J.P. Morgan in the metaverse
J.P. Morgan has launched a “lounge” in the Metaverse, jumping on the bandwagon or embracing the future depending on your perspective.
Essentially, J.P. Morgan has created a digital bank branch which can be accessed using virtual reality headsets. The technology is still in its infancy, both in terms of capabilities and adoption.
The company clearly thinks that virtual reality could offer a more immersive and satisfying way of accessing banking services online. It released a white paper in January explaining the opportunities of the metaverse.
NS&I boosts interest rates on green bonds
NS&I has doubled the interest rate on its green bonds, first launched in October, to 1.30%. The move comes alongside a hiking of rates on its other products over recent weeks.
The three-year savings products see money used to fund green investment projects in the UK, such as in infrastructure.
Chief Executive Ian Ackerley, said that the average rates in fixed term products had increased since the first issue in October, as well as the bank base rate.
Jill Waters, Retail Director at NS&I, will be speaking about the green bonds and how they are marketed at our event on 24 February.
Apple privacy update could upend email marketing
Apple’s new privacy protection will significantly disrupt email marketing, the majority of marketers believe.
The Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), introduced in September last year, allows users to stop email marketers from collecting certain information about how they have interacted with the email.
A survey by GetApp found 64% of marketers believe MPP will forever change email marketing, while 70% of marketers want better training on the full impact of MPP.
FCA imposes changes in buy now pay later market
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has pushed buy now pay later (BNPL) firms into changing their terms and conditions after finding that there was a potential risk of harm to consumers.
The FCA said Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy and Openpay had all agreed to make terms on issues such as contract cancellations fairer and easier to understand. Some of the firms also agreed to refund customers who had been charged late payment fees in specific circumstances.
Although BNPL firms are not currently regulated by the FCA, the regulator secured the changes by referencing the consumer rights act.
According to a recent study, the use of BNPL products nearly quadrupled in 2020. The UK government plans to bring some forms of unregulated BNPL products under the remit of the FCA.
Blackrock affirms commitment to fossil fuels
Blackrock has affirmed its commitment to fossil fuel companies.
The company wrote a letter to investors in Texas stating that it wanted to see oil and gas firms “succeed and prosper”.
The move came after the second highest elected executive in the oil-rich state had suggested the asset manager could be barred from state pension funds due to its net zero targets.
The memo shows the balancing act Blackrock and other asset managers are currently facing as they look to support net zero targets without boycotting fossil fuel industries.