Photo: Covid-19 and insurance, symbolized by viruses destroying word insurance to picture that coronavirus pandemic affects insurance in a very negative way, 3d illustration

IAIS reports on impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the global insurance sector

21 December 2020
Knowledge Base

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) recently published its 2020 Global Insurance Market Report (GIMAR). The report discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the global insurance sector from a supervisory perspective. High-level results indicate that despite the considerable volatility in financial markets during the first half of the year, the global insurance sector has remained both financially and operationally resilient, aided by supervisory measures providing operational relief and by monetary and fiscal support measures in financial markets in certain regions. Continue reading…


Arthur Stolk

Co Founder of Icoinic, the first Dutch fund manager to trade in crypto assets
His long background in IT, finance and Bitcoin allows him to follow and translate market movements with a down-to-earth and passionate approach.

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.

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.

Covid-19 puts business risks under a new spotlight

18 December 2020
Knowledge Base

As coronavirus continues to disrupt the corporate landscape, a new survey suggests businesses across Europe have significantly shifted their attitudes towards risk. The Chartered IIA’s annual Risk in Focus 2021 report tracks the risks facing organisations year-on-year as ranked by 579 Chief Audit Executives (CAEs). For the third year running, cybersecurity has topped the list of risks, with almost four in five (79%) businesses citing it as one of the major risks they face. More than a quarter (27%) singled cybersecurity out as the number one risk, amid a heightened awareness of the IT and security threats posed by widespread remote working, including an increase in phishing attempts and malware infections. The report also points to ongoing concerns around companies’ ability to remain solvent as the world enters a recession. Amid depressed demand, financial, capital and liquidity risks have jumped up the agenda, with more than two in five (42%) of those surveyed including these within their top five risks – a 40% increase on last year. Continue reading…

New Consumer Agenda: European Commission to empower consumers to become the driver of transition

17 December 2020

Recently, the European Commission launched the New Consumer Agenda to empower European consumers to play an active role in the green and digital transitions. The Agenda also addresses how to increase consumer protection and resilience during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought significant challenges affecting the daily lives of consumers. More concretely, the Agenda puts forward priorities and key action points to be taken in the next 5 years together with Member States at European and national levels. This will, among other things, include a new legal proposal aiming to provide better information on sustainability to consumers, adapting existing legislation to the digital transformation as well as an action plan on product safety with China. Continue reading…

The Hague Court of Appeal wants the Public Prosecution Service to prosecute Ralph Hamers, former CEO of ING Bank

16 December 2020
Knowledge Base

In 2018, due to a failing anti-money laundering policy, ING Bank reached a settlement of 775 million euros with the Public Prosecution Service. Ralph Hamers remained out of harm’s way. Pieter Lakeman, chairman of Stichting Onderzoek Bedrijfs Informatie (SOBI) asked the Court of Appeal to compel the Public Prosecution Service to prosecute Ralph Hamers, who has been CEO of the Swiss bank UBS since September. The Court considers it important “that the standard is confirmed in public criminal proceedings and that bank directors cannot go unpunished if prohibited conduct actually took place during their leadership. Citizens must be able to see that such actions are also not accepted by the government.” According to Pieter Lakeman and his counsel Gabriel Meijers, witness hearings conducted by the IRS about ING Bank showcase that massive and extremely damaging cuts in the anti-money laundering department have been made since Ralph Hamers became CEO of the bank in 2014. Ralph Hamers ignored warnings from his Chief Risk Officer – among others – paving the way for the influx of lucrative yet criminal customers.  Continue reading…

CyberCrimeCon 2020: latest insights into hacker worlds, nation-state attacks, ransomware plague, and anti-cybercrime operations

14 December 2020
Knowledge Base

On November 25-27, the eight edition of a global threat hunting & intelligence conference CyberCrimeCon, was held online for the very first time. The conference, powered by Group-IB, a Singapore-based cybersecurity company that recently opened its European headquarters in Amsterdam, brought together more than 3,000 independent researchers and cybersecurity professionals from all around the world. The major theme of the event on the fight against evolving cybercrime now encompasses a myriad of different threats such as intelligence units’ military cyber operations, traditional cybercrime, ransomware, carding etc. Representatives of Group-IB, INTERPOL, Europol, financial and tech companies and industrial giants got together to present the latest research findings and share threat hunting and attribution tips. This article will focus on the first day of the event and to four keynote presentations given by four speakers on November 25th. Continue reading…

Photo: Press point by Ursula VON DER LEYEN, President of the European Commission

Von der Leyen at the joint press conference following the European Council meeting of 11 December 2020

11 December 2020

Let me start by saying that I am very grateful to the German Presidency and to Angela Merkel for the efforts undertaken since this summer. From the Commission’s proposal on the budget and NextGenerationEU to the agreement in July in the Council and the finalisation in the next days. This has underlined, indeed, Europe’s ability to come together and the capacity to act in the face of the worst crisis the EU has ever faced. It would not have been possible without the steady leadership of the Chancellor, the rotating Presidency, and we are very grateful for that. The agreement will help us provide a strong economic response to the crisis while preserving the rule of law. Citizens and the EU economy need our support more than ever and they need it now. So we need to finalise the adoption of the Package, with the help of the European Parliament, as soon as possible. And Member States also have to ensure a swift ratification. This is essential for us to power our economy as soon as possible. Continue reading…

Foreign exchange execution algorithms bring about better market functioning, but it also comes with new challenges

08 December 2020

Execution algorithms (EA), intended to purchase or an amount defined in advance of foreign trade as laid out in user instructions, have been experiencing an increase in use in the midst of a rising decentralized and divided trading scheme as indicated by a report distributed today by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Markets Committee. This has subsequently aided in upholding pricing and market functioning. However, this also has the possibility of forming new risks, as stated in the report. Furthermore, the report also looks to analyze the drivers and ramifications of the rise in execution algorithm usage in the foreign exchange markets. It draws on a unique survey of 70 refined market partakers from around the world with a large industry wide effort, and providers a particular perspective focused on the use of EAs, also by central banks. Continue reading…

FCA publishes evaluation of its work on the financial advice market

07 December 2020

Both the RDR and FAMR (the latter carried out in collaboration with HM Treasury) sought to improve the distribution of retail financial services products, and the FCA committed to evaluate their impact, to test whether they delivered their desired outcomes. The aim of the RDR was to establish a resilient, effective and attractive retail investment market that consumers had confidence in and trusted. The objective of FAMR was to identify ways to make the UK’s financial advice market work better for consumers. Improving the mass market for consumer investments is a core plank of our Business Plan Priority to improve the overall consumer investments market.  Continue reading…