Fintech 2020: Reflections from Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance conference

August 7, 2019 | FinTech, News
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A summary of the fintech soundbites from the event on the foggy shores of Montauk

Chatter about Fintech 2020 trends was louder than the seagulls out in Long Island this week. Forbes’ inaugural Brainstorm Finance Conference debuted in Montauk, New York last week. The two-day event featured money moguls and thought leaders discussing the world for Fintech in 2020 and beyond.

Here’s a recap of the main topics at the event.

Facebook’s Libra

Attendees at the conference were a bit skeptical about the challenges surrounding Libra cryptocurrency. Questions emerged around whether Libra launch in the future. Some also questioned if its linkage to a basket of international currencies would work.

Big banks are still alive and kicking

On the banking side, Fintech and new digital threats are circling the sector like sharks.

“There are only two kinds of banks— there are banks that are screwed and banks that don’t know they are screwed,” said Adam Dell, who heads the consumer bank of Goldman Sachs.

The comment generated a lot of controversy at the forum. However, when asked to comment, Citi CEO Michael Corbat said his bank was “absolutely not in denial.” Corbat said Citi will re-imagine itself as it had done several times in the past.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said the bank was technologically in a fine position. He cited’ Bank of America’s advantage over rivals thanks to its large number of blockchain patents.

Fintech 2020: Amazon to sound the death knell for banks…or not

Will Amazon ultimately kill off banks? That became a topic of conversation during the event.

One telling comment from Robert Hackett: “If you look at some of the consumer sentiment, people like Amazon way more than they like their banks.”

So will Amazon storm banks? An Amazon attendee was non-committal, but Citi’s Corbat said: “we’re not dismissive of Amazon.”

How rich (or poor) are the millennials?

An interesting two bits of data stood out when it came to the next generation of Americans.

Point: Only 16% of millennials had saved at least $100,000, according to Bank of America’s 2018 research.

Counterpoint: Millennials have rushed to brokerage Charles Schwab. Their average net worth is $350,000.

How that works financially is a topic for another day.

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