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MoneyGram has agreed to pay to the US Treasury via the Office of Foreign Assets Control the sum of USD34,328.78 "to settle its potential civil liability for 359 apparent" breaches. So, the US government once more says "give us money and we won't sue you so you get named and shamed but no actual criminal record.

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Australia: the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has issued a public warning notice about the conduct of Postage Ink Pty Limited in relation to the unsolicited supply of labels and ink cartridges and other consumables for postage meters to business customers.

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This morning, I was sitting in a coffee shop drinking lovely local coffee looking out at Citi 's large Malaysian head office in KualaLumpur . Then I looked at the news.

Citi is to leave Malaysia but maintain its offices in Singapore.

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This article is going to make a lot of people very angry. Sadly, those that are going to be angry are those that have been found out; those that should be angry - the consumers who have been misled and the tax payers who have supported the rampant charge into FinTech support by regulators and, even, the banks who have had their business models and even management plans disrupted, in the true sense of the word, by the host of millennial-targeting banks that pretended they were not banks, supported in that subterfuge by regulators - are not going to be angry.

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Buy Now, Pay Later is a rapidly growing consumer credit sector. Last year, it is reported, it was used in 3.6% of retail sales in the UK. Is it a panacea or a plague?

Long Read: 17 pages.

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There's more fallout from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has charged Allianz Australia Insurance Limited has been charged with seven counts, and AWP Australia Pty Ltd with one count, of making false or misleading statements regarding the sale of Allianz domestic and international travel insurance products.

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a settlement with BitPay, Inc., a private company based in Atlanta, Georgia, that offers a payment processing solution for merchants to accept digital currency as payment for goods and services. BitPay agreed to remit USD507,375 to settle its potential civil liability for 2,102 apparent breaches of multiple sanctions requirements. We have edited the relevant media material and commented on it.

The case provides fascinating background as US PoTUS Biden undertakes a wide-ranging review of Trump-era regulations including sanctions. Much will turn on whether such sanctions are "revoked" or "repealed" or, even, just "cancelled." It also draws attention to "know your customer's customer."

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has today announced that it has preliminary competition concerns with Aon plc’s (Aon) proposed merger with Willis Towers Watson plc (WTW).

Note, unusually, this is actually a merger not a takeover: a new combined company will be owned as to approx 2/3 by AON and 1/3 by Willis shareholders. While shareholders have approved the deal, competition authorities around the world are not inclined to give an automatic nod.

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Morningstar has been mounting a persistent advertising campaign on LinkedIn recently. It it, it promotes its due diligence services. An announcement by the USA's Securities and Exchange Commission raises several questions, not the least of which is "who or what is Morningstar"?

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The Hong Kong Monetary Authority published today the credit card lending survey results for the fourth quarter of 2020.

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The best thing about the Gamestock story is that a short-seller tried to manipulate the market by doing deals then trying to talk down the stock. The market turned the other way, leaving the short seller out an estimated 30% of their entire funds under management.

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This press release from the USA's Securities and Investment Commission is about an old-fashioned (alleged) fund management fraud in which crypto-assets were the hook by which investors were encouraged to put money into a scheme which was not, says the SEC, what the promoters said it was.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has alleged that unlicensed financial advice is being given in relation to the development of property by a company headquartered in Perth and that it relates to an unlicensed investment scheme. The facts as set out by ASIC imply other issues, too. ASIC has frozen the assets of Monica Kaur, MKS Property Investments/Developments Pty Ltd (MKS Property), Paradise Property Group Pty Ltd (Paradise Property) as well as against Sadu Singh, Melvin Paul Singh and Stephanie Lee. All but Lee have been banned from leaving Australia.

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"Callum Reece akhil"@vitelglobal.com is an interesting e-mail address.

But this is who an offer for loans purportedly comes from.

The reply-to address is akhil@vitelglobal.com - which makes the "from" address all the more strange and suggests that someone's e-mail account has been hijacked. Will the real Callum Reece please stand up?

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