The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a truly singular year. With a deep global recession resulting from strict lockdown measures being implemented throughout much of the world, there has been little for investors to cheer. But with signs that the worst may be mostly behind us, an increasing number of opportunities will undoubtedly present themselves as we move into 2021.
US Federal Reserve
Thanks in no small part to recent rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve System, Singaporean banks are now under increasing pressure. And the outlook for the Asian city-state’s banking sector suggests that things may get only worse this year, especially for the three biggest players:
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, 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.
As the world becomes more digitally intertwined, competition between its major economies grows more combative, as evidenced by the US-China trade battles and legal actions. No sector is more impacted than frontline information and communications technology, in which much of today’s warfare between the two heavyweights rages. At the inception of a new year and a new decade, is there reason to hope for cooperation toward shared growth and prosperity?
The mandate of financial institutions is to process financial transactions for individuals and businesses, but unfortunately, these institutions are sometimes used for illicit purposes, such as money laundering and terrorist financing. Effective, accurate risk assessment is the foundation of a financial firm’s risk management and regulatory compliance, and there are a number of manual and automated methods available to assess risks. Detecting and acting against suspicious activities is a must for banks today.
Given the prevailing financial infrastructure that exists today, international transfers continue to remain costly, time-consuming and risky—and even more so when there is a need to exchange currency. Such transactions normally undergo a series of stages that invariably include the involvement of intermediary parties and the foreign-exchange market
Data lineage is becoming more important for financial services organisations today. Increasingly, it is becoming hard-wired in regulations and in data quality frameworks like the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Targeted Review of Internal Models (TRIM) – and ultimately this is all related to the need for ‘explainability’.
For Better or for Worse: The Linkage Between the US Economy and the Major Economies of the Western Hemisphere
The US economy is on track to break its own record; its current 115 months of expansion is only five months shy of the record set in the 1990s. The next recession will come, maybe soon, as the economy succumbs to factors such as policy errors, foreign growth and corporate profit. And the United States will not fall alone; other Western Hemisphere countries will be dragged down with it.
Why do we need stress tests? Since the financial crisis, stress tests have become the main instrument of bank supervision. In stress tests, supervision interacts with regulation and bank capital requirements. Research highlights the role of stress-test supervision in dampening the incentives of banks to take risks, especially when capital requirements are not effective.