FICO Survey Finds UK Banks Struggled With Covid-19 Financial Crime Surge
Polly Jean Harrison, 10 April 2021
As cases of fraud and money laundering rose during the pandemic last year, banks in the UK faced unforeseen challenges. In a new study by global analytics software provider FICO and independent research firm OMDIA, 79 per cent of respondents from UK banks said that working from home had a high or major impact on the effectiveness of their financial crime prevention.
“Just as the pandemic put huge stresses on the health care system, it put huge stresses on fraud and financial crime management teams,” explained Toby Carlin, senior director for fraud consulting at FICO. “Teams that collaborate in person and work with large software systems that have restricted access found that working from home hurt their productivity. This was compounded as the volume of fraud attacks rose.” Continue reading “Article: FICO Survey Finds UK Banks Struggled With Covid-19 Financial Crime Surge”
BlackRock, State Street Exploring Takeover Of Credit Suisse Asset Management Arm
TYLER DURDEN, 09 April 2021
Earlier, several financial media outlets reported that Credit Suisse was considering dramatically shrinking or selling off its prime brokerage unit, the hedge-fund-focused business that just lost $4.7 billion for the bank, obliterating 18 months of the bank’s average net profits.
But in the last few hours, the focus has shifted to the bank’s asset management unit, amid reports that several American firms might be interested in making a bid, even as the bank has yet to release the final tally of expected losses from the Greensill debacle. Continue reading “Article: BlackRock, State Street Exploring Takeover Of Credit Suisse Asset Management Arm”
Fallout From Greensill Collapse Splatters British Government, Leaves Taxpayers With Big Losses
TYLER DURDEN, 07 April 2021
The collapse of UK-based supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital continues to reverberate. In Germany the private banking association has paid out around €2.7 billion to more than 20,500 Greensill Bank customers as part of its deposit guarantee scheme after the bank collapsed in early March. But the deposits of institutional investors such as other financial institutions, investment firms, and local authorities are not covered. Fifty municipalities are believed to be nursing losses of at least €500 million. Continue reading “Article: Fallout From Greensill Collapse Splatters British Government, Leaves Taxpayers With Big Losses”
Deutsche Bank dodges bullets and goes mainstream
PATRICK JENKINS , 06 April 2021
It is a striking paradox that postwar Germany has achieved sustained success as an economy, even with a flailing banking sector, headed by the flag-carrying Deutsche Bank, to underpin it. But there are signs the contradiction may be resolving.
Over the past three years, Deutsche has beaten its European rivals in share price terms — sketchy evidence, perhaps, especially as that share price has actually fallen and Deutsche has paid next to no dividends. But it is a notable outperformance nonetheless.
Continue reading “Article: Deutsche Bank dodges bullets and goes mainstream”
Another Wirecard? Invoices Backing Greensill-Issued Bonds Never Existed, Administrator Finds
As the collapse of Greensill Capital threatens to ensnare former PM David Cameron in a humiliating public probe, the Financial Times on Thursday reported some disturbing new details that appear to suggest Greensill wasn’t merely reckless, but potentially guilty of a Wirecard-style fraud.
According to the FT, Greensil’s administrator – who is responsible for winding down whatever assets remain and managing creditors’ claims -“has failed to verify invoices underpinning loans to Sanjeev Gupta, after companies listed on the documents denied that they had ever done business with the metals magnate.”
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US and eurozone consumer confidence hit one-year highs; German inflation jumps – as it happened
Graeme Wearden, 30 March 2021
US consumer confidence has leapt sharply this month, hitting its highest level since the pandemic began. Stimulus spending and vaccine rollout are spurring hopes of an economic recovery.
US house prices have also continued their recent climb:
In the eurozone, economic confidence has also jumped to a one-year high. Industrial firms, services companies and consumers all reported more optimism about the future.
French consumer confidence also picked up.
In Germany, inflation has risen – hitting 2% on an EU-harmonised basis. Economists predict it will keep rising in the coming months, with higher energy prices partly to blame. Continue reading “Article: US and eurozone consumer confidence hit one-year highs; German inflation jumps – as it happened”
Financial Capitalism: The Endgame
TYLER DURDEN, 30 March 2021
In 2008, we had the opportunity, collectively, to reboot a broken financial system so it became fit for purpose.
But instead of reconfiguring finance to serve the real economy politicians and central bankers used quantitative easing to buy time which lulled the mainstream media into reporting that everything was back on track. Some people haven’t bought that story.
Marc Friederich and Matthias Weik are two economists who didn’t succumb to groupthink after the 2008 crash and now see financial capitalism’s end game.
