ECB review sees elevated financial stability risks due to uneven impact of pandemic

28 May 2021
Knowledge Base

The uneven economic impact of the pandemic means that financial stability risks are concentrated in specific sectors and countries, often with higher pre-existing vulnerabilities, concludes the May 2021 Financial Stability Review (FSR) of the European Central Bank (ECB). “As the euro area emerges from the third wave of the pandemic, risks to financial stability remain elevated and have become more unevenly distributed. A higher corporate debt burden in countries with larger services sectors could increase pressure on governments and banks in these countries,” said Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB. “Extensive policy support, particularly for corporates, could gradually move from being broad-based to more targeted,” he added. Continue reading…


Cécile Louchard-de Barsy

Senior Compliance Officer at Banque Degroof Petercam Luxembourg since september 2020
An innovative Compliance & Forensic pofessional who delivers efficient solutions for both financial and industrial players.

Marta Andreeva

Global Compliance Program Specialist at since July 2020
Marta is passionate about developing a culture of compliance, increasing awareness and coaching and mentoring others.

Ken van Ierlant

Digital Thought Leader
Member of the Board of Directors of UpGen. Experienced CEO / CDO / CIO in the field of transformation processes within internationally oriented companies.

Theodoros Kringou

Founder and Managing Director, Infocredit Group Ltd and ICG Middle East Commercial Services DMCC (Dubai, U.A.E.)
Theodoros Kringou, a self-made entrepreneur is the Founder and Managing Director of Infocredit Group Ltd and ICG Middle East Commercial Services DMCC (Dubai, U.A.E.).

Convictions in the UK for Slovak gang behind modern slavery case

28 May 2021

Five members of a Slovak organised crime group (OCG) have been sentenced in the United Kingdom for up to eight years in prison for the exploitation of fellow nationals in a case of modern slavery and money laundering. Between 2008 and 2017, the victims were forced to work under appalling circumstances in British restaurant kitchens and car wash facilities, receiving only approximately EUR 25 for working weeks of up to 80 hours a week. In 2019, Eurojust organised and supported coordinated actions of the UK and Slovak authorities that led to the arrest of the five perpetrators. Continue reading…

Eurojust supports Spanish action against massive VAT fraud

27 May 2021
Knowledge Base

Eurojust has supported an operation against large-scale VAT fraud, money laundering and forgery of documents, which have cost the Spanish tax authorities EUR 26 million in missed revenues. In record time, the Agency coordinated the judicial cooperation with Slovakia, Belgium and the Netherlands to halt the fraud scheme. The scammers had set up a series of fake companies to avoid paying VAT within the internal market. During an action day, 22 suspects were arrested and 24 places were searched. A total of 13 properties and 16 vehicles were seized, and tens of bank accounts were frozen. Continue reading…

Nikhil Rathi: Regulation and competition in UK markets, international cooperation, and global regulatory issues

26 May 2021
Knowledge Base

Nikhil Rathi, CEO to Association of Foreign Banks recently delivered a speech at the Association of Foreign Banks – CEO Programme 2021 – on 6 May 2021. Given the events of the last couple of years, it’s no surprise that so many of the financial services industry’s events at the moment have ‘post’ in the title. We may have finally gone from ‘post-financial crisis’ to ‘post-Brexit’ and, hopefully very soon, ‘post-Covid’. But of course, the really interesting question for regulators and for industry is always what comes next, and how we can shape that and prepare ourselves for it. I’m looking forward to discussing some of the most significant issues and how we’re approaching them. Of course, at this stage, I can’t promise you with certainty as to how these issues will be resolved – but we want to be as open and clear as possible in explaining our perspective, our approach, and the outcomes that we are working towards. Continue reading…

