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Insight

financial

Virtual Currencies – four key updates in 2019


Move over Bitcoin and Blockchain – there’s a new raft of terminology to come to terms with in the form of virtual assets, crypto-derivatives and Libra. Adding to the mix the recent announcement on virtual assets from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), it’s been a busy few weeks for anyone keeping an eye on the virtual world. In this Insight piece we will be looking at four key updates from recent weeks.....More

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Blockchain: an introduction


Blockchain is capturing the imagination of the financial services for its potential to reduce risk and decrease costs. It’s easy to consider blockchain as a unicorn – elusive, never seen and no one seems to quite know its capabilities. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT), but what exactly is blockchain and DLT? And how can they be used by mainstream companies?

Are you accidentally funding terrorism?


Hands up if you’ve ever bought a fake pair of sunglasses or fake handbag? Or if you know someone that has? Maybe a friend of a friend has sold you a copy of a film on DVD?....More

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A new study reveals whistleblowing arrangements in UK and European companies


Fresh legislative initiatives and large scandals are thrusting whistleblowing on to the corporate agenda. However, how companies approach internal whistleblowing arrangements varies significantly across Europe. This is according to the Whistleblowing Report 2019 published by the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur in Switzerland and EQS Group.

How new technologies help prevent money laundering


$2 trillion – that’s the amount of illicit funds estimated to be laundered through financial institutions annually. Worse, financial crime appears to be increasing (see the latest from Insight for the reasons behind the rise). In response, Europol estimate that banks globally are spending $260 billion each year in financial crime defences to combat the issue.....More

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Is financial crime on the increase?


At the recent City Week International Financial Services Forum in London, one of the panel sessions focused on the evolution of financial crime, and a statistic highlighted during the session struck a chord with me.

Human trafficking – how technology and collaboration can help combat the issue


Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing and most widespread criminal activities in the world.....More

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Correspondent banking – why it's important to understand the risks


Money laundering scandals have been all over the news recently, with banks such as Danske and Swedbank

Irish stockbroker enforcement action: What were the issues and why do they matter?


On 8 May 2019, the Central Bank of Ireland found Campbell O’Connor & Company, a private client stockbrokers....More

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Why collaboration is vital to combat money laundering


Great strides forward have been made in the general awareness

Monetary Authority of Singapore launches debut enforcement report


The Monetary Authority of Singapore details enforcement actions and key initiatives as it launches debut enforcement report.....More

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Compliance culture – What is the challenge?


Compliance culture, especially in financial services, is a really important element that can impact on the wider cultural challenges that a firm could face.

What are the 6 benefits of studying for an ICA qualification?


Whether you’re new to the industry or taking the next step in your career, it’s important to choose the best compliance training possible. We have put together the top benefits of studying for an ICA qualification & advancing your career.....More

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How many languages does a financial crime professional need to speak?


Virtual currencies, cybercrime and Trumponomics, to name just a few, present interesting dilemmas: to what extent should we be conversant in these areas in order to fully understand the financial crime risks associated with them?

10 ways to instil a culture of compliance


Despite significant investment in compliance, we still see incidents where things go wrong. In many cases the root cause is the wrong culture and values. How do you drive the right culture across your organisation? How do you ensure everyone is accountable for compliance matters? Below we provide some tips to help support a successful compliance ‘change programme’.....More

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Top 5 fines of 2018: Lessons Learned from Enforcement Action


As Father Christmas prepares his list of who has been naughty or nice, I thought it would be interesting to take look at enforcement action in 2018 from around the world and consider some New Year’s resolutions that compliance professionals may want to make in 2019.

Meet an ICA member: Sheila Patel


I am a Senior Compliance professional with extensive skills, knowledge and expertise of the regulatory landscape and systems and controls, gained through 17+ years’ experience within the financial services industry.....More

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Meet an ICA Member: Paul Byrne


I’m Paul Byrne, MICA and Compliance Manager at RA International in Dubai. I’m also an ICA alumni having studied the ICA International Diploma in Compliance and graduating with a Merit. I’ve been a member of the ICA since 15 September 2015.

Meet an ICA member: Robert Dagg


I’ve worked in financial services for 30 years across a range of roles in front office and support functions, leading sizeable teams with multiple jurisdiction responsibilities. I joined the ICA two years ago as a Fellow after graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Governance, Risk & Compliance. I’m also a member of the ICA Technical Advisory Board.....More

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Meet an ICA member: Robert Dagg


I’ve worked in financial services for 30 years across a range of roles in front office and support functions, leading sizeable teams with multiple jurisdiction responsibilities. I joined the ICA two years ago as a Fellow after graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Governance, Risk & Compliance. I’m also a member of the ICA Technical Advisory Board.

