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Institutionalized failure: The trials of Gabriel Fernandez

22 January 2021
Knowledge Base

by Dina-Perla Portnaar

Risk, governance and compliance in the financial sector remain our flagship. Banking and finance has been part of our DNA for many years. The publisher of the Risk & Compliance Platform Europe, Michel Klompmaker, used to be the publisher of a title – literally – called Banking & Finance. On top of that, the Risk & Compliance Platform Europe has a community of excellent relations with many leaders, top decision makers, professionals and regulators in the financial world. Also, in the past sixteen years, the domains in which I worked the most have been IT/tech and finance. With that said, some of our readers aren’t aware of the fact that the Risk & Compliance Platform Europe has a global community in all sorts of verticals. It focuses on risk and integrity in a broader sense – healthcare, export, logistics, customs, property and housing associations, entrepreneurship, government, managing consulting, social, society and so on and so forth. The field of risk and integrity opens up discussions on behaviour within a variety of private and public institutions and on an individual and collective level. The Risk & Compliance Platform Europe is not just about the business world. Continue reading…

Christine Lagarde and Luis de Guindos about ongoing health crisis

22 January 2021

We will now report on the outcome of the recent meeting of the Governing Council, which was also attended by the Commission Executive Vice-President, Mr. Dombrovskis. The start of vaccination campaigns across the euro area is an important milestone in the resolution of the ongoing health crisis. Nonetheless, the pandemic continues to pose serious risks to public health and to the euro area and global economies. The renewed surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and the restrictive and prolonged containment measures imposed in many euro area countries are disrupting economic activity. Continue reading…

How the Ashton Whiteley Scam began

21 January 2021
Knowledge Base

by Dina-Perla Portnaar

The Ashton Whiteley Scam illustrates how financial crime really works. Not a lot of personal cases were shared with the public before in order to make financial crime tangible. Here is an outline of the events given by one of the many victims of the Ashton Whiteley Scam that took place a couple of years ago. The man shared his story with me, in which we will share in a couple of articles. Here is part one. Continue reading…

EBA observes an increase in the asset encumbrance ratio amidst extensive use of central bank facilities

20 January 2021
Knowledge Base

The European Banking Authority (EBA) recently published its annual report on Asset Encumbrance. As COVID-19 spread across Europe and activity in primary markets froze, banks made extensive use of central bank liquidity facilities to build precautionary liquidity buffers. In this context, after decreasing by 80bp in 2019 to 25%, in the first half of 2020, the asset encumbrance ratio went up to 27.5%. In the first half of 2020, the volume of total assets and collateral received rose by almost 10% while encumbered assets and collateral increased by more than 20%. Continue reading…

Eurojust supports action against fuel tax fraud in Germany and 10 other countries

19 January 2021

A major tax swindle involving sales of fuels has been brought to an end by the German authorities, with international judicial support in 11 European countries coordinated by Eurojust. During an action day, two suspects were arrested in Austria and Poland, allegedly the leaders of a criminal network that defrauded the German tax authorities of an amount of close to EUR 8 million. A total of 40 places have been searched in 11 countries, including 10 in Germany, in cities such as Hamburg, Bremen, Duisburg and Freiburg. Continue reading…

Commission clears acquisition of Refinitiv by London Stock Exchange Group, subject to conditions

18 January 2021
Knowledge Base

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange Group (‘LSEG’). The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by LSEG. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Infrastructure competition in trading services and access to financial data products on fair and equal terms is essential for the European economy and in particular for consumers and businesses. The Commission can approve the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by LSEG because LSEG offered commitments that will ensure that the markets will remain open and competitive and the acquisition will not lead to higher prices or less choice and innovation for these products.” The decision follows an in-depth investigation of the proposed transaction, which combines the activities of LSEG and Refinitiv. LSEG is a global financial markets infrastructure business. It also offers financial data products. Refinitiv is a provider of financial data products. It also controls Tradeweb, which operates trading venues. Continue reading…

Agustín Carstens: “Central banks need to adjust, along with their research, their data policy tools and the way they collaborate with other agencies – especially competition and data protection authorities”

15 January 2021
Knowledge Base

Mr. Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, recently gave a speech at the Deutsche Bundesbank’s internal discussion series on “Digitalisation and central banking – Is there a fundamental change under way?”. I hope you are all safe and still in good spirits despite this latest surge in Covid-19. This has been the strangest year in my memory, but rather than dwell on that, I thought I would look to the bright future on the other side of this pandemic. Specifically, I want to talk about central bankers of the future. And that means yourselves – our bright future. I hope my reflections resonate and I very much look forward to your feedback and questions afterwards. Continue reading…

What did the Swiss regulator actually know about Ralph Hamers, the CEO of UBS?

13 January 2021
Knowledge Base

by Michel Klompmaker

As is known, a large settlement of 775 million euros was reached on 3 September 2018 between ING Bank and the Public Prosecution Service in the Netherlands. This large settlement came to a standstill and ING Bank paid the amount nicely. In other words, ING’s shareholders paid for this with some having felt disadvantaged. In the meantime, it has become known that the Court of Appeal in The Hague is of the opinion that the former CEO of ING, Mr. Ralph Hamers, should be prosecuted. Ralph Hamers is now the new CEO of the large Swiss bank, UBS. We wondered how the “fit and proper” test by the Swiss regulator took place in this regard and asked a few questions in writing to FINMA, the Swiss regulator. Continue reading…

Ashton Whiteley Scam illustrates financial crime

12 January 2021
Knowledge Base

by Dina-Perla Portnaar

The Ashton Whiteley Scam illustrates how financial crime really works. Not a lot of personal cases were shared with the public before in order to make financial crime tangible. Here is an outline of events of a victim of the Ahston Whiteley Scam a couple of years ago. On the 10th of July 2017, a man was approached by a lady who called herself Julia Wright. She came across as a professional; introducing the company she works for as a well-known, reputable and solid firm, operating in the financial world with customers from all over the world. Because of expansion ideas in Europe, the company approached a selected number of potential investors for their future plans.  Continue reading…

Why Twitter made the right call

11 January 2021
Knowledge Base

by Dina-Perla Portnaar

Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t have asked the head of military to make sure that Donald Trump would not be able to launch a nuclear strike during his final days in office, if the national and international threat wouldn’t be as realistic as that. Trump remains commander-in-chief of the US armed forces. In fact, the world does not realise the severity of what happened at the Capitol and the role of Trump in these events. I may only hope that everyone who downplayed the risks of the presidency of Donald Trump will feel a lot of regret, if not now then someday. Continue reading…