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BankingInsuranceSecurities.Com

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the accounts of a foreign registered fund operated by two US residents.

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They call it "financial exploitation of seniors" and refer to "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day" but cut through the froth and the Securities and Exchange Commission, The North American Securities Administrators' Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have started something useful at a time when the elderly are increasingly vulnerable to both actual frauds and misunderstandings caused by rapidly-changing financial environment.

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Criminal charges have today been laid against Members Equity Bank Limited, also known as ME Bank, in the Australian Federal Court.

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Ross Andrew Hopkins of Killara, New South Wales, Australia, has been sentenced in the District Court of New South Wales to a maximum period of six years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years following his conviction on a guilty plea for using clients' funds for his own benefit.

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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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