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There are two principles in the soft conversion of societies to various forms of centralised control, be that control from the left or right of politics, from vested interests or religion.

The first is the manipulation of language: using terms in ways that are inaccurate and, even, the direct opposite of what they truly mean.

The second is to give individual members of society the illusion that they have status, even a degree of control when in fact what they have is responsibility without authority.

Welcome to the worrying world of today's Compliance and Financial Crime Risk Officers.

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UK consumer borrowing spurts as consumers treat plastic like cash in their pocket. And the Bank of England fears banks may not be holding enough in reserve to cover losses when the inevitable defaults start to grow. But there is also a change in the psychology of card users.

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Below, free content, is my interview, given in May 2017 at the Thompson Reuters Regulatory Summit in Singapore, published today.

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It's frustrating just how fundamentally stupid some people can be.

In the aftermath of 11 September, 2001, the blame machine was hunting for excuses and part of it rightly fixated on funds transfers and, rightly, fixated on the unlicensed transfer systems which were lumped together under the Farsi name "hawala." Then stupid, ignorant people started trying to sound clever and instead of standing up to them and correcting them, others started to adopt their nonsensical, made up terminology. Now they want to include it in law.

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A report by the USA's Federal Bureau of Investigation following the conviction of an ATM skimmer reveals a relatively little-known technique that reduces the prospect of capture of the criminals involved.

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Quietly, almost under the counter, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority is preparing itself for life outside the EU with a raft of agreements directly negotiated with regulators around the world.

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AVIVA is a conglomerate of dozens of insurance companies, and can trace its lineage back to the 15th Century. So there's not a lot it hasn't seen but the levels of fraudulent claims, up about 10% in the past year, is truly novel as organised crime gangs turn to insurance fraud as a money generator and opportunists try their luck. As lawyers and various social groups argue that the reforms in the justice system to help reduce the attractiveness of such offences are badly thought out, AVIVA says "whiplash fraud remains our biggest concern."

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When, in 2006, US "hedge funds" began to have trouble meeting their obligations, honest ones went out of business while others faked accounts and ran Ponzi schemes and the US government largely ignored the warnings that such collapses give.

How should the world interpret the collapse of UK fund manager Strand Capital?

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It might seem a bit of a stretch to suggest that Uber, the dating service for those with a car that isn't a taxi and those with a transport need has much to do with FinTech but a long-running battle first in Spain and then in the European Court of Justice makes a landmark decision that affects the provision of so-called "disruptive" technologies and although it's couched in complex legal terms, the opinion represents a victory for common sense - and potentially causes enormous problems in relation to some aspects of passporting. Financial regulators all over the world should take notice: this is how you should view FinTech if you want to avoid systemic problems, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill

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When Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreq Bank, told the bank's 50th Anniversary meeting that it would become "the most progressive bank" in the Gulf and would become a "branchless bank" he was the latest in a line of bankers who has said this can happen. But while some internet only banks have been launched, no bank has ever succeeded in closing its branch network. Nigel Morris-Cotterill looks at some examples and says that Britain's Midland Bank developed, 30 years ago, the concepts that are now at the core of the delivery of real-world retail banking.

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It's very clear that, when Britain is outside the EU, there will be changes to the legal and regulatory framework applicable to, amongst other industries, its financial services sector. It is therefore obvious that UK banks must have representation in Frankfurt where the ECB is based. Not only is this not new, it's not even a tiny little threat to the UK financial sector, no matter what the media says.

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When the Department of Justice and others settled criminal proceedings against Western Union there were two special features: one, liability was admitted and two "ensure that its agents around the world will adhere to U.S. Regulatory and [counter-money laundering] standards."

Is this doable while remaining profitable or does the settlement mean inevitable de-risking and closing in some markets?

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It's bizarre. A press release received today headed "Attorney General Xavier Becerra Announces Settlement With Western Union For Wire Fraud Scams, Encourages Victims to Come Forward" refers to a case that the US Department of Justice announced settled on 19th January this year under the headline "Western Union Admits Anti-Money Laundering and Consumer Fraud Violations, Forfeits USD586 Million in Settlement with Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission." In the DoJ announcement it says that the California settlement is part of the overall deal. However, there is some interesting stuff...

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Credit Suisse Equities (Australia) Limited (Credit Suisse) has paid a penalty of AUD170,000 to comply with an infringement notice from the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP).

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We looked up the domain used for this spam-scam: samba-bank.co.uk. There's something not quite right about the available information but it's too limited to be sure that the domain has, either, been critically compromised or that it has been obtained by fraudsters. But it's not the first spam we've had that uses this same domain. Perhaps someone from Samba would like to tell us if the domain is, in fact, under their control. The spam-scam, itself, is interesting, too. It's the first time for a while we've seen a 1970s style Nigerian Scam letter and even the language is in the old style!

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