The Global Intelligence Files
Wikileaks, 02 Aug 2021
On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
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Citibank, JPMorgan, and other banking giants are facing a potential class action lawsuit over ripping off clients on currency trades, report says
Ethan Wu, 13 July 2021
Allegations of currency-trade manipulation are bubbling up into a potential class-action suit against several big banks, according to a report from the Financial Times.
Two high-powered legal teams are jostling to bring a collective action against the banks in London courts, pursuing a US-style class-action strategy that could lead to huge payouts. Under a 2015 UK law, class-action suits can be pursued if there are suspected violations of competition law in play, according to the FT. Continue reading “Article: Citibank, JPMorgan, and other banking giants are facing a potential class action lawsuit over ripping off clients on currency trades, report says”
Itau (ITUB) and Other Global Banks Sued for Rate Rigging
Zacks Equity Research , 17 June 2021
Major banks might need to pump up their legal reserves, as five of them are on the radar of the Exporters’ association, AEB, and Brazil’s anti-trust watchdog, Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE). Reportedly, Brazil’s biggest exporters, such as Vale SA and Suzano SA, are appealing in a lawsuit for 19 billion reais ($3.77 billion) from ItauUnibanco Holding SA ITUB, Banco Santander Brasil SA BSBR, HSBC Holdings plc HSBC, Citigroup C and BNP Paribas BNPQY on grounds of alleged manipulation of the Brazilian Real (R$).
This news was first reported by Valor Economico, a Brazilian newspaper and Reuters had reviewed the court documents. Continue reading “Article: Itau (ITUB) and Other Global Banks Sued for Rate Rigging”
Brazil exporters demand $3.8 billion from banks for currency manipulation
Carolina Mandl, 16 June 2021
Continue reading “Article: Brazil exporters demand $3.8 billion from banks for currency manipulation”
Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime
JOHN BASQUILL, 15 June 2021
Pressure is growing on financial institutions to toughen their approach to environmental crime, with G7 leaders vowing to crack down on the illicit fund flows supporting wildlife trafficking and campaign groups warning that the activity has morphed from a conservation issue to a financial crime concern.
In a communique issued ahead of June’s annual G7 summit, the finance ministers and central bank governors of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US jointly sounded the alarm that greater attention is being paid to wildlife trafficking. Continue reading “Article: Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime”
ECU Group Accuses HSBC of Fraud and Misconduct Made on Its FX Trading Desk
Felipe Erazo, 15 June 2021
A currency manager, ECU Group has accused the multinational investment bank, HSBC of fraud and misconduct within its foreign exchange (forex) trading desk between 2004 and 2006. According to a report published by the Financial Times, quoting a hearing at the UK High Court on Monday, an alleged ‘rotten culture’ between such a period allowed bankers to misuse confidential data.
In fact, the ECU Group claims that HSBC is responsible for having committed fraud related to 52 forex trades it placed with the bank in those years. The allegations were made in the context of a trial that expects to last for at least seven weeks. The banking giant denied all the claims made by the currency manager, the FT said. Continue reading “Article: ECU Group Accuses HSBC of Fraud and Misconduct Made on Its FX Trading Desk”
HSBC’s ‘Rotten’ Traders Accused of Gaining From Secret Info
Jonathan Browning, 14 June 2021
HSBC Holdings Plc faced accusations from an ex-client that its “rotten” traders used confidential information to make a profit, at the start of a London trial examining allegations of front running at the bank’s foreign exchange desk over 15 years ago.
The bank’s currency team deliberately traded ahead of client orders during a period far earlier than HSBC has previously admitted to, currency investment firm ECU Group Plc said. HSBC dismissed the claims as “incredibly stale.” Continue reading “Article: HSBC’s ‘Rotten’ Traders Accused of Gaining From Secret Info”
How corrupt is Britain and will the government do anything about it?
Prem Sikka , 28 May 2021
The parliamentary debate was often framed by the minister and others around the narrative that Johnny Foreigner is corrupt and a threat to our values and global stability. The Minister said that 22 individuals from six countries have been sanctioned. No doubt, there are corrupt persons all around the world, but what about home grown corruption.
