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regulation

It's incredible. The European Union has produced five Money Laundering Directives and still in some respects it is not one but two steps behind some countries that are often subject to criticism. Indeed, it is behind many of its own member states. This week, the Council of the European Union "adopted" a "regulation." Politically, the fact that a Regulation has been made is more important than what it does.

The European General Data Protection Regulation is a fantastically complex piece of legislation but it is not an "Act" or, as Acts are called in the EU, a Directive.

It has been brought into law across the EU (and beyond) and will come into force on 25th May 2018.

Most importantly, it proves how domestic law in member states can be written by Europe outside the democratic process.

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Aside from giving Digital Currency Exchanges a TLA (three letter acronym) AUSTRAC has sidestepped all the "is it, isn't it?" fuss in so many countries and stated the obvious: because digital currency is "money" in the economists' sense of the word, anyone operating an exchange is subject to the same rules and regulations as anyone operating an exchange in fiat currencies. But here's the surprise: the requirement to register with AUSTRAC and to put in place money laundering, etc compliance and risk management systems comes into force today. And the notice was only published this morning. Moreover, there is an unexpected consequence for the mainstream financial sector.

Regulation
Policing
Impact on the conventional sector

"No head-scratching and audible sighs of relief as knickers become untwisted. "

The grand-daddy of the current crop of electronic currencies is, of course, Bitcoin. In recent months, its value has appreciated exponentially until it reached more than 5,000 dollars. But it's just the most famous so-called "cryptocurrency" and now the technology is "in the wild," anyone with the necessary, apparently not very advanced, IT skills can make one. China says "enough is enough" and is taking steps to more or less outlaw cryptocurrencies or, at least, to make their use difficult. China has explained its reasoning - and it makes a huge amount of sense. The questions are whether the horse has already bolted, can access to cryptocurrencies outside China be banned and just how much use is it really for money laundering, a main plank of the Chinese objection.

A post on LinkedIn recently * says "In the line of duty as a Compliance, I always said to my friend and subordinate; "Never ever say can not until the regulation really declare can not"."

Is this a safe policy?

Yes, yes, yes, we all know: HSBC is officially a UK bank except we all know it isn't. Not really. Yes, it has a big office in London and because of Stock Market rules its big bosses all have desks there but in truth, HSBC is still what it says on the tin. Even the Shanghai bit is coming back into use. So when HSBC in Hong Kong announced that it is starting to collect more detailed Know Your Customer information, it's good to take notice. And one reason it's good to take notice is that almost every other bank in the world is going to have to follow the HSBC lead as Compliance/Risk Management decisions inform business direction. And if they don't, they face appearing on a new OECD blacklist, an OFAC list and many more.

Cleaning up the 'Net

An action plan to combat the use and abuse of the internet for financial crime

Nigel Morris-Cotterill
PMB Book Format: 
Paperback
PMB Genre: 
Business and Professional
Publisher: 
Vortex Centrum UK /...

The internet is not a thing, it is not a place, it is not a person.

The internet, of itself, does nothing. It performs no function.

The internet does not form intent. It has no conscience.

The internet is like the pipes in a domestic plumbing system.

The plumbing system allows the delivery of water to terminal points: taps, showers and toilets. The internet allows the delivery of instructions and information to terminal points - computers.

There are those who misguidedly think that the world would be better off without lawyers. The UK legal profession's problem is that it has for so long abandoned its long-standing principles that it's become utterly rotten from within. Add in the deliberate destruction of the profession by successive governments and it's no surprise that there is a crisis from which few will emerge unscathed.

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