The enforcement of environmental-crime legislation is evolving in the UK—and the pace is set to quicken, with inevitable implications for financial firms and investors. Increasing enforcement sophistication and AML risks, focus on supply-chain due diligence, and ESG and regulation are three ways in which risk is changing for the industry.
Financial Conduct Authority
The London Inter-bank Offered Rate, LIBOR, has for 50 years served as one of the most widely used benchmark interest-rate indexes. But its reputation has been tarnished by concerns that it has been manipulated by banks, and the United Kingdom’s FCA has pulled the plug on LIBOR submissions after 2021. Its successors—risk-free rates—are lining up to take over, but the transition is definitely not guaranteed to be smooth.
In the age of specialization, many organizations turn to intermediaries to do business. They take the form of partners, suppliers, distributors, or agents, and many firms can have thousands of “feet on the ground” doing work on their behalf around the globe.
“Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML) is an important component of the underlying system that supports all transnational crime. It’s far more complex than any other type of financial investigation and requires a lot more co-operation across agencies and across national jurisdictions,” says Mark Giuffre, former special agent for the American Drug Enforcement Administration.
Mainframe computers have enabled banks to manage huge amounts of financial data for nearly 70 years, but these legacy systems are today proving to be hindrances to progress. Lean fintechs are taking full advantage of today’s ground-breaking, agile technology, while established banks are struggling to transform their bedrock digital infrastructure for the new world. How are banks migrating to cutting-edge systems that will maintain them on their industry’s frontlines?
The stewardship responsibility of today’s bank has become more complicated in the light of climate change. Not only does a bank need to be cognizant of its responsibility to safeguard customer finances but also the future of the planet on which we all live. Green finance is an ever more significant influence on the decisions made by bankers determined to reconnect with the needs of society in more ways than just financial.
The intensifying interconnectedness of countries around the world has its benefits but also leaves nations vulnerable to the potentially detrimental effects of not only financial meltdowns but also regulations imposed by foreign entities. The EU’s soon-to-come MiFID II is already causing consternation in the United States, especially as the new regulations relate to US investment firms.
Making Sure that Everyone Plays by the Rules: Harnessing a global-partnerships approach to tackling corruption
As its name suggests, corruption is a contaminating influence on whatever it touches, financial businesses included. That’s why various international parties—business decision-makers, policymakers, regulators, police, journalists, consumers—are seeking collaboration, transparency and partnership as they hash out solutions to the blight of corruption at local and national levels.
A financial firm’s internal culture is a product of the culture of its individual employees, and the influence of senior management on developing desirable culture cannot be denied. Behavioural-measurement tools are indispensable in managing culture within a financial institution, addressing the goals and concerns of such initiatives as the FCA’s Senior Managers Regime.
Leading think tank Open Europe last month published an independent report investigating how valuable the ability to ‘passport’ financial services across Europe – as laid out in the single market directive – is to the UK’s economy following the country’s decision to leave the EU in June.