Co-operative Financial Services send out a message


The Co-operative Bank doubled the number of current account customers switching to the bank following the launch of its current account incentive, which offers complimentary access to its Privilege and Privilege Premier Packaged Current Accounts for a 12-month period (sadly,  I understand that this offer has expired).

According to John Hughes, Business Leader, Retail Products “At The Co-operative Bank we’ve taken a real interest in our own current account switchers over the course of the year and recognise that switching current accounts can be a time consuming process.

More power to Co-operative Financial Services for showing their competitors THE way forward…for all of us, individually and collectively!

This piece is especially for those who believe that sustainability looks good in a mission statement but not on a balance sheet. CFS, U.K., which claims to be the world’s most sustainable bank, turned out stellar results in the first half of 2010, when others were still overcoming the crisis blues.

Is sustainability sustainable? Let me answer that by saying that our current unsustainable behaviour certainly isn’t. Going green is no longer optional for banks, nor a CSR footnote. More like a burning necessity.

via Green, the Colour of Future Banking.

Fund Strategy Magazine: Complexity lessons from nature…revisited


Some cynics may say that I am re-visiting this blog item because it is coming up for the anniversary of its publication. WRONG.

Others could speculate that I have (finally) run out of things to say – you don’t know me very well! WRONG.

It is because it says what needs to be said, read and understood in order for some to avoid certain extinction and for others as a template from which to build a successful business in the future.


Fund Strategy Magazine: Complexity lessons from nature for a better economic future…
In case you thought that “complexity management” is just more mumbo jumbo from the financial sector I suggest that you read the following piece and any of my previous blogs on the subject of complexity. Complexity analysis, mapping and management is available NOW and, if a business leader is intent upon gaining a greater insight into their operations, making more informed decisions, managing more effectively, gaining competitive advantage and “st … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

US Financial World War (Part 5): Nassim Taleb spells it out AGAIN…


Is Bernanke merely implementing a “Nick Leeson strategy” by gambling with the retirement funds of Pensioners and our future generations – socialising debt? I think so and so do plenty of other people better qualified to comment than I.

It is understandable that NNT cannot hide his frustration!

When US should be working toward ensuring robustness [resilience] they are, almost certainly, creating fragility.

Will this come to be known as the biggest self-serving act in economic history?

Fed don’t “recognise” the non-linearity [dynamic and complex] of global economy

On the off chance that someone taking the time to read this blog (thanks) doesn’t already know who NNT is these will give you some clues as to what he is about. He developed ten principles to help make societies more robust to Black Swan events:

1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become Too Big to Fail.

2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains.

3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus.

4. Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks.

5. Counter-balance complexity with simplicity.

6. Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning.

7. Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”.

8. Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawal pains.

9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement.

10. Make an omelette with the broken eggs.

Transparency and transformation:: Being Open Without Giving Away the Store


If you aren’t already aware of Alimeter Group, Charlene Li or Joseph Owyang it may already say all that needs said about your social media strategy!

Whether you dismiss social media as a fad or are waiting for the right time to consider or  implement an SM strategy is, to a certain extent, irrelevant because THE ISSUE is the…understandable…public clamour for TRANSPARENCY.

It is a word that strikes fear into the very heart of institutions so, if Warren Buffett knows anything (and I reckon he does!), there is a HUGE opportunity for those who can afford transparency to “get greedy”.

“What’s often missing when leaders try to decide how open they should be is a coherent open strategy, something I call ‘open-driven objectives.’ With an open strategy, decision shifts from if you should be open—because social technology demands a certain amount of openness—to how open you need to be to accomplish your overall strategic goals. In today’s world, organizations and their leaders must be open or suffer the consequences—distrust, leaks, resentment, and institutional sclerosis.”

via Change This – Being Open Without Giving Away the Store: The Secret Is a Sandbox Covenant.

The term “sandbox covenants” is a new one on me. I get it and I like it! Then again I am a fan of transparency. Primarily because of the number of firms to whom the concept is entirely alien and which, if they are delivering value to their customers, they should be in a position to adopt a strategy with wider market appeal. Of course there are also firms whose model cannot afford transparency and others whose outward appearance belies financial frailty. There are too many examples of collapsed companies whose financial standing has been independently rated &/or certified based upon “unreliable” or outdated information.

Put another way, the need is for more than a common language and platform. In turbulent economic times there  is a need for a reliable,  quantitative, objective and cost effective means of verifying the CURRENT financial credentials of “interested parties” without disclosing sensitive information.

Ontonix Complexity analysis and rating services offer, not only a “common language” but the means to build trust through mutual transparency.

Is YOUR business

Find out  ON-LINE! !cid_part2_01060409_08020107@ontonix

Regulators v Barbarian hordes


As a franchise  Alien v Predator has obvious appeal. Unlike our title it actually sounds like a fair fight. One worth watching!

But pin-striped Barbarians atop elephants at the gates of Basel, London and Washington. How could you tell the combatants apart in hand-to-hand clashes? Well apart from the conspicuous mode of transport lack of conscience and the sharp suits. But Holly wood blockbuster? I think not…Art of War “yes”, FSA Handbook “no chance”.

Rome 

Image by Trois Têtes (TT) via Flickr

In his excellent article in this weeks Financial Times, (Barbarians at the gates of complexity) Prof John Kay, succinctly and effectively makes the point that the lessons from history are there to be learnt.

THERE IS A CONSIDERABLE BODY OF QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT A “SYSTEM” CAN SUPPORT A FINITE AMOUNT OF COMPLEXITY. WITH SUITABLE DATA WE,  AT ONTONIX, ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE QUANTITATIVE VERIFICATION AND TO MEASURE BOTH CURRENT AND CRITICAL LEVELS WITHIN THAT SYSTEM…NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL PROGRESS!

Please follow click these links for more Complexity Facts from Ontonix.

“…complexity breeds complexity, and is subject to diminishing  returns. Eventually the costs of increased complexity exceed the benefits” Prof John Kay

I would like to pose the question:

If the Barbarians of Financial Services have had the books but didn’t bother to read them what will be achieved by the introduction of more regulation?

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