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?
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!
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.
For those of us in the world of contracting, there really is only one big story at the moment – other than Brexit of course – and that it is the potential roll out of the intermediaries legislation to the private sector. To date, contractors have made up a significant portion of the workforce at larger financial services organisations. According to Contractor Calculator, they estimate there are approximately 300,000 PSCs operating in the UK.
It’s a question that every firm that sells products must ask: How much portfolio diversification is ideal for maximizing profits while minimizing risks? Putting all of a company’s resources into a few focused products is a risky proposition that may not bring the best outcome compared to a more diversified approach. How can a firm harness that winning combination, achieve the most success and measure the results of its strategy?
Modern Slavery is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world, creating an estimated 40 million victims globally. Modern Slavery networks generate significant sums of money, including from work done by the victims. These funds represent the proceeds of crime, with approximately $150 billion in illicit proceeds being generated every year.
The last few years have seen a handful of new and often revolutionary ways for both companies and individuals to raise capital. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) and peer-to-peer lending are just a couple of these groundbreaking methods, offering an unprecedented level of directness between the fundraiser and the investor.
Compliance teams are no longer the same as they used to be – they are now considered the third most-stressful City job, after investment bankers and traders. The combination of the financial crisis, Brexit and cybercrime has resulted in a high-stress profession, with constant roadblocks in the way of success.
On the final Monday of 2019, protesters staged a sit-in at the Beirut offices of Bank Audi, Lebanon’s largest bank. Chants of “We want the money!” were heard as the furious protesters—many of them Audi’s clients—demanded that tellers give them their funds.