Article: The Future Of Wall Street: Fintech 50 2021

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The Future Of Wall Street: Fintech 50 2021

JAMES ALBERT, 22 July 2021

Even before the Coronavirus pandemic closed bank branches and emptied Wall Street’s once-boisterous trading floors, the digitization of all things finance was well underway. Stock markets trade almost entirely electronically and many of Wall Street’s most valuable companies now provide data, technology and software to the big banks, private equity firms and hedge funds that execute the day’s big trades. Covid only accelerated the push for firms to digitize their businesses and handle an increasingly distributed workforce.

Behavox, founded by former Goldman Sachs stock analyst and hedge fund portfolio manager Erkin Adylov, has become the go-to solution for banks, hedge funds and PE firms looking to maintain control over their data as their workers trade and communicate digitally. Founded seven years ago by Kyrgyzstan-born Adylov, Behavox’s natural language processing algorithms and data lakes track and store email and voice communications for large banks and hedge funds, helping to protect against issues like market manipulation, insider trading and the stealing of intellectual property. Continue reading “Article: The Future Of Wall Street: Fintech 50 2021”

Article: London Couple’s Cash Trail Led Crime Agency to Azeri Laundromat

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London Couple’s Cash Trail Led Crime Agency to Azeri Laundromat

Jonathan Browning, 14 July 2021

When U.K. authorities began investigating wealth belonging to a politically-connected Azerbaijani family, their suspicions were triggered by a raft of “brass plate” companies that funneled more than double the amount of the couple’s stated income.

Almost 14 million pounds ($19.3 million) was routed into British bank accounts controlled by Suleyman Javadov, the son of a former deputy energy minister, and his wife. Among the 21 companies that moved their wealth was Rovers Production and Tourism Ltd., which chartered a private jet to fly female models to the Spanish party island of Ibiza. Another firm’s accounts were managed by an individual who appeared to be a dentist living in Belgium. Continue reading “Article: London Couple’s Cash Trail Led Crime Agency to Azeri Laundromat”

Article: EU to propose new body to tackle dirty money, documents say

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EU to propose new body to tackle dirty money, documents say

Huw Jones, 08 July 2021

LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – The European Union will propose a new agency to crack down on money laundering and new transparency rules for transfers of crypto-assets, EU documents showed on Wednesday as the bloc responds to calls for tougher action to fight dirty money.

Europe has come under pressure to step up enforcement of anti-money laundering rules after several countries began investigating Danske Bank over 200 billion euros of suspicious transactions that passed through its tiny Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015. Continue reading “Article: EU to propose new body to tackle dirty money, documents say”

Article: Danske Bank Charged by Police for Violating Market Abuse Law

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Danske Bank Charged by Police for Violating Market Abuse Law

Frances Schwartzkopff and Christian Wienberg, 25 June 2021

Danske Bank A/S has been charged by Danish police for allegedly violating rules intended to protect investors from market manipulation.

Denmark’s biggest bank, which is separately being investigated in the U.S. and Europe amid an ongoing money-laundering case, says it received notice of preliminary charges from the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime, or SOIK. The case relates to two potential violations of market abuse regulations, according to an emailed statement on Friday. Continue reading “Article: Danske Bank Charged by Police for Violating Market Abuse Law”

Article: Bitcoin Ban Upheld at Danske Bank Amid Growing Client Demand

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Bitcoin Ban Upheld at Danske Bank Amid Growing Client Demand

Christian Wienberg and Niclas Rolander, 18 June 2021

Danske Bank A/S says it won’t lift a ban on trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its platforms, despite growing interest from clients.

Denmark’s biggest bank pointed to a lack of transparency and regulation in crypto trading, in a statement on its website. It also warned of volatile and “opaque” pricing, and noted that the carbon footprint of mining cryptocurrencies is at odds with Danske’s goal of doing sustainable banking. Continue reading “Article: Bitcoin Ban Upheld at Danske Bank Amid Growing Client Demand”

Article: Danske bypasses money laundering legacy in AT1 return

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Danske bypasses money laundering legacy in AT1 return

Tom Revell, 14 May 2021

The lender also took on a challenging market backdrop as it offered investors a US$750m perpetual non-call November 2026 Reg S transaction. The deal came after a volatile session for global stocks on Tuesday, which nudged bank subordinated debt wider in the secondary market and, in the US onshore market, saw insurer Liberty Mutual postpone a junior subordinated note issue.

