Most read articles of 2017: The view from the front line

By Alex Hammond | 27 December 2017

In this round-up of the articles that garnered most attention in 2017, we revisit the thought leadership contributed by leading industry figures that most piqued the attention of the bobsguide audience in the past 12 months. 


The top five ways that AI is transforming banking

Mohit Joshi, President - Head, Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) , Infosys

There was a time when every neighbourhood bank in North America and Europe was acquired by or merged with a larger institution. By 2000, global mega-banks offered fewer choices to consumers looking for competitive interest rates and other services. But the too big to fail banks are now facing competition in the form of a resurgence of customer-friendly, local banks. There is an even bigger challenge: Technology companies have been applying for financial licences that would allow them to enter the digital payments space.

As traditional banks grapple with the challenges posed by fintech, legacy constraints and traditional operational models, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as the saviour. In a recent survey that Infosys commissioned on AI adoption across industries, 23% of the nearly 250 financial services sector respondents confirmed that AI technologies have been fully deployed in their organisations, and these are also delivering on high expectations; 47% of the respondents view AI as being fundamental to the success of the organisation's strategy.


The EU’s 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and its implication for business

Wayne Johnson, Co-Founder and CEO, Encompass Corporation

On June 26 compliance with the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML4) by Member States becomes compulsory. Designed to boost defences against money laundering and terrorism financing, and inspire greater confidence in the workings of the financial industry, AML4 was adopted by the EU Commission in April 2015, with member states given two years to write the directive into National Law. AML4 largely implements the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the international standard bearer for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing.

The effects of these enhanced regulations on the financial services industry will be significant. HM Treasury is currently consulting on the implementation of AML4 into UK law. Despite voting to leave the EU, the way in which AML4 is implemented here in the UK is unlikely to change.


Natallia Babrovich, Business Analyst, ScienceSoft

Soon after being elected, Donald Trump signed an executive order for the US Treasury Department to revise the Dodd-Frank Act. This news arose tremendous enthusiasm among community banks, since they had been very seriously affected by this post-crisis legislative act. But what do challenger banks hope this revision will achieve? 


Don’t become SAP’s next multi-million pound target for indirect usage

Matt Fisher, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Snow Software

For even the most 'audit ready' organisation, cost should no longer be the CFO's top concern with regards to SAP.  The software provider is now targeting companies for what it claims are unpaid fees relating to indirect usage, whereby SAP systems are accessed or queried through a third-party application, such as or Workday. 

In February 2017, a UK court ruled in favour of SAP against Diageo, one of the world’s largest drinks companies, for £54 million (US $70 million) in what it claimed were unpaid fees for indirect usage. While just this month, Anheuser-Busch Inbev (AB Inbev) publicly disclosed that SAP is pursuing an arbitration process of up to $600 million in damages and license costs from both direct and indirect usage.


The missing MiFID II info: Costs and charges transparency definitions; your questions answered

Hans van der Linde, Head of Operations & Business Development, targit GmbH

Although the framework regarding the ex-ante and ex-post cost transparency seems to be well defined by ESMA in MiFID II, a number of questions remain unanswered and leave the directive open for misinterpretation, confusion and potential conflicts between customers and their financial institutions or brokers.

In this article we try to provide the ingredients to help you understand the transparency obligation and its impact on both consumers and your business.

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development