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Eurojust supports international operation against world’s largest ransomware group

27 February 2024
Knowledge Base

In a coordinated action supported by Eurojust and Europol, judicial and law enforcement authorities from 10 different countries have severely disrupted LockBit, the world’s most active ransomware operation. Two members of the ransomware team have been arrested in Poland and Ukraine. In addition, law enforcement has compromised LockBit’s primary platform and other enabling infrastructure. This includes the takedown of 34 servers in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Continue reading…

Central bank independence against the background of higher interest rates and financial stability: ceteris paribus or mutatis mutandis ?

24 February 2024
Knowledge Base

by Olaf Sleijpen

One of the more fascinating concepts covered in economics courses is ‘ceteris paribus’ – Latin for ‘all other things being equal’. This concept allows us to investigate the causal and independent relationship between two variables, while all other variables remain unchanged. For instance, the relationship between interest rates and inflation. And so, ‘ceteris paribus’ offers a very simplified way to illustrate the core workings of a central bank. Or in central bank Latin, all other things considered equal, raising interest rates will lower inflation. And so, in theory, it is pretty straightforward how our primary policy tool helps to reach our primary objective – an inflation rate of around two percent in the medium term. This kind of central bank independence – the ‘ceteris paribus’ kind – does not exist outside the realm of theory, of course. The real world – the world central banks actually work in – is instead characterised by ‘mutatis mutandis’. Meaning that changing one variable will affect several others, and not per se only the one you wanted to affect. And meaning that this works both ways. And with a multitude of variables simultaneously. Hence, to achieve our primary objective, we are dependent on an ever-changing world. Sometimes things go well. At other times, risks arise that we need to carefully monitor. Continue reading…

Business model and innovation: The importance of the strategic process

22 February 2024
Knowledge Base

by Melania Franzese & Giordano Di Veglia

The powerful acceleration of the dynamics linked to digital transformation has once again challenged the banks’ business models, forcing the supervisor to make a qualitative leap in analysing the business models and profitability in the banking strategic process. In this context, the ability of banks to adopt appropriate assessment methodologies for their business models is even more crucial. Continue reading…

Photo: Mohammed Zina

Mohammed Zina found guilty of insider dealing and fraud

20 February 2024

On 15 February, Mr Mohammed Zina was found guilty of six offences of insider dealing and three offences of fraud following a 12-week trial at Southwark Crown Court brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Between 2014 and December 2017, Mohammed Zina worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs International. Through his role in the Conflicts Resolution Group, which he joined in 2016, he came into possession of inside information relating to potential mergers and acquisitions that his employer was advising on. 

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GAP insurers agree to suspend sales following FCA concerns over fair value

16 February 2024
Knowledge Base

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that multiple insurance firms have agreed to pause sales of Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance, following a request from the FCA. The firms which have agreed to this action account for 80% of the GAP market. The regulator will carry out a second tranche of engagement with the rest of the GAP market, with the aim of improving the value of the product across all firms. These firms have agreed not to use new distributors of GAP in the interim. GAP insurance is typically sold alongside car finance. It covers the difference between a vehicle’s purchase price or outstanding finance and its current market value, in the event it is written off before finance has been repaid. The FCA is concerned that the product is failing to provide fair value to some consumers.
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Political agreement on a new economic governance framework fit for the future

13 February 2024
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The Commission welcomes the agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the most ambitious and comprehensive reform of the EU’s economic governance framework since the aftermath of the economic and financial crisis. The Commission presented its reform proposals in April 2023. The main objectives of the framework are to strengthen Member States’ debt sustainability, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth in all Member States through growth-enhancing reforms and priority investments. The framework will help make the EU more competitive and better prepared for future challenges by supporting progress towards a green, digital, inclusive and resilient economy. The reforms address shortcomings in the current framework. They seek to ensure that the framework is simpler, more transparent and effective, with greater national ownership and better enforcement. They take into account the need to reduce increased public debt levels, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a realistic, gradual and sustained manner. The new framework also builds on the lessons learned from the EU policy response to the financial crisis where a lack of investment hampered a swift economic recovery.
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Judgment on appeal postponed for tenth time, but Reggie de Jong keeps faith in good outcome

09 February 2024
Knowledge Base

by Michel Klompmaker

The appeal judgment between De Jong et al. v. Airbus – Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Börse – Clearstream and InsingerGilissen (part of Quintet Private Bank) known as case number 200,289,627/01, was postponed for the tenth time. The appeal hearing took place on May 18, 2022 and the new roll date for the judgment is now set for April 2, 2024. Now that the second anniversary is over and there is still no judgment, there are question marks as to why there is yet again a postponement, now for the tenth time. We spoke with concerned Reggie de Jong, former swimming champion, wherein she made the comparison between her swimming career and this fraud case. Continue reading…

Ajay Katara

Ajay Katara

Consulting Partner and Head the RegTech Portfolio in Banking Risk Management area at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Unraveling Risk and Compliance Trends in 2024

07 February 2024
Knowledge Base

Over the last few years, risk and compliance function has been a top priority for many banks and financial services organisations, with initiatives spanning across adoption of newer regulatory compliances, stress testing, model risk management, and focus on emerging risks like climate risk, to name a few. Come 2024, as per industry reports, the spend in risk and compliance is expected to grow by 14% in 2024 with the spotlight around heightened regulatory scrutiny, newer regulatory initiatives, and technological adoptions to drive optimisation and efficiencies within the function which will eventually help to meet the business demands and expectations for 2024 and beyond. Continue reading…

15 arrested for arranging 133 sham marriages in Cyprus

06 February 2024
Knowledge Base

Judicial and law enforcement authorities in Cyprus, Portugal and Latvia have dismantled a criminal network suspected of organising 133 sham marriages in Cyprus to facilitate illegal immigration into the European Union. During a joint action day carried out on 29 January, 15 suspects were arrested: 13 in Cyprus, one in Latvia and one in Portugal. According to the investigations, the criminal network was also involved in human trafficking and money laundering activities, as well as forcing victims into bogus marriages for immigration purposes. Continue reading…