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Binary options are a simple concept: they pay a fixed return, or nothing. It's a bit like a KickStarter campaign: if you hit the target, you get your money, if you miss it, you don't. But with binary options, the risks are different: fail and you lose your investment. So, there's another way of looking at it: it's a bet and if you lose, you lose your stake, so it's not like an ordinary option where you might still get back some of your original investment. For sophisticated investors and financial adrenalin junkies, they are fine. For everyone else, they are very high risk. Aussie regulator ASIC says that risk is rarely properly explained, and often it is not explained at all.

Editorial Staff
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We love, really love, the most ludicrous spam-scams we can find and this one is an absolute classic of its type.

Editorial Staff
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ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia to wind up a land banking scheme known as the VKK Investments Unit Trust (VKK scheme), as well as the trustee and operator of the scheme, Gem Management Group Pty Ltd (Gem).

Editorial Staff
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There's a lot of talk about KYC when accounts are opened but a general lack of concern over accounts once they are established. The director of a company in liquidation has pleaded guilty to a fraud that could only have taken place because someone wasn't paying enough attention.

Editorial Staff
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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?

Editorial Staff
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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.

 

Editorial Staff
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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.

Editorial Staff
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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.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill
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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.

Editorial Staff
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