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Il y a 19 ans, des attentats sur le sol américain faisaient 3000 morts



Le 11 septembre 2001, près de 3000 personnes trouvèrent le mort aux États-Unis dans une série d’attentats perpétrés par dix-neuf terroristes qui détournèrent quatre avions de ligne. A New York, les tours jumelles du World Trade Center à Manhattan, intégralement détruites, seront remplacées par un ensemble de six tours, dont la Freedom Tower, haute de plus de 540 m.

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Insurers Face Added Role in Curbing Workplace Violence With California Law



New legislation aimed at reducing workplace violence in California vastly increases employers’ responsibilities and hands workers’ compensation insurers an unprecedented oversight role that is likely to trigger lawsuits and affect rates and capacity.

The Workplace Violence Prevention Bill SB 553, which comes into effect on July 1, is the first sector-agnostic piece of legislation by a US state aimed at tackling what has become an urgent issue. In other words, any employer and sector of work must respond. It reflects a nationwide push to extend workplace violence prevention measures beyond healthcare and applies to all companies in the state, with only a limited number of exceptions.

The bill mandates written workplace violence prevention plans and sets out requirements for employee training, incident response, and record keeping. Responsibility for implementing these plans must be assigned to specific individuals, and failure to comply from July 1 will trigger a range of fines and potentially multiple penalties per incident.

Legal intelligence company LexisNexis found that more than 100 bills mentioning “workplace violence” had been introduced between January and November 2023 in 27 states, with a quarter of those measures enacted or adopted.

Workers’ compensation insurers will become the de facto regulator of these plans. For higher risk employers they must produce a written report about employers’ efforts to prevent and reduce injuries within six months of the policy start. As part of this, they are required to evaluate the plan’s various components and recommend any changes needed to make it effective. This is not the type of work that many insurers can do in house: they will need to enlist a licensed California professional engineer, certified safety professional, or a certified industrial hygienist to help them.

The law adds to existing California legislation covering hospitals, and follows years of debate about how to protect employees in the workplace from what has become a significant risk.

Nationwide, the National Safety Council (NSC) found assault was the fifth-leading cause of workplace deaths in 2022. Some 525 American workers lost their lives this way, with 57,610 sustaining injuries.

While attacks on schools gain the most headlines, workplace violence affects many types of businesses. Alongside healthcare, where around a quarter of US states already have workplace violence legislation in place, trouble spots include the service sector, education, transportation and logistics, and manufacturing.

Mass shootings will generally attract attention, but many other incidents fly under the radar or even go unreported altogether. This has created an awareness deficit among employers about the security issues their workers face. (Health care is largely excluded from this bill because California already passed even more stringent rules for that sector in a previous law.)

The assailants in these incidents are often known to their victims and are likely to be current or former employees. That was the case in the incident that propelled California lawmakers into action over the latest bill: the fatal shooting in 2021 of nine employees by a co-worker at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority railyard in San Jose.

Although such attacks may seem to come out of the blue, the NSC points to mood swings, emotional responses to criticism, unexplained absenteeism, depression, rule-breaking, paranoia and excessive use of alcohol or drugs among potential early warning signs in employees.

The California law is the first of its kind in the US and, importantly, defines “workplace violence” broadly, with no actual injury necessary for an employee to be deemed to be on the receiving end. Instead, workplace violence is defined as “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs in a place of employment, including the threat or use of physical force, with or without firearms or other dangerous weapons, against an employee that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma or stress.”

This wording, in what is already a highly litigious market, opens the doors to a wave of litigation if insureds, insurers, or both, are found to be non-compliant when the inevitable incident occurs after July 1.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are likely to target general liability policies since workers comp insurance itself was created to be a “no-fault” system that is litigation free, with compensation administered by states and designed to merely put the injured worker in the position they would have been in before the incident.

The new legislation is likely to force an increase in workers comp rates and have a knock-on impact on liability lines too. In a worst-case scenario, the additional costs of insurers’ new obligations and the anticipated lawsuits may mean capacity in the workers comp market shrinks as carriers decide it’s just not worth their while.

