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Essential Fintech Reading: March 12-18

Mixed Signals From Millennials

Tired of reports that millennials are turned off by banks and that they're among the most unlikable brands with this demographic? Bryan Yurcan of American Banker notes that it's not all bad news for banks and their relationship with millennials. In a survey of 450 consumers CCG Catalyst found that 90 percent still have a relationship with a traditional FI, they just expect more in terms of these institutions acting as an "overall financial caretaker" for them. And while millennials are often described as digital natives, they're far from being digital-only customers: 46% use checkbooks, only 44% send money digitally and only 39% use mobile remote deposit capture. 

Deutsche Bank Rolls Out Own Blockchain Technology

While Deutsche Bank is a member of the R3CEV consortium of 42 banks developing a protocol for blockchain technology, the bank has also been running its own blockchain experiments. Bitcoin Magazine reports that in a forthcoming white paper the bank will announce that it is looking at partnering with new fintech startups to "accelerate the transition to digital banking, including blockchain technology." On the heels of a record loss and drop in its share price, Deutsche Bank is more aggressively embracing digital disruption in financial services.

Q1 Bank Earnings Expected To Be Poor Across The Board

Sputnik International reports that US banks are expecting a massive decline in revenue, spread across trading, investment and international lending. A Credit Suisse report notes that Goldman Sachs may suffer a 32% drop in its annualized earnings from investment banking and trading income is expected to fall 17% in Q1. The discouraging news isn't isolated to Goldman either. On March 8 Citigroup said its investment banking income would drop 25% in Q1 while trading revenues would decline 15%. JP Morgan's investment division "is expecting a 25% decline in fee income as debt servicing and share insurance have both slowed." Sputnik speculates that "the ongoing drag on US corporate earnings is likely to push the broader economy into a recession as soon as this year, unless an acceleration in real economy and domestic consumption prove solid enough."


Bank of America Scouts Mobile Payments Startups

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bank of America has sent a top executive to Silicon Valley to explore mobile payments startups for acquisition or partnership. While Bank of America has not completed an acquisition since 2009, its prioritization of mobile payments had led it in this new direction. Business Insider notes that "Thong Nguyen, Bank of America's enterprise payments executive and co-head of consumer payments, intends to use his time in Silicon Valley to foster relationships with local tech companies that could help strengthen the bank's work in mobile payments."