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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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Andrew Peter Panayiotides, an employee, no longer with the company, of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Australia has been banned from providing financial advice for "failing to act in the best interests of clients." The regulator, ASIC, has specifically drawn attention to the incentives structure. Are there also hidden messages about Know Your Customer?

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For the goldfish amongst us and those who are too young to know and, especially, those who simply don't think history has anything to tell us, here is something to note: crises hit us every few years. The superficial causes are viewed as significant but in truth, most crises result from one thing: overstated balance sheets and the fact that those who have naively accepted them suddenly discover that not one, not two but many companies are not worth the paper they are written on. Literally.

Pay attention

We are back in the times of asset value restatement with several examples in the past month alone.

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The UK government is to host a conference on FinTech as part of FinTech Week 2017. Chancellor Phillip Hammond is pleased to say that it's got Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and City Minister Simon Kirby to speak. If that sounds like a non-coup, just think about this: the FinTech bubble is already under strain. It may well have burst by the time the conference takes place in the middle of April.

There's a lot of buzz about Person to Person Payments (sometimes called P2PP) but are they just a fad that don't add much to the old ways?

Last month (see here) LEE Jae-Yong, officially number two at Samsung Electronics Co Ltd but, due to his father's infirmity, the de facto boss was questioned by police in connection with the alleged bribing of South Korean President PARK Guen-Hye. Prosecutors sought an order for an arrest warrant from a Seoul court but the court refused. However, that decision has been overturned on appeal and, in separate proceedings, the President has been suspended. Now LEE is held on remand in case he runs away or tampers with evidence.

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A startling report published by Malaysia's state media company and widely disseminated raises questions over the granting of loans and the checks made on borrowers. It also raises the question of what problems might follow.

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In the iconic TV series, The Magic Roundabout, an old man with a beard rides a tricycle around the garden, making "wheeeee" noises that attract a lot of attention but seem to have little substance. He's the gardener, but his lack of clear purpose means that the garden is, well, let's say, a little unkempt. Fast forward almost 45 years and another Mr McHenry is making noises with, seemingly, worryingly little understanding of what he's talking about. And he's part of the Trump infotainment system that is encouraging the President to make bad policy based on misinformation or, as it's called today, fake news or, even "alternative facts."

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In a majorly embarrassing incident, has imposed additional licence conditions on the Australian financial services licence of NAB's superannuation trustee, NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited (NULIS), following breakdowns in internal procedures.

BankWest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, failed to apply interest credits to offset accounts. It's having to make a big refund to thousands of customers.

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Late last year, there were rumours of fundamental financial instability at German bank Deutsche Bank (Deutsche). In September, the German government said it would not provide support for the bank. Speculation was rife as to why but perhaps the strongest was that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was already on a sinking raft in heavy political seas. Then Deutsche started doing deals to settle regulatory cases and the sums are adding up to so much that the future of the bank must now be in doubt.

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Hong Kong Monetary Authority has issued a warning relating to a suspicious internet banking mobile application (App) related to Wing Lung Bank Limited.

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The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has published a table setting out "the total amount of fines so far." It's a head-shaking moment.

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The cult of paying various US government departments, or "agencies" to say nothing of state prosecutors, to to avoid prosecution using the dubious formula of "without admitting or denying the allegations" has reached a new height as a Canadian banking group has "agreed to remit USD516,105 to settle its potential civil liability."

Note "potential." Are such deals evidence of bribery ("we'll give you money if you leave us alone") or of blackmail ("give us money or we'll cost you a fortune in dealing with a long and complex, and heavily disruptive investigation that we all know will turn up something in even the best run companies. And yes, of course we know you aren't American")

The trouble is: there were extensive compliance failures and, as in so many cases, a failure by a non-US bank to recognise the long arm of US law and regulation where US dollars are used.

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No one can accuse the South Koreans of rushing into things: the Financial Services Commission has just approved the country's first internet-only bank to commence operations. It's the first bank (of any kind) to launch for 24 years.

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