The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued two Statements on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), one on risks of ICOs for investors and one on the rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs. ESMA has observed a rapid growth in ICOs globally and in Europe and is concerned that investors may be unaware of the high risks that they are taking when investing in ICOs. Additionally, ESMA is concerned that firms involved in ICOs may conduct their activities without complying with relevant applicable EU legislation.
Contracts for differences (CFDs), including financial spread bets, with cryptocurrencies as the underlying investment are increasingly being marketed to consumers. These products are extremely high-risk, speculative products. This is a warning of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to inform consumers about the risks of buying them.
Recent changes to global sanctions regimes – along with some high-profile and costly sanctions violations – illustrate the importance of mitigating sanctions risks. Our recently-released eBook, “Better safe than sorry: The case for building a robust sanctions programme,” takes a closer look atthe costs of compliance failures and advises companies on how to implement a robust compliance programme.
Sanctions regimes can go on for years; the UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea have been in place for a little more than a decade, and U.S. sanctions against Cuba have continued for 50 years. Often geopolitical issues are at the heart of changes in sanctions – both in their strengthening or easing. Just this year (2017), we’ve seen clear evidence of this with a number of new or mooted sanctions by the UN, U.S. and EU.
The Financial Stability Institute (FSI) was jointly created in 1998 by the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The FSI’s main objectives are to: (i) promote sound supervisory standards and practices globally and support full implementation of these standards in all countries; (ii) keep supervisors updated with the latest information on market products, practices and techniques; (iii) provide a venue for policy discussion and sharing of supervisory practices and experiences; and (iv) promote cross-sectoral and cross-border supervisory contacts and cooperation. These objectives are achieved through the production of FSI Insights on policy implementation and other publications, meetings and conferences with senior officials and FSI Connect, the BIS’s web-based learning tool for financial sector supervisors. Continue reading…
Transparency International has released its 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI ranks 176 countries and territories on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. The index aggregates a number of different sources, including the views of business people and country experts. Transparency International says the results show “the urgent need for committed action to thwart corruption”. The scoring system ranges from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) and, in the index, over two thirds of countries and territories scored below 50 with a global average of 43. More countries received worse scores than better scores compared to their performance in the previous CPI. Continue reading…