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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.

Editorial Staff
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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."

Editorial Staff
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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?

Editorial Staff
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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:...

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.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill
BIScom Subsection: 

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.

Editorial Staff
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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?

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

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...

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

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).

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

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...

Editorial Staff
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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?

Editorial Staff
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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...

Editorial Staff
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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.

Editorial Staff

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?

Editorial Staff

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...

Editorial Staff
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