The prospect of legal action, along with the additional costs for insurers of overseeing companies’ workplace violence prevention efforts, threaten workers comp’s status as the golden child of P/C insurance. Only last year, AM Best declared that the line remains a “profit engine” for the P/C industry as a whole, while the most recent figures from the National Council on Compensation Insurance put the calendar-year combined ratio of 84% in 2022, on net written premiums of $47.5 billion. (It did, however, warn that medical claims severity and indemnity claims severity were rising).

The new legislation is likely to force an increase in workers comp rates and have a knock-on impact on liability lines too. In a worst-case scenario, the additional costs of insurers’ new obligations and the anticipated lawsuits may mean capacity in the workers comp market shrinks as carriers decide it’s just not worth their while.

At the same time, demand for workplace violence cover is likely to increase. The cover augments the physical injury cover provided under workers comp insurance to indemnify against additional expenses incurred in the aftermath of attacks such as third party harm, mental health support, and the cost of crisis management, security and public relations consultants.

The legislation in California is highly significant in its own right. California, the biggest US economy by gross domestic product, accounted for more than 12% of overall US P/C premiums of $862 billion in 2022, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

However, this pioneering legislation is being watched closely by other states, including New York, where similar legislation aimed at protecting retail workers is in the pipeline. Legal intelligence company LexisNexis found that more than 100 bills mentioning “workplace violence” had been introduced between January and November 2023 in 27 states, with a quarter of those measures enacted or adopted.

It’s important to note also that although the deadline for insureds’ compliance with the Workplace Violence Prevention Bill is July 1, that’s only the start of the process since the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has been charged with devising new standards and regulations by Dec. 1, 2025. That means initial requirements flagged in the legislation may change.

Human resources and compliance departments are now racing against the clock to meet the existing requirements, and keeping a close eye on what will come next. It’s also vital that compliance with the new rules becomes a key priority of workers comp insurers.

Carriers wondering where to start should begin with a thorough assessment of insureds’ exposure and how they are mitigating workplace violence risks. This will put insurers ahead the curve when their insureds’ workplace violence prevention plans land and make their oversight task less arduous if and when similar legislation is rolled out elsewhere.

Carriers need to familiarize themselves with their clients’ existing security equipment and security arrangements. Other factors to consider include the extent to which their clients’ workers interact with the public, where these employees carry out their duties, and with whom. Shift patterns play into the risk profile, as do jobs that include handling cash or serving alcohol to the public.

Many companies are, of course, already doing their best to combat workplace violence. However legacy systems that mitigate or contain attacks are hampering their efforts. These systems were often designed for a different use case, such as providing burglar alarms. In addition, they tend to be limited and confined to one function, meaning the individual trying to warn others and raise a response may have to switch between panic buttons, phones and workplace public address systems to do so.

Thankfully, innovation in safety and security technology is progressing rapidly. New tools are making workplace violence prevention and containment easier, and compliance more affordable than ever before, and insurers should familiarize themselves with what’s available.

One option is to implement advanced detection and alert solutions that employ a streamlined one-push system to alert the relevant authorities, get workers to a safe place and provide for a remote, if not in-person, emergency response, generally in seconds rather than minutes. Such systems are designed to prevent or mitigate mass shootings, active assailant threats and workplace violence.

Insurers’ new responsibilities under the California bill may look onerous, but a recognition of these duties and early action will put carriers on the front foot and prepare them well for similar legislation elsewhere.

Though the prospect of litigation and higher costs are concerning, the legislation also provides a genuine opportunity for insurers to enhance their reputation and demonstrate their social purpose. By playing a risk prevention role, today’s insurers can protect millions of lives from injury or death in the workplace – a role that could scarcely be more significant.

Commercial Lines
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Un sursaut en bourse malgré les ombres au tableau



12h51 ▪
min de lecture ▪ par
Mikaia A.

