The Trajectory Trends Breakfast 28/05/2015: Financial Services and the Privatisation of Risk

6th May, 2015

Financial Services, Financial Brands, Pension Reforms and the Privatisation of Risk

Thursday 28th May 2015 – 08.30 – 09.30

Happenstance, 1a Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA

The May 2015 Trajectory Trends Breakfast will explore the shape of financial services in the UK today – taking the changes wrought by the pension (annuity) reforms as a key reference point.

At a time when some banks have regained sufficient confidence to reprise their episodic demands for lighter regulation (or face their departure from the UK) it is timely to look again at the financial services market and in this instance how it is working for older consumers.

We’ve seen the seven day bank switching guarantee introduced by the Payments Council have some impact – but at a little over 1.1m switchers in the last 12 months it seems a pale reflection of the dissatisfaction expressed by consumers, certainly relative to the criticism faced at the time of the Global Financial Crisis, including Executive Remuneration and on to the litany of fines for malpractice, misselling and malfeasance.

At the same time see new challenger banks emerging including Metro Bank and Virgin Money but also digital propositions such as Atom. Alongside these developments there’s a burgeoning market in peer-to-peer finance, rapid growth in mobile wallets and payment mechanisms and the emergence of crypto-currencies.

These latter platforms and propositions are largely predicated on a digital first philosophy with an absence of a high street presence a defining but not necessary feature of the offer – only Metro Bank of the new names has built a (small) branch network from scratch.

Alongside these commercial developments we’ve seen new regulatory structures and requirements such as the creation the Financial Conduct Authority (and Prudential Regulatory Authority) and increased capital requirements to underpin lending.

All of which sounds like great progress on a range of fronts including competition, innovation, regulation, and capitalisation and yet you would find it difficult to identify a positive story about the UK banking sector, with trust and confidence in short supply among UK consumers and (SME) businesses.

So in this broad context what are the concerns surrounding the pension reforms, who is out there to provide the independent advice promised by the Government, what are we likely to see in terms of consumer decision making, why are so many informed commentators awaiting the next mis-selling scandal and which commercial operators stand-out as offering real alternative for retirees grappling with these reforms?

It’s a fascinating and maybe frightening subject to explore so please do join us for what’s sure to be an interesting hour of presentation and debate

To book your place simply mail Michael Brennan @