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Germany’s Degussa bank selects Nets to power its digital card services

Frankfurt-based Degussa Bank and European payment services provider Nets have joined forces to create a modern, innovative consumer credit card offering in Germany.

Silke-Christina Kummer, Head of Card Business Advisory & Services at Degussa Bank said that the pandemic situation has shifted the cash payments to digital payments. The head also added that the consumers in Germany are increasingly looking for integrated digital services. And so, their new solution with Nets is designed to meet demand for frictionless, digital banking experiences.

The services Nets will provide to Degussa include a comprehensive card management solution such as Apple Pay and Google Pay integrations, virtual cards and more are all backed by Net’s state of the art processing services. German language contact centre services with 24/7 voice support to handle complex enquiries from the customers is also enabled within the agreement. This is because more customers are going digital nowadays.

Jessica Hofmann, Head of Card Operations at Degussa Bank says that they have an ambitious growth strategy and their goal is to be the digital leader in Germany. And in order to execute on the strategy, they require an experienced technology expert with the latest know-how and capabilities. They do see Nets as a great innovation partner who provides them with high engagement and modern, flexible solutions. In the Nordics, Nets has a strong track record. Which are highly digitised societies, and Degussa truly feels that Nets are the best partner to help them to create the best possible card product in Germany.

Torsten Hagen Jorgensen, CEO of Issuer and eSecurity Services at Nets, said that they are excited to join Degussa Bank on its ambitious journey to wider adoption of digital card services in Germany. They are always committed to provide such innovative service. And this is a best modular issuing service that enables faster time to market and scale. This will enable Degussa to deliver modern, digital payment experiences to customers across Germany. As Nets expanding to issue product offering across central Europe, this partnership is an important step in its growth strategy.

Jorgensen also said that at Nets they have decades of experience of digital payment and processing solutions, formed within the most digitalised part of Europe. And also it is their ambition to be a European payments champion and with Degussa Bank as their first issuing customer in Germany, they look forward to driving the digital agenda together. The implementation is now pending. Degussa customers can expect benefit from the new features in first quarter of 2022.

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Goldman banker hired by the Citi bank

Citigroup has hired Luisa Leyenaar-Huntingford from Goldman Sachs. This new hire is to co-head its global infrastructure franchise. Because, it seeks to win more business from cash-rich investment firms focusing on infrastructure deals. Leyenaar-Huntingford will be based in London. Responsibility will be shared with Todd Guenther in New York.

The pair will work closely with industry teams covering healthcare, industrials, natural resources and clean energy transition (NRCET), technology and communications. Leyenaar-Huntingford helped in the establishment of the Goldman’s infrastructure franchise in her time at the Wall Street bank. They will team up with Citi’s Iberia co-head of banking, capital markets and advisory (BCMA) Jorge Ramos will continue to be a senior member of the global infrastructure franchise.

The infrastructure sector is poised for further growth, according to the memo. The memo was released by Citi’s global co-heads of the alternative assets group Anthony Diamandakis and John Eydenberg, and its EMEA head of BCMA Nacho Gutierrez-Orrantia. There was significant private investment demand across the globe to deal with environmental, energy, transportation, waste, communication, digital and other social needs.

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Banks make slow progress on UK gender pay

Major banks in Britain made a slight dent in their gender pay gaps. Several insurers went backwards. Companies in Britain with more than 250 employees have been required to publish the difference between the pay and bonuses of their male and female employees. They got a reprieve due to the pandemic, last year. The financial services sector has shown one of the largest genders pay gaps in Britain. The lack of women in senior jobs is the main reason.

Pay gap data from 21 major financial institutions showed a narrowing in their average mean gender pay gap. This is just 0.4 percentage points. Banks alone had a pay gap which narrowed by one percentage point. Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute said that the UK’s financial services industry has often been singled out. It really does have to get its house in order. Goldman Sachs had the widest gender pay gap in the year to April 2020. Goldman posted a gender pay gap of 51.8%. The bank told the staffs that narrowing the gap further was a critical priority. A spokesperson for banking lobby group UK Finance said, that there is clearly more still to be done.

FTSE 100 insurers Prudential, Legal & General and M&G reported a widening in their pay gaps. Prudential’s UK gender pay gap widened to 45.2%. M&G also reported a widening in its pay gap in the most recent year to 30.5%. The M&G spokesperson said that they are determined to narrow their gender pay gap and will do this by achieving better representation of women in all roles at all levels of our organization. Legal & General’s mean gender pay gap widened to 30.8%.

The insurer said that the legal & general is tackling the underlying causes of its pay gap. This is by creating a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive culture through sustained, long-term action. Admiral had a gender pay gap last year of 12.8%. The 21 firms surveyed were Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Standard Chartered, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs International, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, PGMS (a Phoenix unit), abrdn, Schroder Investment Management, St James’s Place, Legal & General, Prudential, Admiral Group, Aviva and M&G.

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BOJ to lower inflation target-Japan’s finance minister

Japan’s outgoing finance minister, Taro Aso, said that he had proposed lowering the central bank’s 2% inflation target. This is when the prices took a hit from plunging oil prices. He was the finance minister for nearly nine years. The slump in oil price was among the main reasons the government could not officially declare an end to deflation. In his final news conference as finance minister, Aso said that he proposed to Governor Kuroda that, with oil prices falling this much, it would be hard to achieve 2% inflation. Hence, the target must be lowered at some point. He stated this by referring to Bank of Japan (BOJ) chief Haruhiko Kuroda.

Aso also said that the governor said he would do his best to achieve the target. This is stated by adding that policymakers must scrutinise at some point, why the BOJ’s inflation target of 2% has not been met. The remarks highlight how the government and lawmakers distanced themselves from the BOJ’s target years ago, despite central bank reassurances that achieving the target was possible by maintaining or increasing stimulus.

Aso was deeply involved in negotiations with the BOJ. After Kuroda took over as governor, he deployed a massive asset-buying program. This is for pulling Japan out of deflation. Aso supported the BOJ’s stimulus efforts. He is a member of the cabinet. And also, had raised many doubts that monetary policy alone can reflate the economy out of the doldrums. New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to form a cabinet.

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