‘Serious corruption’ may be associated with bribery, misappropriation of property and much more. It is not defined in legislation, but its understanding is framed by seven policy priorities. One of these is that a practice is considered as ‘serious corruption’ if it ‘undermines a country’s democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights’. Continue reading “Article: How corrupt is Britain and will the government do anything about it?”
How to Combat Money Laundering in Europe
Jesper Berg, 24 May 2021
Good luck finding a major bank in Europe that hasn’t breached money laundering regulations.
In Denmark, the two largest banks, Danske Bank and Nordea, are both currently subject to criminal investigations. BNP Paribas received the highest-ever fine in 2014, when it settled with U.S. authorities and had to pay $9 billion for sanctions violations. Many others — from HSBC and Standard Chartered in the U.K. to Deutsche Bank and UBS and Credit Suisse — have had to answer for offenses.
These cases show that living up to money laundering regulations is difficult, but not doing so is one of the biggest risks to a bank’s reputation. Banks and authorities share the same goal — to stop the bad guys — but both are struggling to find a way forward. While the European Union has proposed establishing a dedicated authority on the crime, company expenses to combat laundering are ballooning. Continue reading “Article: How to Combat Money Laundering in Europe”
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”
In March, federal agents raided the Beverly Hills premises of a company called U.S. Private Vaults. According to a subsequent grand jury indictment, U.S. Private Vaults was a money laundering operation where drug dealers and others could anonymously stash fentanyl, guns, and “huge stacks of $100 bills” in safe deposit boxes. U.S. Private Vaults didn’t really bother to hide its business, boasting in ads, “We don’t even want to know your name.” It also shared its strip mall storefront with Gold Business, which allegedly specialized in laundering drug money via purchases of gold. Continue reading “Article: How America Became the Money Laundering Capital of the World”
Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims
BBC News, 30 April 2021
Negotiations between banks to create a permanent, central pot of money to refund scam victims have collapsed.
Seven banks and building societies had signed up to an interim, shared arrangement, but will now pay for refunds individually. The pot was being used to fund repayments when neither the bank nor customer were to blame for fraudsters stealing money.
An ongoing code means victims should not lose out on refunds. Continue reading “Article: Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims”
NatWest to move HQ from Scotland in event of independence
Iain Withers, 29 April 2021
Britain’s NatWest would move its headquarters out of Scotland in the event of a vote in favour of independence, its CEO Alison Rose said, only days before parliamentary elections there.
State-backed NatWest (NWG.L), which until last year was called Royal Bank of Scotland, has been based for 294 years in the Scottish capital Edinburgh. “In the event that there was independence for Scotland our balance sheet would be too big for an independent Scottish economy. And so we would move our registered headquarters, in the event of independence, to London,” Rose told reporters. Continue reading “Article: NatWest to move HQ from Scotland in event of independence”
Cayman Fund Seeks To Revive $2B Claim Over Madoff Losses
Richard Crump, 20 April 2021
A Cayman Islands investment fund urged the highest court for overseas British territories on Tuesday to revive its breach of contract claim against Bank of Bermuda and an HSBC subsidiary for $2 billion in damages as the result of losses from Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.
Primeo Fund said the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, should overturn a decision by the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands that the fund’s claims are barred by the reflective loss principle. That rule prevents shareholders from bringing a claim for personal losses arising from a breach of duty or contract owed to the company they have invested in. Continue reading “Article: Cayman Fund Seeks To Revive $2B Claim Over Madoff Losses”
VIDEO — Ed Steer: Silver Market on a Knife’s Edge
Charlotte McLeod , 13 April 2021
The silver squeeze first started making headlines more than two months ago, but the movement continues today, led by retail investors who continue to snap up physical metal.
Ed Steer of Ed Steer’s Gold and Silver Digest said that while he commends those who have been buying physical silver, there’s a reason their efforts haven’t led to a sustained silver price increase.
“They’re certainly having an impact … as far as the physical market is concerned, but as far as the short position that exists in the COMEX futures market, it doesn’t make any difference at all,” he said. Continue reading “Article: VIDEO — Ed Steer: Silver Market on a Knife’s Edge”