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…

17th NextGen Payments & RegTech Forum

21 February 2024

The 17th NextGen Payments & RegTech Forum gathers international payment and RegTech experts in Zurich, the banking capital of the world! The 17th NextGen Payments & RegTech Forum takes place on 7-8 March 2024 at the Marriott Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, bringing together over 300 high-achieving specialists from world-leading companies in the regulatory and payments space to network and discuss the latest market trends in innovations, finance, technology, regulation, payments, and more. 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. 

Continue reading…

FSB MENA group discusses implementation of the global framework for crypto-asset activities and lessons from 2023 banking turmoil

18 February 2024

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group for the Middle East and North Africa (RCG MENA) met recently in Riyadh. The meeting, which was the group’s first in-person since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was hosted by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). The FSB Chair, Klaas Knot, joined RCG members for the meeting. The group discussed global and regional financial stability vulnerabilities, including financial risks arising from the higher interest-rate environment and vulnerabilities in non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI). Continue reading…

Joint statement by President von der Leyen and High Representative/Vice-President Borrell on the death of Alexei Navalny

16 February 2024

“We are shocked and grieved by today’s reports about the death of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Our thoughts are with his wife Yulia Navalnaya, his family and with all those in Russia and beyond who believe in a democratic and peaceful future for Russia. We will honour his memory as a freedom fighter. Alexei Navalny demonstrated incredible courage and determination throughout his life. He bravely returned to Russia after a heinous assassination attempt. He gave hope to democrats and civil society in Russia, which is why so many people from all over the country joined his actions and listened to his messages.” Continue reading…

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.
Continue reading…

Joined forces to boost investment in defence innovation through the Defence Equity Facility

15 February 2024

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have joined forces to step up their support to EU’s defence and security through the launch of the Defence Equity Facility. The initiative, consisting of 100 million euro from the European Defence Fund and an additional 75 million euro from the European Investment Fund, will significantly expand EIF’s investment capacity to support, in the next four years, private equity and venture capital funds with strategies covering technologies relevant to defence. This 175 million euro initiative is expected to attract additional private investments in the funds it supports, thereby mobilising, in total, circa 500 million euro in support of European companies.
Continue reading…