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Finance

Finance

Banks have clearly opted for financial technology, or fintech, to take on their new rivals, be they small startups or internet giants. However, the use of these technologies is more limited than it might appear. According to a study by the European Banking Authority (EBA), currently the majority of banks are focused on two lines of actions: biometrics for the identification and authentication of customers and the launch of mobile payment systems using NFC technology.

In 2015, the ECB launched its Bank’s Integrated Reporting Dictionary, or BIRD, a project ultimately intended to organize the data that it gathers from EU financial institutions for its statistical area. This project is part of a broader strategic approach aimed at improving the system that banks and other players use to report statistics to the European supervisor, known as IReF (Integrated Reporting Framework). BIRD is one of the pivotal milestones in the list of achievements by the Statistical area of the ECB. And just as the rest of the organization, BIRD is celebrating its anniversary.

Business owners have a responsibility to ensure quality services to their clients in order for their operations to thrive. For a majority of business owners, their business is what makes up most of their income and subsequently their net worth.

The European Council meeting held on June 28 and 29 took some steps toward euro reform; conclusion of agreements will likely occur at the next meeting in December. Although it was hoped that the summit would address key questions like the budget proposed by Germany and France, ultimately the European partners chose to adopt a minimum agreement. The agreement includes measures such as support for a banking resolution fund, but the reform of the euro was deferred.

After the bare minimum agreement on the banking union achieved at the recently held European Council, the debate about the future of Europe continues unabated. With this agreement still fresh, the Bank of Finland invited scholars, representatives of the financial sector and regulators talk about the future of the Old Continent. The experts gathered in Helsinki called for advancing towards a greater banking and capital markets union. The next date in the calendar: The European Council meeting in December.

The Council of Europe will hold its June summit at a complex time with significant challenges on economic, political, and social issues. As BBVA Research points out, it also represents an opportunity to further strengthen the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union. As such, the reform of the euro will be one of the decisive elements, although also one of the most controversial.

According to RealtyTrac, as of April 2018, there were more than 600,000 properties in the U.S. in some stage of foreclosure. While the numbers of foreclosed homes are significantly lower than at the peak of the U.S. Housing Crisis, with more than a half million lender owned homes on the market, buyers still have a solid opportunity to find a good deal.