Malware network that infected more than 700.000 victims and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage worldwide dismantled

06 September 2023
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The infrastructure of the malware and botnet known as ’Qakbot’ has been taken down in an international operation led by the United States involving actions in the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Romania and Latvia. The Qakbot malware infected more than 700.000 victim computers, facilitated the delivery of ransomware and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage worldwide. This is one of the largest financial and technical disruptions of a botnet infrastructure leveraged by cybercriminals to commit ransomware, financial fraud and other cyber-enabled criminal activity.

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Supervisory cooperation in the fight against financial crime is improving, the EBA finds

04 September 2023
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The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published its third Report on the functioning of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) colleges. The Report finds that competent authorities had taken important steps to improve the functioning of AML/CFT colleges. Nevertheless, many colleges had not reached full maturity. The Report highlights good practices that will be useful for competent authorities to further improve the effectiveness of AML/CFT colleges and of supervisory outcomes. Continue reading…

ESMA seeks first input on detailed rules for crypto markets

01 September 2023
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, has published its first consultation package under the Markets in CryptoAssets Regulation and invites comments from stakeholders by 20 September 2023. In this first of three consultation packages, ESMA is seeking input on proposed rules for cryptoasset service providers (CASPs), in particular related to their authorisation, identification and management of conflicts of interests and also how CASPs should address complaints. Continue reading…

Fishing opportunities for 2024 in the Baltic Sea

31 August 2023

The Commission has adopted its proposal for the 2024 fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea in response to a scientific assessment that indicates several fisheries are in a dire situation. The Commission proposed the total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for three out of the ten stocks managed in the Baltic Sea. The remaining quota proposals will be established at a later stage. The Commission proposes to increase fishing opportunities for salmon in the Gulf of Finland by 7%, while proposing to decrease fishing of salmon in the main basin by 15%, and to decrease herring catches in the Gulf of Riga by 20%. As for the other stocks in the Baltic (western cod, eastern cod, western herring, Bothnian herring, central herring, sprat and plaice), the Commission has requested additional information from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) to take better account of the fact that cod is caught together with flatfish, and herring together with sprat. Continue reading…

CPMI and IOSCO report highlights the need for central counterparties to have adequate resources to address non-default losses

30 August 2023
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The Bank for International Settlements’ Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have on 23 August published a Report on current central counterparty practices to address non-default losses highlighting the need for CCPs to have adequate resources and appropriate tools to address NDLs. CCPs have become increasingly important to the financial system for managing counterparty risk, especially since the introduction of the clearing obligation for standardised OTC derivatives following the 2007–09 global financial crisis. Continue reading…

ESMA launches Data Strategy for the next five years

29 August 2023
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, has recently published its Data Strategy for 2023-2028. Over the coming five years, ESMA will work to facilitate the use of new data-related technologies, reduce reporting compliance costs by regulated entities, enable the effective use of data at both EU and national level; and make data more broadly available to the public. Continue reading…

FINMA publishes guidance on money laundering risk analysis

28 August 2023
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The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has on 24 August published guidance on the money laundering risk analysis. By doing so, it is creating transparency about its observations and experiences gained from supervisory practice in this area. FINMA has repeatedly identified shortcomings in the area of the money laundering risk analysis during on-site supervisory reviews. This prompted it to conduct an in-depth review of the money laundering risk analyses of more than thirty banks in spring 2023.

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FCA finds fund managers’ value assessments significantly improved, but still work to do

25 August 2023

Following a review of fund managers’ value assessments, the FCA has found that while many firms have better practices in place, some still require improvement. In 2017, the FCA published its Asset Management Market Study, which found evidence of weak demand-side pressure on fund prices, resulting in uncompetitive outcomes for investors in authorised funds. Since then, the FCA has worked closely with industry to encourage a greater focus on assessment of value, to drive improved value for money for investors.  Continue reading…

Lieve Lowet

Lieve Lowet

EU Affairs consultant and lobbyist

The next steps in the Solvency II review – still a lot of work ahead

24 August 2023
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The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament agreed on 18 July 2023 the Ferber reports on the Solvency II review. The Ferber reports took nearly two years of gestation, but were finally adopted, with a larger majority for the Solvency II amendments than for the proposal for an Insurance Recovery and Resolution directive (IRRD). The report on the Solvency II amendments was adopted with 55 in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention, the report on IRRD was adopted with 44 in favour, 7 against and 8 abstentions. The reports are now tabled in the next European Parliament’s plenary for announcement on the ECON vote and on the mandate to enter into interinstitutional negotiations.  Thereafter, the Spanish presidency, the Commission and the European Parliament can start the trilogue. Will this go smoothly? It depends. Continue reading…

IAIS publishes preview of 2023 Global Monitoring Exercise results

22 August 2023
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The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has recently published a mid-year preview of its 2023 Global Monitoring Exercise (GME) analysis in advance of publishing the Global Insurance Market Report (GIMAR) in December. The GIMAR mid-year update covers (1) interim results on solvency, profitability and liquidity positions, systemic risk developments and the interconnectedness with banks; (2) an update on the key themes in scope of the 2023 GME; and (3) next steps. The GME builds on data collected from approximately 60 of the largest international insurance groups and aggregate sector-wide data from supervisors across the globe, covering over 90% of global written premiums. Continue reading…