Les récents chiffres de Tesla sur le marché boursier illustrent un sursaut de l’action de ce fabricant de bolides électriques. Pourtant, quand on scrute de près les résultats, notamment ceux du premier trimestre 2024, c’est plutôt la débandade. Face à cette déroute, les investisseurs ont les yeux rivés sur les dirigeants emmenés par le fantasque Elon Musk. Il semblerait qu’une accélération dans le développement de nouveaux modèles de voitures électriques soit inévitable.

Voiture Tesla

Tesla : Une Accélération Fulgurante

Ces dernières semaines, Tesla ne brillait guère sur le marché boursier. Ainsi, personne ne s’est étonné outre mesure d’entendre parler d’une réduction des effectifs pouvant atteindre 10 %, de la part des magnats de cette entreprise américaine. Mais combien de temps cette spirale descendante va-t-elle durer ? Les analystes financiers ne parient pas encore sur l’avenir de Tesla.

Dans l’arène tumultueuse de la Bourse, Tesla se métamorphose, étonnant même les plus sceptiques. L’icône américaine des voitures électriques, cotée au Nasdaq, connaît une renaissance fulgurante, bousculant les prévisions les plus sombres après la révélation de ses résultats trimestriels et ses perspectives à moyen terme.

Certes, les chiffres exposés pour le premier trimestre ne séduisent guère : un chiffre d’affaires en déclin pour la première fois en quatre ans, une chute de 9 % des livraisons de véhicules, et des bénéfices en deçà des espérances des analystes financiers. Pourtant, Elon Musk, maître des lieux, esquisse un horizon radieux, promettant une augmentation des ventes sur l’ensemble de 2024 et une croissance rentable à moyen terme.

Mais où réside cette source de confiance ? Dans l’annonce anticipée de nouveaux modèles plus abordables, dont la sortie imminente ravive les espoirs des investisseurs. Car si le premier trimestre a été marqué par des turbulences, Tesla semble prêt à relever les défis. Les problèmes de transport maritime en mer Rouge, les sabotages en Allemagne, autant d’obstacles qui n’entament pas la détermination du géant automobile.

L’avenir, selon Tesla, se conjugue à l’électricité, mais aussi à l’autonomie. Un investissement massif dans l’intelligence artificielle et les infrastructures de production témoigne de cette ambition. Et les marchés réagissent avec enthousiasme, propulsant l’action de Tesla dans des envolées spectaculaires, à l’image de sa croissance future, prémices d’une nouvelle ère pour le constructeur pionnier de l’électromobilité.

Vers de nouveaux horizons

Le charisme d’Elon Musk et les promesses de Tesla déclenchent l’enthousiasme malgré des chiffres en dents de scie. Alors que le flux de trésorerie flirte avec le négatif et que les dépenses d’investissement s’alourdissent, Musk révèle une stratégie audacieuse : une accélération du lancement de nouveaux modèles, plus abordables, dès début 2025. Une annonce qui résonne comme un défi aux concurrents.

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En musclant ses investissements, Tesla renforce sa position alors que le marché des voitures électriques s’intensifie. Les investisseurs se focalisent sur cette vision d’avenir, reléguant les déceptions financières au second plan.

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Mikaia A. avatar

Mikaia A.

La révolution blockchain et crypto est en marche ! Et le jour où les impacts se feront ressentir sur l’économie la plus vulnérable de ce Monde, contre toute espérance, je dirai que j’y étais pour quelque chose


Les propos et opinions exprimés dans cet article n’engagent que leur auteur, et ne doivent pas être considérés comme des conseils en investissement. Effectuez vos propres recherches avant toute décision d’investissement.

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Morisato joins Sentry Board of Directors



Susan Morisato

Susan Morisato has joined Sentry’s Board of Directors. Sentry is headquartered in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.

