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…

Europol and Eurojust sign new contribution agreement expanding cooperation on the SIRIUS project

08 January 2021

Europol and Eurojust have recently signed a contribution agreement that will expand their partnership in supporting law enforcement and judicial authorities with cross-border access to electronic evidence. This new agreement, in place from January 2021 to June 2024, reinforces the success of the SIRIUS project and sets about its second phase of development and enhancement. Launched by Europol in 2017, the SIRIUS project aims to foster the co-development of practical and innovative tools and solutions for EU law enforcement and judicial authorities that can support internet-based investigations. Eurojust has made a significant contribution to the SIRIUS project by providing the perspective of EU judicial authorities. Under this new agreement, Eurojust becomes a full partner of the project. Continue reading…

Yesterday’s historic pro-Trump protestors’ storming of the US Capitol will continue to rumble for years to come…

07 January 2021

by Michel Klompmaker

A cat in a corner makes strange jumps. But the current President of the United States made it very colourful. The whole world was able to witness this last night. Once again it appears that power politics was and is leading with Trump. Well, he will have to answer to various judges immediately after his presidency and that could turn out to be very unpleasant for him. The word “folk driver” comes up spontaneously when you study the images from yesterday. Let’s take a look at the two topics of integrity and honesty. Integrity bring a frown to all eyebrows. An attack on the independent press and on the election results if you lose turns out to be “bon ton”. And then honesty: How many thousands of scientifically controlled lies should one be able to tell and tweet? The Washington Post has meticulously mapped it all out. It will be years there for the fanatical Trump supporters to understand, should that ever happen again. Once more, proof that the combination of poor education and allowed gun possession is an extremely risky combination.

Q&A: EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI)

06 January 2021
Knowledge Base

On December 30, a summit meeting took place between the EU and the People’s Republic of China, with the EU represented by Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen and China by its communist capitalist leader Xi Jin Ping. The agreement concluded on December 30 is in fact the result of many negotiations. As far as possible with a country like China, it is better that a few things are entrusted to paper. Still, there are still some questions left and the answers to them can be found below. The agreement came about under the German Presidency of the EU, perhaps with the necessary pressure behind the scenes from the German automotive industry. Continue reading…

IOSCO seeks to help regulators address retail market conduct risks during stress events such as COVID-19

05 January 2021

The Board of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions recently published a report that seeks to assist regulators in responding to the retail market conduct issues caused by stress events such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Enhancing investor protection and investor confidence in the integrity of securities markets are fundamental objectives for IOSCO. The report examines common retail misconduct risks that have arisen in the financial services industry during the pandemic and sets out measures to assist authorities in responding to this unprecedented and challenging environment. The report, prepared by IOSCO’s Retail Market Conduct Task Force (RMCTF), shares preliminary findings and observations of IOSCO member experiences and identifies the common drivers of firm and retail investor behaviour, which together create increased opportunities for potential misconduct in periods of stress. Continue reading…

China and EU Commitments agreed on 30 December 2020

31 December 2020
Knowledge Base

The European Union (represented by President of the European Council, Charles Michel and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen) held a leaders’ meeting with China (represented by President Xi Jinping) via video conference on 30 December 2020. The meeting provided an opportunity to follow up on the 22nd EU-China Summit (22 June) and the Leaders’ Meeting (14 September) originally foreseen in Leipzig. It is part of continued engagement of the European Union with China. EU leaders had a strategic debate on China at the October European Council which was prepared by in depth consultation at EU leaders’ level. In addition to this meeting, an exchange took place between the French President Emmanuel Macron, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Xi as a follow up of their meeting inParis in March 2019.The meeting focused in particular on progress achieved on negotiations on investment. Following intensive negotiations carried out by the European Commission on the EU’s side, the EU and China concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment(CAI). This delivers on the commitment made at the EU-China summit in April 2019 where the two sides agreed to aim for conclusion of negotiations by the end of 2020.
Continue reading…

FCA fines TFS-ICAP £3.44 million for market misconduct

30 December 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined TFS-ICAP Ltd, an FX options broker, £3.44m for communicating misleading information to clients. Between 2008 and 2015, brokers at TFS-ICAP carried out the practice of “printing” trades. This involved brokers communicating to their clients that a trade had occurred at a particular price and/or quantity when no such trade had actually taken place. TFS-ICAP brokers, across multiple broking desks, did this openly and over a prolonged period. Printing trades sought to encourage clients to trade when they might not have done, in order to generate business for TFS-ICAP. As such, TFS-ICAP did not observe proper standards of market conduct. Continue reading…