Covid 19 is accelerating fundamental changes already underway in how we handle, use and regulate money. Traditional banks and physical cash are losing out to digital currencies and challenger fintechs. Successive crises are pushing policymakers to reappraise the value of money itself – and the fairness of its distribution.
In February, Tortoise will host a one day virtual summit that will look at this dynamic financial landscape and the implications of change for business, society and government. The summit will bring together monetary experts, business leaders, fintech entrepreneurs, politicians, central bankers, activists and educationalists to discuss the big questions about the future of money.
How it works
Your ticket will give you access to all of the sessions, but just like an in-person conference you can dip in and out. Recordings will be available in our members’ app the next day.
More to be announced.
What’s next in the fintech revolution?
Legacy banks have seen their competitive advantages eroded by technology and regulation. New open banking protocols are now used by a million+ people in the UK. As trends shift towards the fintech challengers, big hitters at Goldman Sachs and Aberdeen Standard are jumping ship to join newcomers such as Monzo. But what does this mean for the consumer? Where is all this new technology leading us and what will be the most exciting fintech innovations going forward? Will incumbent banks embrace change – or impede it? And how can other industries – like Proptech – use financial innovations to better serve the consumer while protecting privacy?
Who are the winners and losers of a cashless society?
The pandemic has made using physical cash even less appealing. But what are the consequences of moving to an all-digital economy? Will it increase or decrease corruption and the shadow economy? Who will be left behind in a cashless society? And conversely – what can we learn from countries where digital economies have bolstered entrepreneurship? Can central bank digital currencies increase financial stability? And is it healthy for corporates such as Facebook to create digital currencies of their own?
Debt: do we want more of it, or less?
Nations have piled on debt in the pandemic (Britain’s reached £2tn for the first time this summer). But should we care? What does this spending mean for inflation and national balance sheets when the crisis is over? On the corporate side, how worried should we be about private debt, and what will happen to businesses in receipt of government loans when state support is switched off? In Britain, the middle classes have hoarded more savings during the pandemic while those on lower incomes have fallen further into debt. How can policymakers address this inequality? And more generally, how much debt do we want in society? Can it do as much good as harm?
Wealth: the case for a wealth tax (or for other radical thinking)
As the costs of the coronavirus pandemic mount, is it time for a wealth tax? The idea has general public backing in Britain and would reduce inequality, shore up public finances and ensure that those with the broadest shoulders carry the greatest financial load. Even FT readers are marginally in favour of it. But how would it work in practice? What are other big ideas for reducing wealth and regional inequalities? What about creating a national wealth fund or implementing a data dividend from tech giants such as Amazon and Google?
Corruption: are financial regulators fit for purpose?
From Action Fraud to Wirecard, bodies set up to prevent fraud and corruption are failing. BHS, Carillion, Conviviality, Quindell and London and Capital Finance were all audited by the big four accountancy firms – PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte – which failed to spot the fragility of their business. EY signed off Wirecard’s financial accounts for a decade instead of investigating wrongdoing. Meanwhile, anti-money laundering safeguards at banks are routinely breached: AML fines in the first six months of 2020 reached $706 million – more than double last year’s total of $444 million. How can we change the financial system to stamp out dirty money?
Timings and sessions subject to change.