Morisato, based in Des Plaines, Illinois, brings over 30 years of health insurance experience to Sentry’s board. She is a former president of insurance solutions at UnitedHealth Care Medicare & Retirement. Morisato also served as chief operating officer of UHC’s Medicare Advantage business. Before UHC, she worked at Bankers Life and Casualty in various management roles.

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Bitcoin – Les fondateurs du Wallet Samourai arrêtés !



13h00 ▪
min de lecture ▪ par
Nicolas T.

Les deux fondateurs du populaire wallet bitcoin Samourai et du service de Coinjoin Whirlpool ont été arrêtés ce mercredi par les autorités américaines.



Keonne Rodriguez et William Lonergan Hill ont été cueillis au Portugal et en Pennsylvanie sur ordre du département de la Justice des États-Unis.

Les serveurs situés en Islande ainsi que le nom de domaine du site internet ( ont été saisis. L’application – téléchargée plus de 100 000 fois – n’est plus disponible sur Google Play Store aux États-Unis.

Les deux développeurs sont accusés de « complicité de blanchiment d’argent » et de « transfert d’argent sans licence ».

Les accusations se concentrent sur le service de Coinjoin (Whirlpool).

Un Coinjoin est une transaction rassemblant plusieurs participants. Le but de l’opération est de brouiller les pistes pour qu’un observateur extérieur ne puisse plus dire à qui appartiennent quels bitcoins.

Le tribunal de New York révèle que plus de 2 milliards de dollars de transactions « illégales » sont passés par Whirlpool qui aurait facilité « plus de 100 millions de dollars de transactions de blanchiment d’argent provenant de marchés illégaux du dark web tels que Silk Road et Hydra Market ».

D’après le Département de la Justice, Samourai a collecté l’équivalent de 3,4 millions de dollars en frais d’utilisation pour son service Whirlpool et 1,1 million de dollars pour son service Ricochet.

Blanchiment d’argent et… complicité ?

Le cœur de l’accusation concerne les appels du pied aux criminels en tout genre, néonazis inclus.

« Tout en présentant Samourai comme un service de ‘protection de la vie privée’, les accusés savaient qu’il s’agissait d’un refuge pour les criminels qui s’adonnent au blanchiment d’argent à grande échelle et à l’évasion des sanctions », peut-on lire dans le chef d’accusation.

La plainte met spécifiquement en avant le fait que Keonne Rodriguez ait publiquement invité les oligarques russes à contourner les sanctions américaines.

Autre service du wallet Samourai incriminé : « Ricochet ». Cet outil permet de réaliser des transactions intermédiaires (appelées « hops ») entre l’adresse d’envoi et l’adresse de destination.

« Ricochet peut empêcher les exchanges de détecter si des bitcoins proviennent d’adresses affiliées à des activités criminelles », explique le DoJ.

A noter que l’équipe d’investigation a pu accéder aux messages privés sur X.

Ce message de William Lonergan Hill est mis en exergue :

« Nous avons probablement des points de vue différents sur certains principes de base du bitcoin. A chacun le sien. Chez Samourai, nous nous concentrons entièrement sur la résistance à la censure et l’économie circulaire noire/grise. Cela n’implique pas d’adoption massive [du Bitcoin] à moyen terme, bien que les marchés noirs/gris aient déjà commencé à se développer pendant le Covid […]. »

Les Coinjoins vont-ils être détricotés ?

Les cofondateurs risquent une peine d’emprisonnement de 25 ans. William Lonergan Hill (65 ans) pourrait donc finir ses jours en prison.

La question est donc : Va-t-il coopérer pour atténuer sa peine en communiquant les « xpub » des utilisateurs de Whirlpool ? Explication :

Il y a deux écoles pour réaliser une transaction Coinjoin. Elle peut soit réunir beaucoup de participants, ce que fait le wallet Wasabi. Ou bien réunir très peu de participants. C’est le cas de Whirlpool.

Le problème des petits coinjoins est qu’ils requièrent une transaction de préparation. Elle sert à créer plusieurs utxo de même montant ainsi qu’à isoler le « doxxic change » dans une ramification lointaine du wallet.