Meet an ICA member: Jonathan Harris-Moss


If I’d been asked earlier in my working life to consider a career in compliance, I might have turned my nose up on the grounds that I was trying to become one of those ‘creative types’, unrestricted by rules. Fast forward several years and here I am in 2018, a fairly new entrant into the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) profession.....More

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Meet an ICA Member: Paul Byrne


I’m Paul Byrne, MICA and Compliance Manager at RA International in Dubai. I’m also an ICA alumni having studied the ICA International Diploma in Compliance and graduating with a Merit. I’ve been a member of the ICA since 15 September 2015.

Meet an ICA member: Anastasia Savvateeva


Anastasia Savvateeva is a former compliance officer for the Compliance & Risk Management department with KPMG France, and now Anti-Financial Crime & AML Compliance Officer for Deutsche Bank France. Originally from the Ukraine, she has been living in Paris for 8 years having grew up and studied in Moscow.....More

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International news and developments - August 2018


Financial crime prevention: cleaning up the world


Over the last decade the general public has woken up to the environmental issues affecting the planet. Concerted global efforts are now in place to reduce harm caused by pollution and to cut back on waste. The cost of cleaning up the damage already inflicted is now a central focus of national governments. Below, we look at the cost of financial crime and the incredible impact its prevention could have.....More

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What does being a member of ICA do for you as a compliance professional?


Breaking with Tradition: Rethinking Financial Crime Policy Management


In the wake of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, what is the future of financial crime policy management? Within the realm of financial crime policy management, there is an established and traditional approach to responding to legislative evolutions. As required by regulations, the first and fundamental step is the establishment and maintenance of policies, controls and procedures to mitigate and manage risk (UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017).....More

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Everything you need to know about mobile financial services


Over the last decade, mobile financial services (MFS) have been instrumental in increasing financial inclusion in developing markets. What impact does this have on financial services and the telecommunications industry?

United Kingdom Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022


The UK Government recently published their strategy for addressing the effects of corruption across the UK, which will provide a framework to guide the government’s anti-corruption policies and actions. It also underpins the current government’s strengthened focus on economic crime. We thought we’d take a look at some of the key elements.....More

Financial Crime in the Middle East and North Africa - 2017 Report


In this comprehensive report, it was revealed that the biggest obstacle to investment in technology is cost. We have broken down the key findings of the report into this infographic, to help you understand the need for forward planning.

Defining an EU FinTech strategy – where are we now?


Technological innovation is ceaselessly impacting on many key sectors of our lives, and the financial industry is not immune to it. European institutions are aware that technology-enabled and technology-supported financial services (FinTech) represents a great opportunity for the financial industry.....More

Volkswagen fraud: US issue $4.3 billion fine


We examine the case of automotive giant Volkswagen, the most recent household name to be hit by US authorities for breaching laws and regulations.

Top FCA Fines of 2016 Infographic


We break down combined fines of nearly £18 million issued by the Financial Conduct Authority to five top offenders in 2016.....More

Ireland, Technology and Integrity


A large number of global information, communication and technology (ICT) companies are based in Ireland.

FATF Mutual Evaluation – United States


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released this month their first Mutual Evaluation of the United States since 2006.....More

Brazilian firms receive largest ever foreign bribery fines


Odebrecht and Braskem, two Brazilian companies, have been fined at least US$3.5 billion after pleading guilty to bribing government officials.

Fraud in Germany: the financial crime that needs a 21st century fraud response plan


We don’t know who originally had the idea for committing financial crime, although what is said to be the first recorded incident of fraud – involving a Greek merchant called Hegestratos, an upfront payment for transporting a cargo of corn and a failed plan to scuttle the ship carrying it – dates back to around 300 BC.....More

Fraud in the Netherlands: the financial crime that needs a 21st century fraud response plan


We don’t know who originally had the idea for committing financial crime, although what is said to be the first recorded incident of fraud – involving a Greek merchant called Hegestratos, an upfront payment for transporting a cargo of corn and a failed plan to scuttle the ship carrying it – dates back to around 300 BC.

Fraud in France: the financial crime that needs a 21st century fraud response plan


We don’t know who originally had the idea for committing financial crime, although what is said to be the first recorded incident of fraud – involving a Greek merchant called Hegestratos, an upfront payment for transporting a cargo of corn and a failed plan to scuttle the ship carrying it – dates back to around 300 BC.....More

Panama in the spotlight: making progress on money laundering?


There’s a saying about there being no such thing as bad publicity, though anyone who has been on the receiving end of negative media reports would probably not agree. Panama has attracted global attention as a result of the April 2016 publication by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists of the Panama Papers...

