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National Authorities of the Ukraine joint investigation team sign Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Justice

29 March 2023
Knowledge Base

The seven national authorities participating in the Eurojust supported joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States Department of Justice. This MoU will enhance the coordination between the JIT partner countries and the US authorities in their respective investigations in connection with the war in Ukraine. The MoU was signed on Friday 3 March by high-level representatives of the prosecution services of the seven JIT partner countries and United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. Continue reading…

UBS will acquire Credit Suisse

20 March 2023
Knowledge Base

UBS plans to acquire Credit Suisse. The combination is expected to create a business with more than USD 5 trillion in total invested assets and sustainable value opportunities. It will further strengthen UBS’s position as the leading Swiss-based global wealth manager with more than USD 3.4 trillion in invested assets on a combined basis, operating in the most attractive growth markets. The transaction reinforces UBS’s position as the leading universal bank in Switzerland. The combined businesses will be a leading asset manager in Europe, with invested assets of more than USD 1.5 trillion. The discussions were initiated jointly by the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, FINMA and the Swiss National Bank and the acquisition has their full support. UBS anticipates that the transaction is EPS accretive by 2027 and the bank remains capitalized well above its target of 13%. The transaction is not subject to shareholder approval. UBS has obtained pre-agreement from FINMA, Swiss National Bank, Swiss Federal Department of Finance and other core regulators on the timely approval of the transaction.

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Financial Conduct Authority to tackle competition problems with the trade data market

17 March 2023
Knowledge Base

A new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report has found that competition in some parts of the wholesale data market is not working as well as it should. Access to good quality, fairly priced trade data is important for the whole financial system. It allows for properly informed, timely investment decisions. Trading data includes information on prices and volumes traded and supplied by venues, like stock exchanges, where shares and other financial products are bought and sold. Markets in which firms compete to provide good quality wholesale data will make the UK an attractive place to do business for a wide range of financial service providers, and so can improve the UK’s international competitiveness.  Continue reading…

Effects of the Whistleblower Directive in the long term

15 March 2023
Knowledge Base

by Daniel Vaknine

Many people, especially within the compliance area, are talking about the EU’s relatively new directive on whistleblowing. From December 17 2023, all organisations with more than 50 employees must implement internal whistleblower channels. In addition to this, there are also requirements for secure data storage (among other things linked to GDPR) and an easily accessible and informative whistleblower policy to ensure that all requirements are met. Here you can find the full directive in English, but how will the directive actually affect workplaces around Europe, and what effect will it have in the long run?  Continue reading…

No teeth yet for the House of whistleblowers; a missed opportunity for safe reporting of wrongdoing

13 March 2023
Knowledge Base

by Caroline Raat and Mark Worth

When Caroline Raat interviewed House of Whistleblowers Chair Wilbert Tomesen December 1st 2022, he argued strongly that the Netherlands’ new whistleblower law should give the House the authority to protect employees preventively — before they are fired or demoted [*1].  He argued strongly for the proper protection of whistleblowers through a preventive enforcement power for the House in the new Whistleblower Protection Act. This had not yet been passed by the House of Representatives at that time. This power would ensure compliance, particularly with the ban on employers placing whistleblowers at a disadvantage, better and faster than in court. Because the House had also noted for some time that this is a major problem, even if the burden of proof about this disadvantage shifts with the law to the employer. After all, going to court is long and costly. Often the person making the report has already been harmed to such an extent that the suffering is already irreversible.

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Global agreement on protection and sustainable use of resources and biodiversity in high seas

09 March 2023
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Last week, global negotiations concluded on the landmark Treaty of the High Seas to protect the ocean, tackle environmental degradation, fight climate change, and prevent biodiversity loss. The new treaty will allow to establish large-scale marine protected areas on the high seas, which are also necessary to meet the global commitment of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Agreement concluded last December to protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. For the first time, the treaty will also require assessing the impact of economic activities on high seas biodiversity. Developing countries will be supported in their participation in and implementation of the new treaty by a strong capacity-building and marine technology transfer component, funded from a variety of public and private sources and by an equitable mechanism for sharing the potential benefits of marine genetic resources. Continue reading…

The IIA Solicits Feedback on Proposed New Global Internal Audit Standards

07 March 2023
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The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) – the internal audit profession’s leader in standards, certifications, education, research, and technical guidance worldwide – released on 1 March for public comment, a draft on proposed changes to the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), with focus on the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. The 90-day public comment period opened on 1 March and runs through May 30. The public comment draft is the next step in the IPPF Evolution Project, an extensive research effort launched in 2020 that has engaged thousands of internal audit practitioners and stakeholders, including regulators, corporate directors, and standard-setting bodies from across the globe. Continue reading…

Foreign whistleblowing: The impact of US extraterritorial enforcement on anti-corruption laws in Europe

06 March 2023
Knowledge Base

by Elina Karpacheva & Branislav Hock

This brand new paper that was recently published entitled “Foreign whistleblowing: The impact of US extraterritorial enforcement on anti-corruption laws in Europe” investigates the expansion of US law in the area of transnational economic crime by discussing the case of foreign whistleblowers, defined as non-US citizens who help US enforcement authorities to sanction both non-US corporations and US corporations that engage in economic crime. Written by Elina Karpacheva and Branislav Hock, the paper shows that extraterritorial application of US whistleblowing laws is part of a broad trend associated with extraterritorial enforcement of US laws, allowing the USA to become the leader in sanctioning US corporations as well as non-US corporations for economic crime. Continue reading…

FSB Chair outlines work priorities for 2023

02 March 2023
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The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has recently published a letter from its Chair, Klaas Knot, to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, ahead of the G20 meeting on 24 and 25 February. The letter notes the recent easing in global financial conditions but warns that, while expectations of a ‘soft landing’ for the global economy have grown, the outlook remains clouded by uncertainty. The combination of near record-high levels of debt, rising debt service costs and stretched asset valuations in some key markets could pose serious threats to financial stability. Continue reading…

FSB assesses financial stability risks of decentralised finance

23 February 2023
Knowledge Base

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has on 16 February published a report on the financial stability risks of Decentralised Finance (DeFi). DeFi is commonly used to describe services in crypto-asset markets that aim to replicate some functions of the traditional financial system in a supposedly decentralised manner – though the actual level of decentralisation varies widely. The report, which was delivered to the February G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, concludes that while the processes to provide services are in many cases novel, DeFi does not differ substantially from traditional finance in the functions it performs or the vulnerabilities to which it is exposed. Continue reading…