Or, ce processus oblige les utilisateurs à révéler leur « xpub ». Dit autrement, Samourai était en capacité de connaitre toutes les adresses et le montant total du wallet d’un utilisateur (à moins d’avoir son propre « dojo »).

Tout cela pour dire que les coinjoins réalisés avec le wallet Samourai pourraient être détricotés en cas de coopération avec la Justice.

Les yeux se tournent désormais vers Wasabi et Trezor qui proposent tous deux le coinjoin coordonné par la société zkSNACKs. Cette dernière filtre toutefois les adresses affiliées à des activités criminelles à l’aide de Chainalysis. Elle ne devrait donc pas être inquiétée.

Voici plusieurs articles à propos du fonctionnement des Coinjoins :

–Bitcoin Coinjoin – Comment ça marche ?
–Bitcoin Coinjoin – Wasabi vs Samourai
–Quel wallet choisir pour obscurcir ses bitcoins ?
–Trezor et Wasabi déclenchent la controverse

Réactions de la communauté

Les fondateurs de Samourai ont une réputation sulfureuse et ne se sont pas faits que des amis au fil des années. @alpacasw déclare par exemple :

« Bitcoin n’est pas attaqué. Il est attaqué par deux développeurs arrogants et incompétents qui ont ouvertement courtisé les criminels, énervé la police et mis en péril la sécurité de leurs utilisateurs. Faites la différence. »

Même son de cloche du côté du cofondateur de la pool Ocean :

« J’ai été traité de collabo par Scamourai pendant des années, ainsi que tous ceux qui ont mis en évidence les failles de leur Coinjoin. Résultat, il va falloir leur faire confiance pour ne pas révéler aux autorités fédérales des données qu’ils n’auraient jamais dû avoir. Ma sympathie va aux personnes qu’ils ont escroquées. » //// « C’est très simple : si vous participez à un Coinjoin en envoyant votre xpub à un tiers, ce n’est pas un Coinjoin. »

Les messages de soutien sont cependant plus nombreux. Comme celui de @jessicasolce :

« A aucun moment Samourai ne prenait le contrôle de l’argent des utilisateurs. Ils ont facilité le transfert de 0 $. »

Terminons en martelant qu’il ne faut pas confondre « blanchiment d’argent » et « vie privée ». Garder ses finances confidentielles est un droit fondamental offert par les Coinjoins.

Le blanchiment, c’est autre chose. Il concerne de l’argent lié à des activités criminelles.

Les coordinateurs de Coinjoin dont le code est open source ne devraient pas être tenus responsables de l’origine des bitcoins. L’erreur de Samourai est d’avoir publiquement sollicité l’argent du « crime ».

Voici un guide pour récupérer vos bitcoins qui seraient bloqués sur le wallet de Samourai.

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Nicolas T. avatar

Nicolas T.

Reporting on Bitcoin, “the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy”.

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Southwest Airlines (LUV) earnings Q1 2024



Southwest Airlines on Thursday posted a wider loss for the first quarter than the same period last year and warned that Boeing’s airplane delays will hamper its growth into 2025.

The airline expects to grow capacity 4% this year, down from a plan to expand 6%. For the second quarter, it forecast growth of 8% to 9% and said revenue would be down as much as 3.5%.

Shares of Southwest fell roughly 10% in premarket trading.

The airline said in an quarterly filing that it now expects to receive only 20 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, down from its previous forecast for 46 of them. It will also delay retiring some of its older planes; cut costs, including offering staff voluntary time-off; and shut down operations at some airports, including in Syracuse, New York, Bellingham International Airport in Washington, Cozumel International Airport and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental.

“Achieving our financial goals is an immediate imperative,” CEO Bob Jordan said in an earnings release. “The recent news from Boeing regarding further aircraft delivery delays presents significant challenges for both 2024 and 2025. We are reacting and replanning quickly to mitigate the operational and financial impacts while maintaining dependable and reliable flight schedules for our Customers.”

