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The reason DNB acquired Sbanken


This week in fintech

April 19 · Issue #56 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

  • 🚀 Stacc is growing
  • 👀 Trust and threats
  • 📈 Coinbase going public
  • 🕺 What if you could invest in people?
  • 🧪 You probably don’t need a/b-testing
  • 👾 Remote working and the worlds greatest website

💰 The reason DNB acquired Sbanken
The news that has gotten the most attention from us this week is DNB buying Sbanken. The acquisition was quite surprising, but the trigger was the new capital requirements from the EEA (EØS) back in March 2019. Consequently, DNB and large regional savings banks now have lower capital requirements than other banks without having a lower risk of loss. In other words, DNB can buy Sbankens’ mortgage portfolio on sale despite paying 30% more for the stocks.
In November 2019, Sbankens CEO, Øyvind Thomassen, made this statement which aged especially well:
It is a paradox that we as a challenger bank must hold capital for systemic risk, and with that, we may end up being outcompeted. If the result is that we in Norway are left with only four to five banks, it can not mean less systemic risk at all. Source
I’ve written more about the opportunities this acquisition gives for Norwegian savings banks, as well as DNBs options going forward. Read here in DN.
Good reads on the acquisition
  • The story of Sbanken. Link
  • DNB should switch to Sbankens plattform.  Link
  • Bulder Bank: The customers are pouring in! Link
🚀 Stacc is growing
Stacc acquires Escali Financial Systems; a software company specialized in solutions for portfolio-, treasury and finance management. Stacc is now a more complete supplier of solutions for the banking and finance industry. The acquisition is an essential step in our ambition to become an international fintech player. Link
👀 Trust and threats
  • DNB has launched its annual threat assessment report. They are concerned about more sophisticated hackers who collaborate and buy services from each other with a common goal of stealing money. Link
  • 11:FS has launched a report on how to build and maintain trust in digital financial services. Link
  • BCG has launched its annual report on the most innovative companies for 2020. The only bank/fintech on the top 50 list is JPMorgan Chase. Link
📈 Coinbase going public
  • Coinbase went public on Nasdaq last week and is already one of America’s 85 most valuable companies with a market value of over $ 100 billion. Link
  • Fred Wilson notes that Big tech companies are bigger now and go public much later. Link
  • The Coinbase direct listing alters the landscape for fintech and crypto startups Link
🕺 What if you could invest in people?
  • What if you could invest in people? BitClout markets itself as a “stock market for people”. The freshly launched platform merges popular Twitter accounts and blockchains, allowing users to “invest” in creators they think will see serious online growth. But is BitClout going to “decentralize social media” like Bitcoins take on finance? Link
  • DNB refuses Mathias to use cryptocurrency as equity when applying for a mortgage. The reason? Risk of money laundering. Link
  • Square has created a creative webpage on Bitcoin Mining in their webpage series “Square Crypto book of Bitcoin”. Link
  • This follows their trend of trying to explain cryptocurrency as children’s stories. Link
🧪 You probably don't need a/b-testing
  • You probably don’t need a/b-testing. Oliver Palmer argues that you should rather talk to your users. Link
  • The challenge of discovering problems that customers care about: When you talk to a customer about a specific problem, they will naturally focus on that problem, at the exclusion of other problems they (or their business) are facing. Shreyas Doshi writes about how to use Customer Problems Stack Rank (CPSR) to fix that. Link
  • When software eats the world, the questions that matter stops being software questions. Retail, brand, and marketing are suddenly more important than technology. Link
  • A series of problem-solving experiments reveal that people are more likely to consider solutions that add features than solutions that remove them, even when removing features is more efficient. Link
👾 Remote working and the worlds greatest website
  • Stanford researchers identify four causes for remote meeting fatigue and a few simple fixes. One of the main problems is that having excessive eye contact, as we have in video meetings, is intense for our brains. It is also stressful watching yourself in the corner of the screen for hours every day. The solution is simple: reduce the window size of your call to a minimum, and hide your self-view if possible. It’s also recommended to permit team members to turn off their video and go for a walk to make remote meetings a net positive. Link
  • Is this the world’s greatest website? You have to visit the website for the former president of Nintendo’s family office. Link
🙏 Don't keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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