Whistleblowing: Comparisons of the German and Czech legislative proposals

25 May 2021
Knowledge Base

by Michal Pleticha

Whistleblowing is back in the spotlight, ready to ignite heated debates later this year. Why? The 17th of December 2021 marks the expiration of the transposition period of the EU Whistleblower Directive1. To put it simply, every EU Member State should have the effective law on the protection of whistleblowers by the end of this year, which means that the internal compliance systems of many public and private entities is about to change. Let’s have a closer look at the preparations in two EU countries, Germany and the Czech Republic who share the similar model of whistleblower protection: partial and fragmented. Continue reading…

EBA publishes results of EU-wide pilot exercise on climate risk

24 May 2021

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has recently published the findings of its first EU-wide pilot exercise on climate risk, whose main objective is to map banks’ exposures to climate risk and provide an insight into the green estimation efforts banks have carried out so far. The findings give a clear picture of banks’ data gaps and highlight the sense of urgency to remedy them if they are to achieve a meaningful and smooth transition to a low-carbon economy. It is only through a more harmonised approach and common metrics that banks’ efforts will prove meaningful in addressing and mitigating the potentially disruptive impacts of environmental risks. The findings also show big differences in banks’ application of the EU taxonomy. A first estimate of the starting point of their green asset ratio (GAR) estimated with a top-down tool currently stands at 7.9%. Continue reading…

Global leaders adopt agenda to overcome COVID-19 crisis and avoid future pandemics

22 May 2021
Knowledge Base

The EU will come forward with a proposal in the WTO focusing on:

clarifying and facilitating the use of compulsory licences in crisis times like this pandemic;
supporting the expansion of production;
trade facilitation and limiting export restrictions.

All G20 members also acknowledged the need to address the funding gap of the ACT-Accelerator, a global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, and launched by the WHO, the European Commission, France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And agreed to extend its mandate to the end of 2022.
Continue reading…

FCA proposes stronger protection for consumers in financial markets

21 May 2021
Knowledge Base

The FCA has recently set out plans for a new Consumer Duty, which will set a higher level of consumer protection in retail financial markets for firms to adhere to. Firms are already bound by FCA rules and principles to treat customers fairly and many firms are delivering the right outcomes for consumers, including good products and services at fair prices, supported by high standards of customer service and clear communications. The FCA has seen evidence of practices that cause consumer harm, including firms providing information which is misleadingly presented or difficult for consumers to understand, hindering their ability to properly assess the product/service. This may provide some insight into why 1 in 4 respondents to the FCA’s 2020 Financial Lives Survey said they lack confidence in the financial services industry and only 35% of respondents agreed that firms are honest and transparent in their dealings with them. Continue reading…

European Green Deal: Commission aims for zero pollution in air, water and soil

20 May 2021
Knowledge Base

The European Commission recently adopted the EU Action Plan: “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil” – a key deliverable of the European Green Deal and the main topic of this year’s EU Green Week. It sets out an integrated vision for 2050: a world where pollution is reduced to levels that are no longer harmful to human health and natural ecosystems, as well as the steps to get there. The plan ties together all relevant EU policies to tackle and prevent pollution, with a special emphasis on how to use digital solutions to tackle pollution. Reviews of relevant EU legislation are foreseen to identify remaining gaps in EU legislation and where better implementation is necessary to meet these legal obligations. Continue reading…

The English Premier League, the European Super League, and independent regulators: Governance and ownership issues in football, and its ties to economic crime

19 May 2021
Knowledge Base

Decades of self-regulation and rapid expansion has led the sport sector to lag behind other industries in corporate governance and policy implementation, as demonstrated by the consistent media exposure documenting scandals at football clubs, and at National and International Sport Federations. On Wednesday April 28th 2021, the Economic Crime Series: Governance and Ownership Issues in Football was held online. The event was organised and chaired by Prof. Lisa Jack who welcomed two speakers, Dr. Rob Wilson and Mrs. Christina Philippou. The Risk & Compliance Platform Europe also took part in this webinar and has subsequently covered it on its website. Continue reading…