Looking back on 2018 in the finance sector
2018 was a tumultuous year for the finance sector as another year of grim predictions for the British banking sector and the impact of Brexit upon it dominated industry news.
The instability of the UK economy was cited as a possible reason for the likes of HSBC and other global banks potentially moving their headquarters to the likes of Frankfurt or Hong Kong. While this has yet to happen, it’s certainly indicative of the state of the UK economy.
What was confirmed throughout the past 12 months was the weakening of the pound. The value of Sterling plunged on several occasions. This was partly due to the UK government failing to deliver a clear and effective plan for implementing Brexit.
Globally, the finance sector has also been on shaky ground. America and China traded blows by placing taxes on imports. Simultaneously, the International Monetary Fund warned that the global economy was at risk of another financial crash, similar to the one that happened in 2008.
Furthermore, some of the biggest names in the industry were revealed to have major monetary problems. This was exemplified by the struggles of Deutsche Bank and their £60 trillion problem.
However, that is not to say that it was all bad news. As we have highlighted in the article linked below, the Fintech sector enjoyed a hugely successful year. More venture capital investment than ever was funneled into the industry and specifically, businesses in the UK.
As highlighted in the article above, more jobs are being created in the FinTech sector and more money is being generated for the economy through the growth of hundreds of businesses.
While smaller and more agile companies were able to grow and offer consumers an alternative to traditional banking, there was also a significant progression in the technology that facilitated their growth.
Artificial Intelligence got even more coverage in 2018 due to a program beating the worlds best ‘Go’ player. This is something that was predicted to take years.
Naturally, the advancement of AI has been seen with caution and optimism. Many jobs are seemingly under threat, but also more wealth is set to be created for the global population.
For the finance sector, it has been argued that algorithms will be able to spot trends and even create them faster than any human can. Arguments can be made on both sides as to whether this is good or bad for the industry.
Blockchain technology also made big news. It was pipped to signal a swift change in consumer behaviour as decentralisation took place. However, this didn’t quite come off in the way that many thought it would in 2018. This was partly due to the rocketing value of all of the major cryptocurrencies, which rely on blockchain tech.
However, that is not to say that it won’t happen in the near future if, as the IMF predicts, that another financial crash arrives.
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