The Dallas-based carrier operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet and is acutely impacted by Boeing’s aircraft delays stemming from its safety and quality crises.

The carrier had previously warned that slower Boeing deliveries were hampering its growth.

Southwest lost $231 million, or 39 cents a share, in the first three months of the year, compared with a loss of $159 million, or 27 cents a share, a year earlier when it was dealing with the aftermath of its holiday meltdown.

Adjusting for one-time items, including costs related to labor contracts and fuel, Southwest lost $218 million, or 36 cents a share.

Revenue rose almost 11% to $6.33 billion, slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates as compiled by LSEG.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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Fosun’s Fidelidade Says It Plans to Carry Out an IPO in 2025



Fidelidade-Companhia de Seguros SA, a Portuguese insurer controlled by China’s Fosun International Ltd., said it’s planning to carry out an initial public offering in 2025.

That share sale would take place after Fidelidade completes a planned IPO of hospital operator Luz Saude SA, which said earlier this month that it plans to list its shares in the Euronext Lisbon exchange. Luz Saude is set to be Portugal’s first IPO in three years.

“In order to meet the expectations repeatedly expressed by our shareholders, we will begin the necessary work to list Fidelidade on the stock market in 2025,” Fidelidade said in a management report published on its website. “It will be a demanding process.”

Fosun, whose businesses span tourism, pharmaceuticals and finance, also holds a 20% stake in Banco Comercial Portugues SA, Portugal’s biggest publicly traded lender. The Chinese company has been carrying out asset sales and in January sold a 5.6% holding in that bank.

Fosun holds an 85% stake in Fidelidade while Portuguese state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos SA owns the remaining 15%

Photograph: The logo of Fosun International is seen at a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Photo credit: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg

Copyright 2024 Bloomberg.

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Ariel Re and Hiscox Re & ILS Launch Cyber Catastrophe Consortium



Re/insurer Ariel Re and Hiscox Re & ILS, the reinsurance and insurance linked securities arm of insurer Hiscox, announced the launch of CyberShock, a cyber catastrophe consortium.

The CyberShock consortium is designed to offer up to US$50 million of per-program capacity that provides tailored, event-based protection for cyber insurers worldwide.

Through this consortium, insurers will benefit from improved certainty of coverage for key cyber incidents including service supply chain events, cyber propagation events, hardware supply chain events, software supply chain events, and/or catalytic cyber events.

Daniel Carr

“Cyber catastrophe risk continues to be a major concern for the re/insurance market, with a lack of scaled, sustainable solutions for systemic risk holding back growth in the market,” commented Daniel Carr, head of Cyber at Ariel Re, in a media statement.

“Ariel Re is an established market for property catastrophe risk and has taken a lead role in the development of cyber catastrophe reinsurance products in recent years – increasing our reach in this area made sense,” Carr added. “We wanted to find another leading reinsurance market to support engagement and involvement across the wider market, and Hiscox Re & ILS was the perfect partner given their long-standing cyber expertise.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Ariel Re, who share our goal to materially improve the existing market approach to cyber catastrophes,” according to Matthew Wilken, chief underwriting officer at Hiscox Re & ILS.

Matthew Wilken

“Against a backdrop of both a lack of clarity around cyber event definitions and meaningful capacity in the cyber reinsurance marketplace, we believe the CyberShock consortium can act as a positive catalyst for the market,” Wilken said.

Bermuda-based Ariel Re operates principally through Syndicate 1910 in London and also offers access to Lloyd’s Europe via Syndicate 5336. Originally founded in 2005, Ariel Re was acquired by Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers in November 2020.

Headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange, Hiscox Group employs over 3,000 people in 14 countries, with customers across the globe. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US, it offers a range of specialist insurance products in commercial and personal lines. Internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance is underwritten through Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re & ILS.