Friedrich explained to Renegade Inc. that the authors’ intention is to help translate the complexity of a financial system by inverting it into a language that everybody understands. Having studied economics, and as children of the dot com bubble, the authors of four best-selling books in Germany, stress the important role sarcasm and dark humour play in their work in respect to making seemingly complex matters accessible to the wider public. Continue reading “Article: Financial Capitalism: The Endgame”
German Attorney Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
Eastern District of New York, 24 March 2021
Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Henning Schwarzkopf, a citizen of Germany and an attorney licensed to practice in Germany, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr., to money laundering by transferring funds that he believed to be the proceeds of a securities fraud scheme through the bank account of a Hong Kong shell company controlled by the defendant. Schwarzkopf was arrested on a criminal complaint in October 2020. When sentenced, Schwarzkopf faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as forfeiture and a fine of up to $250,000.
Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea. Continue reading “Article: German Attorney Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering”
German court halts criminal proceedings against former VW CEO
Caroline Copley, 15 January 2021
BERLIN (Reuters) – A German court in Braunschweig, Germany, said on Friday it had halted criminal proceedings against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn for alleged market manipulation as part of the carmaker’s emissions scandal.
The court said it had decided to discontinue the proceedings as the expected sentence in another case, in which Winterkorn faces charges for his role in allowing diesel cars with excessive pollution levels to hit the road, was higher.
“In this context, the conviction for market manipulation would not lead to a significant increase in the overall sentence,” the court said in a statement.
The court opened proceedings in September examining whether Winterkorn was guilty of failing to inform investors adequately about the extent of the emissions fraud.
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Deutsche Bank to pay nearly $125 million to resolve U.S. bribery, metals charges
Jonathan Stempel, Noor Zainab Hussain, 08 January 2021
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank AG will pay nearly $125 million to avoid U.S. prosecution on charges it engaged in foreign bribery schemes and manipulated precious metals markets, the latest blow for the bank as it tries to rebound from a series of scandals.
Germany’s largest lender agreed to the payout as it entered a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and a related civil settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Almost all of the payout relates to charges Deutsche Bank violated the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) over its dealings in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, China and Italy, court papers show. Nearly two-thirds of the payout is a criminal fine. Continue reading “Article: Deutsche Bank to pay nearly $125 million to resolve U.S. bribery, metals charges”
U.S. Treasury labels Switzerland, Vietnam as currency manipulators
Reuters Staff, 16 December 2020
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury labeled Switzerland and Vietnam as currency manipulators on Wednesday and added three new names to a watch list of countries it suspects of taking measures to devalue their currencies against the dollar.
In what may be one of the final broadsides to international trading partners delivered by the departing administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, the Treasury said that through June 2020 both Switzerland and Vietnam had intervened in currency markets to prevent effective balance of payments adjustments.
Furthermore, in its semi-annual currency manipulation report, the Treasury said Vietnam had acted to gain “unfair competitive advantage in international trade as well.” Continue reading “Article: U.S. Treasury labels Switzerland, Vietnam as currency manipulators”
Wirecard’s Former Billionaire CEO Markus Braun Arrested Over Allegations Of Fraud
Jack Kelly, 23 July 2020
On Monday, I reported that Markus Braun, the billionaire CEO of online payments company Wirecard, faced serious allegations over the company’s rapid growth and questionable business practices. Specifically, regulators and investors were concerned over claims that the FinTech company purported to have $2 billion dollars in a couple of Philippine banks. Investigations conducted by an outside auditor revealed that the money wasn’t there and possibly never existed. Continue reading “Article: Wirecard’s Former Billionaire CEO Markus Braun Arrested Over Allegations Of Fraud”
German watchdog updates market manipulation case against Wirecard
Douglas Busvine, 23 June 2020
BERLIN, June 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s financial watchdog said on Tuesday it had filed an updated case against Wirecard , saying the collapsed payment company’s disclosure of a $2.1 billion financial hole showed it had sought to mislead markets.
The regulator Bafin said it had filed a follow-up to an earlier complaint with Munich prosecutors as it now suspected Wirecard’s accounts for 2016, 2017 and 2018 had misstated revenues and assets.
“This also strengthens the suspicion that the information contained in its financial reports sent false signals for Wirecard’s share price and thus violated a ban on market manipulation,” Bafin said in a statement.
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Prosecutors search Wirecard premises in market manipulation probe
Thomas Escritt, 05 June 2020
BERLIN, June 5 (Reuters) – Prosecutors in Munich said they had searched the premises of financial services company Wirecard and opened proceedings against its management board as part of a market manipulation probe by BaFin, Germany’s financial regulator.
In a statement on Friday, prosecutors said the company was suspected of having issued misleading information which may have impacted Wirecard’s share price between March 12 and April 22.
Wirecard confirmed in a statement that its premises had been searched as part of an investiugation targeting its management board. It said it was cooperating fully with the investigation.
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