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Frances Coppola

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In a past life I worked for banks...now I write about them, and about finance and economics generally. I'm an alumnus of Cass Business School, where I did an MBA with a specialism in finance and risk management. I spent 17 years working for various banks, from large to small, retail and investment banks, and even a charity (yes, there is a charity that is a bank!). I'm a singer and musician as well, and left banking 10 years ago to concentrate on singing and teaching. But in the last couple of years I've found myself talking and, now, writing about the industry I thought I had left behind. Funny how things come back to haunt you.

Much of my work in banks was concerned with IT systems, which are of critical importance in banking. I designed risk management systems for Treasury and Capital Markets at Nat West, and a group consolidated financial & regulatory reporting system for RBS Group. I'm moderately proud of the fact that RBS used that system to report its appalling financial results! I was also involved in the design of an asset & liability management system at Midland Bank prior to its takeover by HSBC. That project was cancelled by HSBC, but I learned a lot both then and at RBS about bank capital and liquidity management, and those experiences inform my current writing, much of which is on those subjects.

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Ultra-liquidity
Economics 6 Comments

Ultra-liquidity

Technology changes and post-crisis monetary policy are making financial assets and money indistinguishable. Central banks now need to work in partnership with fiscal authorities.

Zombie alert!
Companies 1 Comment

Zombie alert!

There is a prevalent view that part of the reason for the UK’s slow recovery is the existence of "zombie companies" that should have died in the recession. But what is the evidence for this?

The desert of plenty
Economics

The desert of plenty

Throughout history, humans have dreamed of a world of plenty....but now it is on the horizon, it doesn't look quite so attractive. Do we really want abundance?

Who should run banks?
Sectors 1 Comment

Who should run banks?

Banking is different from any other business. At the heart of it are risks that cannot be eliminated, only managed. So those who run banks must be competent to manage those risks.

Financial dislocation
Sectors 6 Comments

Financial dislocation

The financial system has become dislocated from the real economy, seeing its own activities as an end in themselves. It must be restored to its real function of supporting people and businesses.

A broken model
Sectors 4 Comments

A broken model

There is a fundamental conflict at the heart of banking that makes it untenable as a business proposition in the current climate. The traditional model of deposit-taking and lending is broken.

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