, and better appeals processes for declined loan applications. We shall obviously have to wait to see how effective these measures turn out to be – and whether the £1.5bn is enough. The report is pretty balanced when it comes to lending and borrowing figures. The arguments confirm my suspicion that the biggest problem is the decline in the demand for credit, combined with the demise of foreign bank supply – but it also points out that some firms may have given up and are therefore not approaching their banks. Overall business credit facilities (including overdrafts) are only 75 per cent utilised. Undrawn, committed facilities from banks exceed £85bn, with a further £70bn of committed, undrawn facilities available from other lenders. Loan applications by small firms across the main high street banks are 20 per cent lower than at the start of 2008, either because demand is lower or because small firms are so sure they will be turned down that they are not applying. Overdraft applications for firms with a turnover of less than £1m are 50 per cent down. Yet most applications are given the green light: approval rates for the £1m-£25m turnover band have held up, at 97 per cent for overdrafts and 90 per cent for loans. For small firms as a whole, 80 per cent of overdrafts are approved, up from 67 per cent in late 2009; loan approval rates are 70 per cent, up from to 63 per cent.Perhaps the most worrying part of the report is that which deals with funding costs – and how this will push up rates charged to borrowers. Wholesale funding accounts for 19 per cent of the total – and costs have permanently risen (rightly so, given how underpriced everything was pre-2007). Five-year credit default swap spreads are currently 1.4 per cent, compared to a pre-crisis figure of 0.1 per cent. Vast amounts of debt maturing over the next few years will have to be refinanced at these higher costs; the industry faces serious financing challenges. Higher capital requirements will also increase the cost of lending, as expensive equity replaces cheaper debt. Every one per cent increase in the capital requirement will boost the price of credit by 0.13 per cent. Lending to small firms is more risky than average, and banks are required to hold more capital against an equivalently sized loan as a result. This magnifying effect means that interest rates on loans to small business will increase by even more than other loans. Basel III could also lift trade finance prices by 20 per cent to 40 per cent. The FSA’s new liquidity rules will also add a further 0.1 per cent to margins. Finally, banks will need to re-price credit to take account of a more realistic default risk. Write-offs for business lending were just 0.3 per cent in 2007 and were wrongly (and naively) expected to remain low, but subsequently peaked at 1.3 per cent during 2010. Again, this will push up the cost of credit for all firms. All in all, a sensible and frank report from the banks. It is a shame we had to wait so long before the industry finally got its act together. [email protected] Share whatsapp Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Startup Spotlight: Betting on autopilot

first_img Regions: Europe Baltics Central and Eastern Europe Estonia Ukraine Startup Spotlight: Betting on autopilot A project to automate betting strategies for personal use has evolved into Fireswan, an app that aims to disrupt the sportsbook market using artificial intelligence. Co-founder Maksym Shyroki talks iGaming Business through its development.What does Fireswan do? Fireswan is a rapidly growing tool that assists those looking to bet on sports. Our application is designed to make the process fast and easy to automate strategies, utilising complex algorithms supported by artificial intelligence technology.The application simplifies the process of finding picks for those new to the world of sports betting through to those who are old hands at taking a punt. We plan to offer a large number of easy to follow betting strategies for a variety of sports across the globe, so our users have a choice.How did you come up with the idea? My business partner and I are interested in sports betting. Being a software specialists with over 15 years of shared experience, we thought that our own betting strategies could be automated, so we just need to give an instruction to the software for it to do the job for us. It was decided to create the simple app for internal purposes, but when we released the very first version of this application we realised that it may be interesting for other punters and invited a limited number of people from Reddit to try out what we did.The feedback we received exceeded our expectations. People who tried the app started to ask about more features and people who just discovered the app asked about access to beta version. We evolved, changed a lot of things and are finally crafting what we think the app should be.How does it work? Does it require buy-in from the experienced bettors to make it work? Or can you fully automate the process? We offer betting strategies which are generating the picks on a regular basis. Any person with different  betting skills can easily follow the strategy and place recommended picks with the bookmaker of their choice. For now it’s semi-automated process, however we are planning a small “revolution” in sports betting by offering fully automated betting using Fireswan strategies. We call it autopilot, and this is what we presented to the industry players at the World Gaming Executive Summit (WGES) this summer.How do you position the business; do you see it as a tool for novice bettors to learn, or for experienced players to increase their wins? We are building a tool that will be useful for bettors of any level. It used to be a bit more complicated in the past, when we asked users to create their own strategies using in-app builder, but then we realised that the less decisions user makes and the less user does – the more pleasant experience they have. So now, you have to be 18 years old to start using Fireswan. It is an easy process in a world full of tipsters and human error. At the moment we position our app as an analytical and recommendations tool with the potential to be an investment instrument for betting.Do you plan to work with the wider betting industry, such as through partnerships with operators? The future autopilot feature will most likely be integrated with operators. However, the final decision is yet to be made as we are on alpha testing stage now and trying to understand the pros and cons of such integrations. What sort of funding have you raised? This business is self funding at the moment. We decided that the freedom to make our own decisions is more important on this stage of product life cycle and didn’t look for funding actively. However we did have a couple of meetings with potential investors to explore the future partnership when this business will have to scale.How have you found the fundraising process? Has it been hard work or have you found that the quality of your product has attracted investors? The fundraising process is tough by default. As I stated before we haven’t done much effort to find investors. I think, when your product attracts users across the world and industry people, the funding is a matter of time. As we like to say in our team, it is another business task. Currently we are in the final stage to be accepted to “Acceleradar” program by Sportradar. It is not funding yet, but something that opens opportunities.Do you have much interaction with other startups? How has this helped the development of Fireswan? We do indeed. I would say that this is one of the most existing things doing the new business. We realised that sharing ideas and problems with other people from your domain helps to find the best solutions and make the most effective decisions. Thanks to Jonny Robb and his GamblingStartup.Ventures, for example, we’ve been invited to the World Gaming Executive Summit event, which has boosted our product a lot. From our side we are trying to share our development experience and help startups that struggle with industrialising their products.Fireswan at a glance: Product: Betting strategy tool Founded: November 2018 Founders: Maksym Shyrokyi, Dmitry Yakimenko Launch date: Dec 21, 2018 (public beta) Sports: Football is available; basketball, hockey and esports are coming Website: Location: Registered in Estonia, R&D in Ukraine 23rd October 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Mobile Online Gambling A project to automate betting strategies for personal use has evolved into Fireswan, an app that aims to disrupt the sportsbook market using artificial intelligence. Co-founder Maksym Shyroki talks iGaming Business through its development. 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