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Australia's Royal Commission into financial services has criticised the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (same word, different meaning) in relation to so-called enforceable undertakings. There is a problem but in part it's caused by factors outside ASIC's control.

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The Solicitors' Regulatory Authority which regulates solicitors in England and Wales has begun proceedings against a partner of one of the bluest of blue chip firms in London alleging that he failed to undertake adequate due diligence for money laundering risk purposes when taking on two young women as clients. To be clear: this is a prosecution by the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority, not the police. It is a criminal prosecution for failing to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations. This is big stuff.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned financial adviser Ezzat-Daniel Nesseim from providing financial services.

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it has issued prohibition orders (POs) against six individuals for the mis-selling of investment products. The individuals are:

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The case is building against former Prime Minister Najib and so far the focus is on money laundering. But there is another, easier to prove and much faster and much cheaper way to take action against both Najib and his wife, Rosmah and although there's an implied abuse of power, there's no need to prove it, no need to prove money laundering, no need to prove that money was stolen from 1MDB or elsewhere. There is a quick, simple, brutal tool at the government's disposal that might enable the near-immediate recovery of more than three million ringgit.

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This is a story about how eight men used Facebook to claim (and be paid) grants from the European Union for their cattle farms. The story fizzled out in 2013 and we want to know what happened. Does anyone know? (free content)

There's a basic truth about terrorism: terrorists need to keep themselves in the news. From stabbing attacks on "soft" targets to mass-beheading on the side of a road, Da'eas (ISIS / ISIL ) and their loose network are past masters at getting the kind of attention that ramps up shock with periodic changes in strategy. Attacks in Indonesia combined several reasons for anger and some for shock. ChiefOfficers.Net analyses why it was so successful and the fact that they have brought horror and terror, in equal measure, from an "it happens" state of mind to "it could happen to me, anytime, anywhere" and, therefore achieves the primary...

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Sanctions have long been a political tool for the USA and they work in many different ways. Chinese telecoms giant ZTE has found itself almost a proxy in the USA's battle with Iran but there are other complexities, too. The result is that President Trump is finding that politics has far more nuance than he thought. The place where he's chosen to try to remove nuance is sanctions. Anyone who still thinks that Trump can't throw out rule-books that have been used for years is flying in the face of the evidence. It would be unwise to bet against him getting the result he wants this time.

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chiefofficersnet

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IP address: 37.46.124.111
@companieshouse-gov.uk (fake domain.
(free content)

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Last Wednesday, Malaysians voted to boot their sixth prime minister, Najib, out of office. As the new government set about being formed, it became clear that many senior appointments would be terminated and some not too kindly. Thursday and Friday were public holidays. Saturday and Sunday were days off. Today the head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission walked into his office and submitted his letter of resignation. (free content)

As the euphoria of the overturning of a much disliked government wanes, there are several important matters to deal with.

Perhaps the most difficult will be the question of corruption which has been endemic and systemic for many years.

Strangely, the one person who might be credited with kick-starting the widespread rejection of corruption might be the one person who is first amongst those whose conduct will be open to question.

The USA makes a lot of noise about money laundering, etc. and since the early 1990s, it's been at the forefront of pointing out the inadequacies of other jurisdictions while having a surprisingly lax, even holey, regime at home. Let's not forget that there were times when death threats were made to politicians who supported an improved KYC regime and civil rights groups protested in the streets and in forceful terms in the a media that was more than happy to accommodate them. Yes, the USA PATRIOT Act improved matters and there have been incremental improvements but equally there have been serious mistakes. But today is a good day as raft of helpful requirements comes into force under the headline "Customer Due Diligence
Requirements for Financial Institutions." Yet, today is also a bad day: as usual with the USA, it's a half-arsed attempt that falls short of what is actually required.

There are few things about Malaysia's Najib government that have caused as much anger amongst the populace as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax ("GST") which is, in fact, a form of Value Added Tax. It was an election promise that Mahathir's coalition would repeal it and reinstate the old Sales Tax. Even during a press conference yesterday, before he was sworn in, Mahathir was asked to confirm that the promise would be kept and he did. Popular though such a policy would be, it is a horribly retrograde step that will cost the country, and businesses, dear. He should revise GST, which was not, in some detail, properly...

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