No Time to Tighten Customer Affordability Rules?

As the new James Bond movie, ‘No Time To Die’, hits UK cinema screens, some will wonder why Daniel Craig decided to call it a day after five outings in the title role. 

Others (including those with an interest in gambling regulation) will query whether future screenplays will need to interrupt the usual high action suspenseful scenes from the word go by requiring 007 to delay his arrival at a British roulette table rather longer than has been evident in previous films. The reason for this delay will be to enable him to provide the casino management with the duly required three months’ payslips (from MI6), his numerous bank statements, his tax returns and more to prove he has sufficient discretionary income to afford to gamble the high piles of gaming chips he intends to line up before him. 

That’s not all. Those already writing the next film script will need to take account of the fact that, as one of the casino’s highest value customers, Bond will have to prove that his spending is sufficiently affordable and sustainable to warrant him receiving and maintaining his VIP status.  

Is bitcoin mining going green?

The fiercely contested bitcoin energy debate has gained momentum amid growing concerns about the environmental impact of mining cryptocurrencies. The ‘bitcoin gold rush’ is getting people talking about the environmental impact and some tech leaders say that cryptocurrency could be the catalyst for a renewable energy revolution.

At a recent virtual panel discussion hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with a positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing bitcoin transactions.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who also participated in the virtual panel, argued that bitcoin can incentivise the transition to renewable energy.

A new report from the Bitcoin Mining Council counters bitcoin mining concerns and offers a more optimistic outlook.


Human Capital: is this the new viral currency?

What do you think when you consider the definition of the word ‘asset’? Whilst they come in many different forms – fixed, tangible, intangible – ultimately, an asset is an item of value.

Assets can be managed and measured. They can increase and decrease in value. They can be gained, they can be lost. However, when organisations consider their portfolio of assets, it’s only a few trailblazers that incorporate arguably the most defining competitive advantage for economic growth within this index: their people.


CSR – the only business investment that never fails

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an understanding that the actions a business takes and the decisions it makes, have an impact on society and the environment that must be acknowledged.

It’s a beyond compliant approach to business operations known as ‘social practice’. It is taking the socially conscious effort to honour ethical values through considered business delivery to not only respect but drive positive change through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to people and the communities in which we live.

Moral business ethics are underpinned in legislation and in the UK, we’re all fortunate to have corporate governance that embeds a benchmark of best practice specifically when it comes to social labour. Whilst we are seeing a transition into a socially responsible approach to extend into corporate environmental and economic impact, to date most mandatory legislation focuses on disclosure rather than directive.


Stakeholder Capitalism: the power shift is changing – will you lead or will you follow?

Stakeholder capitalism is a management theory that is prevailing its way back onto the corporate agenda. It’s the strategy concept that focuses on companies’ stakeholder models which recognise universal priorities, arguing that alignment of collective needs (not just the shareholders) is the only way to sustain longevity in successful business operations.

In business, the default has been to rely on senior governing bodies and shareholders to drive the priority memorandum; this way of working is swiftly not only becoming dated, but damaging.

Stakeholder capitalism seeks to emphasise the benefit of recognising the priorities of all those who have a ‘stake’ in driving the success of companies. It is a stakeholder model that acknowledges the customers, the employees, the suppliers etc. in addition to those in the driving seat, the shareholders.

This stakeholder model concept is about recognising the pivotal importance of those both backstage and frontstage – the global audience and the global auditorium.

Unsure of your stance – ask yourself this: are you striving for long term value creation for all those involved over short-term profit and wins?


Will online shopping keep rising or will people rush back to retail stores in 2021?

With large ecom giants snapping up high-street brands and the exponential growth of online shopping globally, the future – or 2021 at least – is looking positive for ecommerce.

Online spending explodes in China, but will mega-malls lure consumers back to retail stores? Amazon Pantry closes down in favour of something more flexible and curated for online grocery shopping, and we look at how one online food delivery company is preparing for its first multi-billion dollar IPO. Finally, how has Brexit impacted the ecommerce industry now that the UK is officially no longer part of the EU?

What does luxury look like in 2021?

Kicking off 2021 with a fresh outlook isn’t easy in the middle of a pandemic and global lockdowns, but we ask; what are the positives to look forward to this year?

Luxury international travel is back on the agenda, and sales of luxury cars, watches, and real estate are booming. Meanwhile, fashion and couture brands have pivoted to offer consumers access to their collections virtually, arguably making everyone a fashion critic.  

We take a look at a slightly more optimistic outlook and what people will be spending their money on in 2021.

Sustainability steps up a gear amidst pandemic impacts

Concerns that sustainability would fall by the wayside as a luxury nice-to-have for governments and businesses weathering the pandemic have proved largely unfounded.

China has stepped up its commitments to cut carbon emissions, the US is eyeing up a path to a net zero 2050 via an energy infrastructure revolution, and London is taking decisive action to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.

Meanwhile, global fashion has recommitted to a sustainable future after a coronavirus-induced lull, and the UK found a silver lining in Storm Bella as wind power delivered the majority of the country’s electricity.


Measures to tackle the climate crisis and biodiversity loss given a surprise boost by the pandemic

A turbulent cloud of pandemic lockdowns had an unexpected silver lining for the environment. Attitudes and expectations shifted in both the public and amongst political and business leaders, opening up new possibilities for tackling both the climate crisis and biodiversity losses.

Record drops in carbon emissions and the increasing focus of world leaders on COP26 raised hopes that concrete measures to safeguard the environment by delivering net zero will be baked into economic recovery plans.

Meanwhile, the possibility that illegal wildlife trade may have sparked the pandemic has engendered a global sea change in public attitudes to conservation. Also, reforesting and rewilding are climbing agendas across the world as immediate, practical ways to restore damaged ecosystems and tackle economic injustice.


How did technology respond to the pandemic in 2020?

It looked like Covid might put innovation in the deep freeze, as markets tumbled and innovators went into lockdown with the rest of us. Then it turned out that technology would prove our salvation, propping up home life with food and parcels and online entertainment, office life with remote working software, and healthcare systems with speedily developed vaccines. The consequences have been significant: city dwellers found they could move out to cheaper, greener homes and work from there; meanwhile, others found their jobs at risk from accelerating automation. When it comes to technology, will history come to look back on 2020 as a turning point?

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