Stella Rimington, former Director of MI5 and best-selling international author, delivered a captivating Views from the Top talk on her life and career. The session provided fascinating insights into political and social history in the UK and well as Dame Stella’s views on security, risk, communication and leadership.
The first part of Big Issues Debates was devoted to the theme ‘’Have new business models created a perfect cybersecurity storm?’’
Banks have achieved great success over the past decade in identifying fraudulent activity by cybercriminals and protecting clients from loss and service disruption. But it is harder to halt illegal activity when transactions are processed in real time, rather than hours or days, especially across borders. As real-time payment initiatives cut processing times to sub-second levels and settlement becomes irrevocable all most instantaneously, will cybersecurity defenses be left behind? And are banks further increasing their vulnerabilities to attack as they open up payments and securities systems to third parties via APIs, whether compelled by regulations, or driven by the desire to collaboratively develop new services? The answers to these questions helped to conlude that increased competition and client focus will enhance customer value and trust – but only if banks ensure new services are.
The next part of Big Issue Debate emphasized on the topic “Navigating an era of renewed great power competition – New challenges for countries, markets and investors”. Over the last several years, great powers, including the United States, China, Russia, and others have been engaging in increased competition in the geoeconomic space and in financial markets. The Trump Administration has engaged in a series of protectionist actions against both China, and other nations where the administration wishes to extract economic concessions. At the same time, China’s role in the global economy is also changing – the Belt and Road initiative has seen an influx of investment across Asia, and now even Europe. China has also taken the lead in technological research and application in 5G and increasingly AI, and seeks to achieve a commanding lead in the technologies that will drive the global economy, through their Made in China 2025. This geopolitical competition threatens to break the world into global spheres of influence if the US and Chinese economies indeed become ‘decoupled’, despite the massive economic cost it would entail. Beyond trade and technology, geopolitical competition is increasingly impacting global financial markets -the United States has increasingly used the threat of blocking nations access to dollar clearing to force foreign governments into compliance, leading both China and the European Union to suggest developing alternate systems. Both the US and EU have begun strengthening their rules on foreign investment for national security purposes. In this environment, we will debate how global markets and investors can navigate the uncertainty of this new politically charged environment, debate what scope there might be for a resolution or détente in these economic hostilities, and examine how governments might alter their own policies in light of this age of new strategic competition to promote open, sustainable growth.
At 17 PM started Women of the World Networking Event which provided an informal networking and inspiring stories. The participants caught up with familiar faces, made new connections and shared experiences in a relaxed setting.
In the network of Innotribe Networking Event session, a panel of speakers from AMF Ventures, 11:FS, EY, SWIFT and CCG Catalyst explored the prediction that cash will soon be redundant, and whether this means that in its place we will see a proliferation of new digital currencies.