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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander £32,817,800 for failing to effectively process the accounts and investments of deceased customers.

19 December 2018

Santander did not transfer funds totalling over £183m to beneficiaries when it should have done. 40,428 customers were directly affected. Santander also failed to disclose information relating to the issues with the probate and bereavement process to the FCA after it became aware of them. Santander breached Principle 3 and Principle 6 between 1 January 2013 and 11 July 2016 by failing to take reasonable care to organise and control its probate and bereavement process responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems, and by failing to treat its customers and those who represented them on their death fairly.

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EBA sees further improvements in EU banks resilience but highlights challenges connected to profitability, funding and operational risk

18 December 2018

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published its annual report on risks and vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector. The report is accompanied by the results of the EBA’s 2018 EU-wide transparency exercise, which provide detailed information, in a comparable and accessible format, for 130 banks across the EU. Overall, the EU banking sector has continued to benefit from the positive macroeconomic developments in most European countries, which contributed to the increase in lending, further strengthening of banks’ capital ratios and improvements in asset quality. Profitability remains low on average and has not yet reached sustainable levels. Continue reading…

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FSB RCG for Sub-Saharan Africa discusses financial vulnerabilities, effects of reforms and cyber security

14 December 2018

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for Sub-Saharan Africa discussed global and regional macroeconomic and financial market developments and their potential impact on economies in the region. Members highlighted potential financial stability risks against the backdrop of tightening global financing conditions, market and exchange rate volatility and the decline in commodity prices, and exchanged views on possible policy responses. Continue reading…

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FCA proposes changes to facilitate investment in patient capital

13 December 2018

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed changes to further enable retail investors to invest in patient capital through unit-linked funds. The FCA is also exploring how UK authorised funds can be used to invest in patient capital. These proposals follow the 2018 Budget when the Chancellor announced a package of measures designed to increase investment in patient capital, a term for a broad range of alternative investment assets intended to deliver long-term returns; for example, infrastructure, real estate, private equity/debt, and venture capital. Continue reading…

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FCA proposes permanent measures for retail CFDs and binary options

12 December 2018

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing rules to address harm to retail consumers from the sale of certain complex derivative products with the publication of two consultation papers. The rules would apply to firms acting in or from the UK and: ban the sale, marketing and distribution of binary options to retail consumers and restrict the sale, marketing and distribution of contracts for difference (CFDs) and similar products to retail customers. Continue reading…

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FSB RCG for the Americas assesses financial market developments

11 December 2018

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for the Americas met in the Cayman Islands. Members of the FSB RCG for Americas discussed of global and regional macroeconomic and financial market developments. The financial system is substantially more resilient in the region as a result of regulatory reforms, with large banks less leveraged and more liquid than before the global financial crisis. Nevertheless supervisors are closely monitoring current potential vulnerabilities, including the growth of leveraged loans. More generally, the FSB will continue to monitor financial stability risks relating to high sovereign, corporate and household debt levels and to assess the resilience of evolving market structures and the impact of technological innovation. Continue reading…

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Artificial intelligence

10 December 2018

Delivering on its strategy on artificial intelligence adopted in April 2018, the Commission presented a coordinated plan prepared with Member States to foster the development and use of artificial intelligence in Europe. This plan proposes joint actions for closer and more efficient cooperation between Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the Commission in four key areas: increasing investment, making more data available, fostering talent and ensuring trust. Stronger coordination is essential for Europe to become the world-leading region for developing and deploying cutting-edge, ethical and secure artificial intelligence. Continue reading…

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Strengthening the euro’s global role and tackling disinformation

07 December 2018

In his State of the Union, President Juncker highlighted the strategic importance of the euro and the need to ensure that the single currency can play its full role on the international scene. Supported by upcoming decisions to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, complete the Banking Union and advance on the Capital Markets Union, the euro needs to develop its global role and fully reflect the euro area’s political, economic and financial weight. Continue reading…