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Whistleblowing Management : The Coming Regulatory Storm

04 August 2020
Knowledge Base

by Frank Staelens

I would like to explain the regulation’s broad impact and to offer guidance for compliance. Most listed companies and large public organisations already consider whistleblowing management as an important governance mechanism with, in most cases, boards/audit committees being accountable to measure its effectiveness. This group is now moving toward the use of whistleblowing systems beyond reporting wrongdoing and starting to understand that instilling a transparent, “speak up” culture is perceived by stakeholders as a sign of good health. However, many other organisations still have a different position on the subject. But keep in mind, within the EU all member states have until December 17, 2021 to transpose the new whistleblower protection rules into national law.  Continue reading…

Lockdown or Knock-out? Part 4: Is the corona detector a solution?

31 July 2020
Knowledge Base

by Michel Klompmaker

Let’s start with the facts. Last week was the worst week to date, with 1.794,124 registered infections. Many politicians seem to be turning a blind eye to this reality and we should fear the fact that global figures, especially in Asia and Africa, are not correct. After all, not all cases of infections were registered in a reasonably civilised country such as the Netherlands. Meanwhile, EU Commissioner Gentiloni says “It is time to pump new confidence and new money into our economies in this critical situation.” There are now more than 17 million registered coronavirus patients worldwide and the EU has adjusted its economic expectations for the EU countries downwards. Continue reading…

Effective internal control system decreases to an acceptable level risks of not meeting the objectives

28 July 2020
Knowledge Base

by Alex Movchan

We recently had an opportunity to speak with a man named Edmund Saunders, CICA, CFE (President of Institute for Internal Controls Europe, ex-advisor from the UK government to Polish officials in the banking sector). He is also very experienced and dedicated in the following fields of internal control, fraud, internal auditing, risk management, international banking and anti-fraud and anti-corruption – identification, avoidance and combatting techniques. Dear Edmund, thank you for finding time for the interview. I know that you have a lot of experience in building internal control systems, mostly in financial institutions, all around the world (in UK, Switzerland, USA, Poland, etc.). In your opinion, what should be the core focus, the main 2-3 objectives to focus on, while building an effective control system within an organisation? Continue reading…

European Commission recommends that Member States do not allow financial support to companies not on EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions

22 July 2020
Knowledge Base

The European Commission recently recommended that Member States do not grant financial support to companies with links to countries that are on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. Restrictions should also apply to companies that have been convicted of serious financial crimes, including, among others, financial fraud, corruption, non-payment of tax and social security obligations. The aim of today’s recommendation is to provide guidance to Member States on how to set conditions to financial support that prevent the misuse of public funds and to strengthen safeguards against tax abuse throughout the EU, in line with EU laws. By coordinating restrictions on financial support, Member States would also prevent mismatches and distortions within the Single Market.  Continue reading…

Lockdown or Knock-out? Part 3: In the USA and Brazil, Covid-19 inexorably strikes

20 July 2020
Knowledge Base

by Michel Klompmaker

The WHO has reported a record number of new infections worldwide in recent days. The health organisation reported last Saturday that 224,260 new infections worldwide were registered in one day. And then we are only talking about the cases known to WHO. It can be guessed that the situation is even more serious, because even in a civilised country like the Netherlands, many infections were simply not reported. But what does this mean for the global economy? Let’s take a closer look at two major players from across the ocean, then it will soon be clear that the worst is yet to come. Most reports from the past few days come from the United States and Brazil. Together these countries account for almost half of all new infections worldwide, but many people in India have also tested positive for the virus. A few figures: The number of new worldwide registered new infections in the week of June 29 – July 5 was 1,230,000. Last June, the WHO recorded a record number of new infections of 5,303,000 compared to more than 2,300,000 last April. Continue reading…

Lockdown or Knock-out? Part 2: Texas and Trump

13 July 2020
Knowledge Base

by Michel Klompmaker

In many parts of the world, the coronavirus has been ruthless. This is also the case in the southern states of the USA. Viewed from a Western European perspective, the pandemic appears to be somewhat extinguished, but this is by no means the case from the perspective of the coronavirus itself. Very worrying is the recent increase in the worldwide number of registered infections from about 10 million on June 27 to more than 13 million on July 12. In part two of our series “Lockdown or Knockout?” we take a moment to reflect on what has recently happened in Texas and in passing we take the opinion of a German virologist from the University of Bonn. Continue reading…

Research conducted by the FCA shows that there has been a 1.1 million increase in cryptoasset purchasers

09 July 2020
Knowledge Base

Recent research conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed that approximately 2.6 million consumers in the UK have purchased cryptoassets at some point in time. This essentially marks an increase of 1.1 million since the FCA carried out a survey face to face on the same topic in 2019. Among the 1.9 million UK consumers that still have cryptoassets in their possession, such as Ripple, Ether, or Bitcoins, about half of them hold more than £260. This research conducted by the FCA is a part of its work with the Government and Bank of England in attempting to comprehend market size, profiles of consumers and what their attitudes are towards cryptoassets. Continue reading…

European Commission refers Member States to Court of Justice after failing to fully implement AMLD4 into their national law

07 July 2020
Knowledge Base

The European Commission last Friday referred Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands to the Court of Justice of the European Union, with a request for financial sanctions, for failing to fully implement the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) into their national law. Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “We have robust EU rules in place but they must be applied consistently and efficiently. We will make sure that everyone in both private and public sectors applies the rules rigorously. We have launched many infringement procedures to ensure the full transposition and application of our rules.”  Continue reading…

Core points of focus while conducting audit engagements in regions with high fraud and corruption risks exposure

06 July 2020
Knowledge Base

by Alex Movchan

We recently conducted another interview with Olga Lukashenko who is an Audit Director at Reanda Netherlands. The first interview that was conducted with this special woman can be found on our platform under related items, which was about planning and executing audit engagements during the Covid-19 crisis. This particular talk with Olga covers the topic of conducting audit engagements in regions with a high level of exposure to fraud and corruption.  Continue reading…

Lockdown or Knock-out? COVID-19: Are we going to play Russian roulette now?

01 July 2020
Knowledge Base

by Michel Klompmaker

We have decided to publish a series of articles entitled “Lockdown or Knock-out?” on this platform. We will discuss and comment on the current measures taken by the various governments, economic forecasts from experts and expectations of politicians from the perspective of risk & compliance. We are just going to start and as long as there is no vaccine for the coronavirus, we will regularly discuss the issues that are worthwhile. Today we start with the recent news about lending to business customers in the Netherlands. On the one hand, we see a decrease in the number of infections and deaths, but what does this actually mean for the economy if we put it in a somewhat broader perspective? Is there reason for optimism? We would like to spread the optimistic sound, but we cannot ignore the facts and that they are not good. Did circumstances leave no other choice or have the banks and the responsible minister switched to a form of Russian roulette? ING announced yesterday that it expects to triple the number of bankruptcies in the Netherlands next year. And in the meantime, since the outbreak of the corona crisis, the Dutch banking sector has provided additional credit of around EUR 14 billion. As a result, the percentage of gross national product corporate debt (IMF source) has risen again to over 150 percent. For the critical down-to-earth reviews, who like to make dismissive statements about the financial policy of the so called “garlic countries”: Italian corporate debts are in percentage at over 60 percent of the gross national product. Continue reading…