One pleasant surprise of the pandemic has been the shortage of business bankruptcies, despite recurrent lockdowns that have drained their incomes. But is this rosy picture a cruel illusion to be removed as governments stop propping up small companies? Banks will soon find out if government life support has simply delayed the inevitable.
Kieran Donoghue, the Irish Development Authority’s Global Head of Strategy, Public Policy and International Financial Services examines the continuing uncertainty around Brexit and role that Ireland can play as a strategic partner to the United Kingdom’s (UK) financial services industry.
Banks report to shareholders, but when it comes time to respond to shareholder concerns about their positive contributions to climate-change action, banks often fall short. Progress is slow but steady, thanks to activist shareholders’ efforts, to persuade banks to accept more responsibility for their financing of fossil-fuel ventures.
In today’s investment environment, sustainability objectives are regarded as highly as other important goals. European Union regulators recently implemented the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which seeks to ensure that financial firms are honest about how sustainable their products and services are. What are the key steps financial institutions should be taking to ensure that their disclosure reporting aligns with regulatory requirements while anticipating the new demands on their capital providers?
The Brexit referendum delivered a punch to the UK’s pound, but the currency has slowly picked itself up and gained some strength despite the pandemic, once again closing in on the US$1.40 mark in February. How well it fares over the next few months will depend on several factors—including the UK’s COVID-19 response but also the raft of unique issues that the nation will face as it evolves post-Brexit.
Crossing borders involves a myriad of challenges, including compliance with different tax regimes. Multinational enterprises, as the name implies, operate in multiple nations and face multiple tax regulations. International coordination of tax rules is crucial, especially as the digital economy grows, to address the inconsistencies and inequities of a patchwork system. In partnership with other organizations, the World Bank is working toward a more consistent and fair global taxation structure.
Interview with Ms. Jelena Galić, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer, AIK Banka
Serbia’s AIK Banka exists for its clients and is committed to exceeding their expectations by constantly seeking channels to innovatively expand its range of products and services while simultaneously living up to the trust its customers have placed in it. In her interview, CEO Jelena Galić explains how the bank is doing much more than just survive the pandemic by continuing its drive to explore new and promising customer-service frontiers.
Financial institutions, coping with a tsunami of concerning issues, must face the reality of a more coordinated tidal wave of AML regulations, which regulatory regimes worldwide plan to enforce. The risks of disciplinary actions are too great for C-level and board members to ignore, so what developments do they need to know and what steps must they take to protect their companies, and themselves, from the consequences of compliance failure?
2021 brings a new administration to the White House and, with it, a more favorable outlook toward sustainability, especially climate change. How much this shift in policy will influence financial regulations and ultimately banks, especially in the US, is not yet certain. But banks should prepare for stronger pressure on the financial industry to contribute to the effort to foster sustainable development through stricter disclosure requirements and redirected investment goals.
Gains in Europe’s annual inflation rates during the first month of 2021, raising the euro area’s rate to 0.9 percent and the European Union’s to 1.2 percent—due primarily to price increases for industrial goods and services, are encouraging and bring promise for further increases. However, not all EU countries experienced the same success, with Greece at the low end (-2.4 percent) and Poland at the high end (3.6 percent).