Source: Ariel Re and Hiscox Group

New Markets

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Barclays first quarter earnings, swings back to profit amid overhaul



Signage shines through a window reflecting Barclays head office in Canary Wharf, London, U.K.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON — Barclays on Thursday reported first-quarter net income attributable to shareholders of £1.55 billion ($1.93 billion), beating expectations and returning the British lender to profit amid a major strategic overhaul.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected net profit attributable to shareholders of £1.29 billion for the quarter, according to LSEG data.

Pre-tax profits, however, were down 12% to £2.28 billion from $2.6 billion a year earlier, as the bank braces to implement its extensive revamp plans.

Here are some other highlights:

  • First-quarter group revenue was £6.95 billion, down 4% from the same period last year.
  • Credit impairment charges were £513 million, compared with £524 million in the first quarter of 2023.
  • Common equity tier one (CET1) capital ratio, a measure of bank’s financial strength was 13.5%, down from 13.8% in the previous quarter.
  • Full-year return on tangible equity (RoTE) was 12.3%.
  • Quarterly total operating expenses were up 2% year-on-year at £4.2 billion.

Barclays reported a net loss of £111 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 due to an operational shake-up designed to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan said the bank’s first-quarter results showed it was committed to implementing its overhaul plans, including via further investment in its U.K. consumer business and through its acquisition of Tesco Bank, which expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We are focused on disciplined execution of the plan that we presented at our Investor Update on 20th February,” he said in a statement.

The revamp plans included a £900 million hit due to structural cost-cutting measures, which the bank said were expected to lead to gross cost savings of around £500 million in 2024, with an expected payback period of less than two years.

The overhaul saw the reorganization of the business into five operating divisions, separating the corporate and investment bank to form: Barclays U.K., Barclays U.K. Corporate Bank, Barclays Private Bank and Wealth Management, Barclays Investment Bank and Barclays U.S. Consumer Bank.

The bank also pledged to return £10 billion to shareholders between 2024 and 2026 through dividends and share buybacks.

— CNBC’s Elliot Smith contributed to this report.

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Insurance Sector Adopts Easy-to-Use Technology for Digital Transformations



Upgrading or changing legacy platforms and enterprise software can be a nightmare to disentangle, particularly when dealing with existing operating systems, data storage, and payment processing software.

When planning an upgrade, there have historically only been two options:

  • Buy pre-made IT solutions from third-party vendors and attempt to synchronise workflows to fit the structure of the solution, or
  • Write your own code to create a bespoke solution for your business.

The maintenance and updating of legacy systems have been a millstone that has weighed heavily on insurers, typically consuming as much as 70% of IT budgets, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

While a full “rip and replace” strategy for legacy systems is likely to prove too costly and risky in the current economic climate, insurers have been coming around to the idea of innovating on top of their systems – modernizing without causing any major disruption to their businesses.

The not-so-secret weapon has been the implementation of low-code and no-code software – a flexible technology that allows businesses to develop software applications without needing extensive coding skills.

Tools for Transformation

No-code and low-code are tools and platforms that allow you to create applications and use data to solve problems without the need to write computer code, which is used in building websites and web applications or designing just about any kind of digital solution that a company might need.

The not-so-secret weapon has been the implementation of low-code and no-code software – a flexible technology that allows businesses to develop software applications without needing extensive coding skills.

They are even becoming available for creating artificial intelligence-powered applications, dramatically lowering the barriers to entry for anyone wanting to leverage AI and machine learning.

Holding the potential to propel digital transformation, improve operational efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction, no-code and low-code solutions will drive a more competitive and innovative insurance landscape.

Using purely drag-and-drop user interfaces, the no-code approach can help businesses build simple, repetitive applications based on common use patterns. Ideal for non-technical business users who have little or, in some cases, no programming skills, no-code is primarily used to create tactical applications to handle simple business functions. For example, an insurer could automate the process of saving attachments from their email accounts to a specific folder in cloud storage – all accomplished through a visual, user-friendly interface without any coding.

