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If you were going to launch a pump and dump spam-scam masquerading as legitimate share picks from a regulated stockbroker, you'd want to make sure your mail was at least opened, wouldn't you? So you'd layer one trigger word after another until you found the target's sweet spot and, all the while, you would have to avoid those pesky spam-filters. So you'd use current buzzwords so that the victim dare not ban them for fear of missing out. Want to see how it's done? PS: watch out for suspicious action on the US shares mentioned.

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Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded Guosen Securities (HK) Brokerage Company, Limited (Guosen) and fined it HKE15.2 million for failures in complying with Counter-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (CFT) regulatory requirements when handling third party fund deposits

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Similar e-mails are being distributed naming businesses that it is common for financial services businesses to deal with. SWIFT and Western Union are the bait for the unwary. HSBC in Dubai makes an appearance, too, to increase the credibility of the scheme.

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Every dog has his day and, sometimes, every idiot gets his hands on a computer. Here's an example received at our registered office. Maybe it's not a a scam, but for sure it's not accurately targeted commercial mail, either.

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GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform where people post requests for money for a variety of reasons. It's not Kickstarter which has a specific business model and relates solely to businesses wanting a little bit of help with the development of a product. Some of the things that appear on GoFundMe are brilliant. Some are, well, not. Here are some of the nots.

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Following an ASIC investigation, the Federal Court of Australia has wound up Australian financial services Licensee CFS Private Wealth Pty Ltd and Combined Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, a corporate authorised representative of CFS Private Wealth, and restrained its director, Graeme Walter Miller, from providing financial services for 25 years. Miller is also disqualified from managing corporations for three years.

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In an unusual case, an Australian who applied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) was refused. He appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which has upheld the decision. That, of itself, is uncommon but it's the grounds for refusal that turn it into a story.

But first some interesting information about information.

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Another day, another judgment against an Australian banking group for misconduct. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission's civil action against two WestPac group companies ended with findings of fault - but, again, ASIC has not succeeded on grounds upon which it thought it was safe. Spoiler alert: the case was commenced before the start of the Royal Commission on Misconduct in Banking, etc.

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The UK's Treasury is not anxious to make it known that the UK is, despite the cries of various EU officials, in fact ready, willing and kind-of able to enter into bi-lateral agreements with third countries. The US Treasury, on the other hand, thinks shouting it from the rooftops is a good idea and has issued a notice regarding an agreement relating to "Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance (U.S.-UK Covered Agreement. " But.. there's a stumbling block.

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Starting point: banks in Australia have behaved appallingly. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, ACCC, has been shown up as .. pick a negative adjective and it's probably been used. The ACCC, along with other regulators who have been shown up as wanting are now doing their best to prove they are "across it," as Australians say. Today, they say that they have produced a "final report" from their residential mortgage price inquiry. But.. has the ACCC now moved from ensuring good behaviour to managing how banks do business? It raises risk management questions, liquidity issues and even the stability of the housing market which has been in an accelerating downturn for a while and is showing all the signs of turning into a bit of a crisis.

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Mrs Shilpa Karandikar and Mr Shrikrishna Karandikar have pleaded guilty in a magistrates' court in Australia after breaching a banning order made following an ASIC investigation.

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The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, in its daily announcement timed for after everyone except Compliance has set off for Lan Kwai Fong (17:39, this one arrived), has some startling news for all those who are wetting themselves over the future of FinTech. A third of applicants for licences made such a mess of the process that the HKMA has thrown them out.

This ultra-simplified explanation clarifies the absolute basics of a subject that has become shrouded in myth and mystery.

The blockchain, crypto-currencies (or cryptocurrencies) like bitcoin, distributed ledgers and smart contracts are, actually, stuff you already know..

It's almost impossible to open a website or blog with even a peripheral interest in financial matters and not see a headline saying something like "The Death of Bitcoin." Total tosh. So are the click-bait headlines in the style of "is blockchain dead?"

This is why.

FinCEN and the Federal Banking Agencies have issued a joint statement "encouraging innovative industry approaches" to money laundering compliance. It's not long and it encourages both human and technological innovation. But, importantly, it specifically says that it does not require those who don't need it to jump into NewTech just because it's there. It also says banks are free to fail when trying new things. It also says that some NewTech might result in regulators finding out things companies might rather they didn't.

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