Some observers were surprised by Danske’s decision to come hot on the heels of Liberty’s postponement. A 4.75% US$1bn Banco Santander AT1 offering sold on May 6 also contributed to a tricky backdrop after it struggled to perform and was bid at a cash price of 99.50 on Wednesday. Continue reading “Article: Danske bypasses money laundering legacy in AT1 return”

Article: Swedbank ‘not fast enough’ on mortgage lending, causing loss of market share

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Swedbank ‘not fast enough’ on mortgage lending, causing loss of market share

Sanne Wass, 27 April 2021

Amid heavy anti-money-laundering hiring and investments, Swedbank AB (publ) is demonstrating slow response time and a lack of availability elsewhere in its business, causing it to lose market share within mortgage lending in Sweden.

Presenting Swedbank’s first-quarter earnings, CEO Jens Henriksson said the bank is “well-positioned when it comes to pricing” on its mortgage loans but it had been too slow in responding to customers’ needs. As a result, Swedbank had not been able to defend its market position.

“We have not been available … we’ve not been fast enough,” he said on an earnings call April 27. Continue reading “Article: Swedbank ‘not fast enough’ on mortgage lending, causing loss of market share”

Article: Danske Bank CEO Quits Amid Dutch Probe of Laundering Allegations

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Danske Bank CEO Quits Amid Dutch Probe of Laundering Allegations

Frances Schwartzkopff and Joost Akkermans, 19 April 2021

Danske Bank A/S is replacing Chris Vogelzang as chief executive officer after a Dutch money-laundering investigation implicated the former ABN Amro Bank NV executive, complicating the Danish lender’s efforts to get past its own scandal.

Vogelzang, who had run Denmark’s biggest bank for less than two years, will be replaced by Danske’s head of risk management, Carsten Egeriis. The move comes after authorities in the Netherlands named Vogelzang “a suspect in connection with their investigations of potential violations of Dutch legislation relating to the prevention of money laundering at ABN Amro,” Danske said. Continue reading “Article: Danske Bank CEO Quits Amid Dutch Probe of Laundering Allegations”

Article: ABN Amro Sees Quarterly Loss After $574 Million Settlement

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ABN Amro Sees Quarterly Loss After $574 Million Settlement

Joost Akkermans, 19 April 2021

ABN Amro Bank NV agreed to pay 480 million euros ($574 million) to end a Dutch investigation that found “serious shortcomings” in the lender’s processes to combat money laundering.

The amount will be booked in the first quarter and the lender expects a “modest” loss as a result, according to a statement on Monday. As part of the settlement, ABN Amro will pay a fine of 300 million euros and a disgorgement of 180 million euros, with the latter reflecting costs the lender had saved, according to the Dutch public prosecutor. Continue reading “Article: ABN Amro Sees Quarterly Loss After $574 Million Settlement”

Article: The war against money-laundering is being lost

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The war against money-laundering is being lost

The Economist, 12 April 2021

The global system for financial crime is hugely expensive and largely ineffective.

YET ANOTHER bank is preparing to face the music over alleged failings in its efforts to curb flows of dirty money. In the coming weeks NatWest, one of Britain’s largest lenders, is set to appear in court in London to respond to charges that it failed to properly scrutinise a gold-dealing client that deposited £365m ($502m) with the bank—£264m of it in cash. Continue reading “Article: The war against money-laundering is being lost”

Article: Danske could absorb $3.3B money-laundering fine and still hit own CET1 target

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Danske could absorb $3.3B money-laundering fine and still hit own CET1 target

Sanne WassRehan Ahmad,  29 March 2021

Danske Bank A/S’ capital levels and projected first-quarter earnings imply that it could withstand a money-laundering fine of 20.9 billion kroner, or $3.3 billion, today and still achieve its management common equity Tier 1 ratio target of 16%, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates.

Even a penalty of more than double that size would still leave Denmark’s largest lender above its current regulatory requirement, the analysis found. “There is a long way to go before the fine becomes an issue for the bank’s capital ratio,” said Jyske Bank equity analyst Anders Vollesen in an interview.

Danske’s material capital buffer is driving down risk associated with the outcome of its Baltic dirty money scandal, according to analysts, with some even seeing scope for distribution of excess capital to shareholders through generous dividends or share buybacks once the case is settled. Continue reading “Article: Danske could absorb $3.3B money-laundering fine and still hit own CET1 target”

Article: Newly Obtained Audit Report Details How Shady Clients from Around the World Moved Billions Through Estonia

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Newly Obtained Audit Report Details How Shady Clients from Around the World Moved Billions Through Estonia

Holger Roonemaa and Oliver Kund, KYC360News, 12 March 2021

On a warm Monday morning in June 2014, two auditors from Estonia’s financial regulator stepped into the Tallinn office of Danske Bank, armed with a single piece of graph paper handwritten with the names of 18 of its clients, and demanded to see their records.

At first glance, the customers on the list sounded boring. They were mostly obscure trading companies with generic names like Hilux Services and Polux Management. But the auditors — who had been tipped off by a police unit that tracks financial crime — didn’t have to dig too deep before things got very strange.

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