An enhancement to this idea is the low-code platform which provides some “light” coding functions to the graphical user interface. This added level of control enables companies to focus on creating the 10% that makes their application different or specific to their business while leaving the standard (more mundane programming tasks) pieces to drag-and-drop features. Low-code is suited for rapid implementation and development but with the power to tailor an application to bespoke requirements.

The adoption of low-code platforms is exploding. Forrester estimates that the combined low-code and digital process automation (DPA) market reached $13.2 billion by the end of 2023, representing a growth rate of roughly 21% since 2019. Its most recent survey data also shows that 87% of enterprise developers use low-code development platforms for at least some of their development work.

Breaking Free From Legacy Systems

For insurance companies, the speed of implementation is often the narrow margin between success and failure, which is why the interest in these easy-to-use platforms has skyrocketed.

By using no-code and low-code methods to develop their own apps, insurers that need to migrate away from legacy systems can wean themselves off outdated platforms in a controlled and measured manner without risking the breakdown of existing systems.

By using no-code and low-code methods to develop their own apps, insurers that need to migrate away from legacy systems can wean themselves off outdated platforms in a controlled and measured manner without risking the breakdown of existing systems.

Low-code platforms make it easier for legacy systems to integrate with modern applications, allowing insurance companies to leverage their current infrastructure while modernizing their processes—helping streamline operations, improve data accessibility, and enhance overall system efficiency.

Insurance companies are already becoming sold on the idea with genuine enthusiasm about its potential. A Gartner Financial Services Technology Survey 2022 study showed that 56% of insurance companies had already invested and deployed or were actively experimenting with low-code/no-code solutions while another 79% planned to increase their spending over the next two years

There is an abundance of applications that can be quickly built with no-code and low-code: automation rules, quotes, documents, email, and letter templates, to name a few. Workflows and processes can be pre-built to automate automatic renewals, so a company can configure its systems to collate all the third-party underwriting rules and then generate and send out the documents, thereby streamlining the entire process.

People responsible for pricing and distribution decisions know their customers best, so it makes sense to empower them to create their own apps. Insurance companies can rapidly deploy customer-centric applications such as self-service portals, mobile apps, and chatbots. These all improve the customer experience with better access to real-time information, engagement, claims interactions, and many other personalised services.

Application development can be accelerated with pre-built components, templates, and visual interfaces that enable rapid development. This speed-to-market advantage means new applications can be developed and deployed quickly, operational efficiency is improved, and customer experience is enhanced.

In general, low-code approaches are best suited for creating independent mobile or web apps and portals that integrate with other systems and data sources. On the whole, they can be used for almost anything and would only ever struggle in mission-critical systems that need to interface with various backends and external data sources.

On the other hand, no-code environments are a good fit for product prototyping (such as app prototypes, e-commerce solutions, and blogs), landing pages, single-page sites, and customer-facing apps with simple functionality.

Adding complexity invariably adds to more time spent fixing bugs and security flaws. Low-code or no-code platforms benefit from running more smoothly, having been tested to more rigorous standards. And cost-wise, low-code or no-code development comes at a much lower price point, as businesses only pay for accessing specific services.

The insurance industry is at its best when it is driving change. Bringing new products to market, utilizing new distribution channels, digitalizing the portfolio, integrating legacy systems or addressing compliance issues, both no-code and low-code approaches are placing a usable technology solution into the hands of people working on the frontline and are playing a significant part in digital transformation journey of the industry.


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Navigating the Finances of Fertility Choices and Adoption



The journey to parenthood is a deeply personal and often challenging one, particularly for those facing fertility issues. In recent years, advancements in medical technology have provided individuals and couples with more options than ever before. However, these options often come with significant financial considerations.

As someone who has personally gone through this process, finally conceiving my daughter through in vitro fertilization (IVF), I know firsthand both the emotional and the financial challenges the process can bring. I found that being educated and prepared about the different financial aspects is a good starting point for the journey ahead.

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