Beneficial ownership: A new era of openness? (Switzerland)


Beneficial ownership is a phrase likely to leave the average person baffled and probably not very bothered. But it’s a concept set to attract much more interest over the coming months and years, thanks to the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), and the central registers of beneficial owners that it will introduce.....More

CPD – groan, do I really have to?


Come on, admit it, we’ve all thought this at some point. It’s getting towards the end of the year and your Manager or HR team are checking your records. You’re supposed to do 35 hours (or thereabouts). Some can be structured, some unstructured. Does that day spent learning how to make PowerPoints more engaging count? When was it? Oh, if only you’d written it down at the time!

International Women’s Day 2016: What’s it got to do with governance, risk and compliance?


How equal are women? According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), not very. It released the startling estimate that we will have to wait until 2095 to close the gender gap. The UN has pledged to tackle this and want to achieve gender equality by 2030.....More

Financial crime: Views on the news


LIBOR, conspiracy to defraud, the Bank of England, Barclays, Qatar, dual criminality and some other observations…….

Frequently asked questions about the UK Senior Managers & Certification Regime


If you work in regulated financial services in the UK, you will have heard about the UK Senior Managers & Certification Regime by now. There’s quite a lot to it, so ICA have summed up some of the key information in some FAQs.....More

International Anti-Corruption Day – What can we do?


Today feels quite significant to me. Not only has it been a week since I took up my role within the Research and Development team at International Compliance Training, but also very importantly, it’s International Anti-Corruption Day.

US SAR stats turns spotlight on crowdfunding


If there’s a gap in the market, you can guarantee that some bright spark will fill it. The same ingenuity also thrives in financial crime. The high-tech world we live in is the perfect breeding ground for new types of threat to emerge. As in the classic Whac-A-Mole game, as soon as one threat is knocked on the head, another is almost certain to pop up somewhere else.....More

Market failure and bad behaviour: where does the individual sit in all of this?


People tend to assume a different persona within the workplace, in much the same way as many individuals adopt a completely different set of social standards when they get behind the wheel of a car.

Mansion House – implications for Compliance?


Our financial services industry in Britain has, in recent years, been seen as part of the problem – now it must become part of the solution. That was the message from George Osborn MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his 2015 Mansion House speech.....More

Banks – between a rock and a hard place?


Yesterday the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK released a statement of their expectations of Banks’ management of money laundering risk:

When enforcing the tone from the top really appears to mean low hanging fruit


It is with some disquiet and unease that I have been reflecting on the finer points of the recent enforcement action that was published earlier this month by the FCA concerning the affairs of the Bank of Beirut and in particular the personal sanction announced of the Compliance Officer and Internal Auditor, and I felt compelled to put pen to paper.....More

Enforcement: Change the Record


It’s the same old song. Not The Four Tops classic (although you’ll probably be humming the tune for the rest of the day now) but my feelings about an article I recently read that has resulted in a depressingly familiar stance by an international organisation.

Fines and financial stability


2014 has so far been a year of massive regulatory fines. The US authorities in particular have upped the ante in their actions against large financial institutions. Amongst the highest profile of these was the $9bn fine issued against BNP Paribas in July, which led recently to the resignation of the bank's chairman, Boudouin Prot.....More

Calling Big Banks to aid financial inclusion and raise their social kudos


Last week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit the headlines with his promise of bank accounts for every household in the country, a bid to offer help to the country’s poor. The initiative is part of a movement towards financial inclusion, which means making financial services accessible by people who do not have formal identification documents, fixed abodes or even known dates of birth.

BNP Paribas: this time it's personal


I wrote recently about the emerging phenomenon of guilty pleas in US regulatory enforcement cases, and their apparent lack of substance following the Credit Suisse plea. In the Credit Suisse case no individuals were punished, no licenses revoked, no activities suspended, and the bank itself confirmed that the impact of the guilty plea on business had been "very limited", leaving many to wonder whether the bank's plea served any purpose other than to add some window dressing to an admittedly large fine.....More

Guilty pleas: still too big to jail?


Recent reports suggest that BNP Paribas may be facing fines potentially in excess of US $5bn for sanctions violations and, moreover, that the bank is being pressed to plead guilty to criminal charges as part of any resolution.

Regulation… the need for speed?


High Frequency Trading (HFT) has been attracting considerable attention this month following the publication of “Flash Boys”, in which bond salesman turned financial writer Michael Lewis suggests that “US stock markets are now rigged by traders who go to astonishing lengths to gain a millisecond edge over their rivals”. With the book’s publication coming just days before the European Parliament voted to adopt HFT regulations under Mifid, the topic of HFT has been generating headlines on both sides of the pond.....More

APAC nations learning compliance lessons from each other


When someone asked me to cover this region for the first time, I thought it was ambitious. The more I learned about Asia Pacific (APAC), the more that statement made sense. Financial services compliance in APAC is moving at both light speed and a snail's pace, depending on where you are standing.

