On the surface, the United States is soaring economically when compared to some of its rivals. But turbulence lurks under the nation’s wings. To a large extent, the Federal Reserve is underwriting this growth through monetary and fiscal channels, leading to instability in money markets. What transpires in the world’s largest economy and reserve-currency holder is guaranteed to impact the welfare of economies elsewhere, so what can we expect next?
Increasingly, core banking services no longer occur within the brick-and-mortar walls of a community’s bank. Financial services have broken out into mobile and online banking, with fintechs and neobanks competing with incumbent banks on their own turf. Banks should adapt to digital advances, but building customer trust is the make-it-or-break-it ingredient. Innovation will constantly change, but the need for relational trust between bank and customer will always remain the same.
Technology is bringing an assortment of benefits to consumers and their banks but also a slew of new or heightened risks. In the UK, regulatory authorities are addressing the looming threats by rolling out proposals related to Operational Resilience (OpRes). UK financial firms will be expected to adhere to new rules during the second half of 2021 and need to start preparing as the journey to compliance will be arduous.
Massive amounts of tax revenue are lost to governments due to bank fraud. The United States is fighting back with Qui Tam Economic Whistleblower rewards, a provision of the False Claims Act, recovering billions of dollars from tax cheats since the Act’s revamping in 1986. Watch out. If you work in a bank that handles US citizens’ financial accounts, there could be a qui tam whistleblower working right beside you!
Children are a wonderful addition to any family, but kids and travel don’t often mix. Imagine finding a corner of the world with panoramic ocean views, glistening beaches and top-notch resorts that spare no amenity but actually welcome children! The concept is as breathtaking as the magnificent visual scenes in The Algarve, Portugal. So, pack your bags and the kids, and head to Portugal for a family-filled, gratifying luxury holiday.
The risks to banks and their executives from non-compliance with anti-money-laundering regulations are increasing dramatically. The United Nations estimates that as much as $2 trillion (5 percent) of global GDP is laundered. Since 2018, the exits of CEOs from Westpac, Swedbank and Danske Bank underscore the consequences. To effectively manage money-laundering risks, bank executives need to have sound answers from their compliance, security and IT professionals to five core questions.
The last few years have seen arguably a closer relationship between politics and investing than in previous decades. With seismic events such as the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum in June 2016 and the United States’ presidential election later that same year, market uncertainty remained at elevated levels during much of the latter half of the last decade
The Great Recession forced big international banks to re-evaluate risks and “de-risk” some overseas operations, guided by an augmented focus on AML and CFT compliance. Unfortunately for Caribbean banks, de-risking for the North American majors translated into trimming ties with them. Changing the perception that they are “risky” has not been easy for Caribbean bankers, but through resolute, concerted effort, the risk profile of the Caribbean banking industry is improving.
Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is where things happen, including the biggest sales dollarwise in the history of real estate. Why does this particular piece of geography continue to attract so much high-end buyer interest? Is it the temperate climate, the ocean, the celebrities? David Parnes and James Harris of the famous The Agency offer their opinions on where this one-of-a-kind market sits now and where it is headed.
Increasingly, the US government is imposing sanctions as an integral part of its foreign policy, and financial institutions, especially those in capital markets, have been caught in the crossfire. With penalties for sanctions violations mounting, financial players within capital markets are increasingly called upon to assess and address the risks associated with their products and services that are vulnerable to exploitation by sanctions violators, and accomplishing this is not easy.