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If someone describes themselves as an "expert" or a "thought leader" in relation to, let's say, financial crime or FinTech or even on-line banking, ask them this - and don't give them time to look up the answer: "what's Q-Coin?*" And, is Second Life about to get a second chance as a potential money laundering vehicle?

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 Midland Bank Griffin Logo HSBC's takeover of Midland Bank was a nightmare of regulatory challenges. Now, 25 years after eventually being taken over, the last little bit of Midland identity is being removed.

 

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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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