Stick, twist or fold? How best to manage emerging trends and best practice in money laundering and terrorist financing


I was delighted to represent the International Compliance Association at the Compliance Officer conference in Warsaw recently which focussed on the subject of new payment technologies and emerging money laundering and terrorist financing risk management.....More

Restoring trust: the long game


It would be an understatement to say that the financial sector has an image problem. Scarcely a day passes without the emergence of some new financial debacle or the imposition of some new high profile regulatory sanction.

Responsibility and accountability... more than words


The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards was set up to look into professional standards and culture within the UK banking sector. Its recent report – "Changing Banking for Good" – puts forward several recommendations.....More

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An introduction to Financial Crime


Financial Crime has recently emerged as a hot topic of late and I feel it is something that should be brought to the general public’s attention. Here in Singapore we are launching, for the first time in the region, the ICA Financial Crime qualifications, giving us a great platform to start looking at this area in a little more detail.

What does a career in financial crime prevention involve?


The range of threats facing organisations means there are a multitude of career option in financial crime prevention. From anti-bribery and corruption specialists, to fraud analysts and cyber security experts there are a variety of challenging and rewarding roles out there. The roles on offer are very diverse but all require a combination of technical knowledge, understanding of business processes, products and services and the key vulnerabilities targeted by financial criminals.....More

Remuneration and risk: how much has changed post-crisis?


The ongoing financial downturn in the UK has served to keep the issue of financial sector remuneration firmly in the spotlight.

The changing regulatory environment - from the FSA to lofty 'Twin Peaks'


With the impending change in UK regulation flooding towards us like the recent wet weather, the FSA are 'drip' feeding information to the industry as they continue along their metamorphic journey in a bid to help ease the transition we will all have to deal with in some form or another.....More

Mansion House speeches - a surprise, a little gloom and doom and some confusion


As always there were many interesting points to come out of the UK Chancellor's annual Mansion House speech this year, along with some very bad jokes. But one announcement might well have a significant impact upon the future of regulation in the UK.

Have you had an accident? The rise of claims management companies in the UK


We have all been on the receiving end of claims management companies (CMCs) offering to help you claim for an accident at work or car accident which wasn’t your fault. In fact if you watch daytime TV or listen to local radio, you will find that every second advert is one of those firms, usually endorsed by a well known celebrity to promote confidence in their services.....More

Compliance Allergy?


An interesting new law has just come into place in Korea which mandates that most large listed companies will have to have a compliance officer. Licensed lawyers and experienced legal academics are eligible to apply for such posts but so too are those with either a master’s degree or higher in law with at least five years of experience in audit or compliance department of a listed company or an undergraduate degree in law and ten years of experience with a listed company. Their role would be to oversee the companies’ compliance obligations and to work proactively to head off potential legal issues before they escalate.

Why education and training is so important for the financial services sector


After 40 years teaching and training in universities and professional bodies, I was recently asked a question by a student about how, after so much time, it was possible to maintain keenness and enthusiasm about the subject matter of the class.....More

After the hype fades, follow through. You have been warned: bribery & corruption


So the UK FSA has published their Thematic Review of Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC). The lesson is clear. After a new law is enacted or a financial crime theme becomes the focus of regulators due to a scandal, there is a huge response and hype. When the dust settles firms must ensure that control frameworks are properly implemented, and they finish the job. We know the regulators will be watching.

Enhanced Due Diligence – CDD on Steroids?


But could it generate career opportunities in compliance roles in Jersey? Or, as John Harris, Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) quoted in his speech at the November 2011 Jersey Economic and Financial Crime Symposium:“Client Due Diligence (CDD) Plus Plus”....More

Preparations for the UK Financial Conduct Authority are gathering pace


With recent speeches to the British Bankers' Association by both Martin Wheatley and Clive Adamson, and the resignation of Margaret Cole, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of the approach and focus of that the Financial Conduct Authority will have when it assumes its powers in a year's time.

PPI. High profile letters, big losses. Could this be the most undesirable three letter combo?


The BBC Business website has today added a video on PPI compensation levels. Most of you will know what PPI stands for, at least in the first instance - Payment Protection Insurance. But the second instance you may be less familiar with - Polly Peck International. So what’s going on, I hear you ask?....More

Inside Job - Storyville


Sitting in the Planner from the tail end of 2011 was ‘Inside Job – Storyville’. The synopsis said it was an Academy Award winning forensic analysis of the 2008 global financial crisis, tracing the emergence of a rogue culture within the finance industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. At a cost over $20 trillion, the crisis caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly caused global financial collapse. And Matt Damon does the voiceover.

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