Share buybacks roar back – but how good an idea are they?
Adrian Holliday, 13 May 2021
Spurred by the speed of global vaccination roll-outs, stimulus boosts and a white-hot US first-quarter earnings period, some US companies have upped dividend payments to their shareholders. Alternatively, they’re buying back their own shares in ‘buybacks’. So what are share buybacks? Is the UK seeing a similar wave – and how good an idea are share buybacks for investors? Continue reading “Article: Share buybacks roar back – but how good an idea are they?”
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”
Tech and Crime Series: Has the FCA bitten off more than it can chew with its NatWest Prosecution?
Thomas Cattee, 13 April 2021
News broke on Tuesday 16 March 2021 that the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) has started criminal proceedings against NatWest Bank (“NatWest”) for alleged offences relating to the adequacy of procedures in place to prevent money laundering.
These proceedings are in respect of offences under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (the “2007 Regulations”). It is alleged that between 11 November 2011 and 19 October 2016 NatWest failed to adhere to the requirements of regulations 8(1), 8(3) and 14(1) of the 2007 Regulations. Continue reading “Article: Tech and Crime Series: Has the FCA bitten off more than it can chew with its NatWest Prosecution?”
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”
Ex-Trader Sues RBS For £1.1M In Unpaid Bonuses
Joanne Faulkner, 12 April 2021
A former Royal Bank of Scotland trader is suing the lender for more than £1.1 million ($1.5 million), claiming he is being denied promised bonuses after being unlawfully dismissed during a regulatory investigation into the Libor rate-rigging scandal.
Arif Hussein, former managing director of a trading division, argues in a High Court claim that has recently been made public that RBS has wrongfully classified his firing from the lender in 2014 as “for cause.” This came despite an employment tribunal determining he had been unlawfully dismissed a year later, the claim added. Continue reading “Article: Ex-Trader Sues RBS For £1.1M In Unpaid Bonuses”
Big banks win dismissal of U.S. Treasury rigging litigation
Jonathan Stempel, 31 March 2021
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday dismissed long-running litigation accusing 10 large banks of conspiring to suppress competition in the now $21.2 trillion market for U.S. Treasury securities.
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan ruled against 21 pension, retirement and benefit funds, as well as unions, banks, individuals, and companies that traded in Treasuries, in the proposed antitrust class action.
The defendants included Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, NatWest Group and UBS, as well as trading platform operator Tradeweb Markets. Continue reading “Article: Big banks win dismissal of U.S. Treasury rigging litigation”
NatWest money laundering case linked to second criminal trial, prosecutors say
Iain Withers, 19 March 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Criminal money laundering charges against British state-backed bank NatWest are linked to a separate case against 13 individuals based in cities across the country, prosecutors have told Reuters.
Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), started a criminal action against NatWest on Tuesday, making it the first bank to be charged under a 2007 money laundering law.
The FCA accused NatWest of failing to monitor suspect activity by a client that deposited about 365 million pounds($500 million) in its accounts over five years, of which 264 million was in cash.
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Britain’s NatWest bank faces money laundering charges
Tom Wilson, Iain Withers, 16 March 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator has started a criminal action against NatWest over allegations it failed to detect suspicious activity by a customer depositing nearly 400 million pounds ($553 million) over five years, mostly in cash.
The action is the first such case against a British bank under a 2007 money laundering law. If convicted, the bank faces a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was bringing the proceedings after NatWest’s systems failed to adequately monitor and scrutinise activity over an account held by a British customer between November 2011 and October 2016.
Around 365 million pounds was paid into the unnamed customer’s accounts, of which around 264 million pounds was in cash, the watchdog alleged.
NatWest had previously disclosed in its 2020 annual report an FCA investigation in relation to “certain money services businesses and related parties”.
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Goldman Faces New Forex Rigging Suit From Currency Trader
Richard Crump, 12 March 2021
Goldman Sachs is being sued in London over allegations that its traders manipulated foreign exchange markets for profit, in the latest lawsuit filed by a British currency investment firm over trade front-running.
ECU Group alleges that traders at Goldman Sachs International misused its confidential information to make secret profits by trading ahead of foreign exchange transactions by the British company, an illegal tactic known as front-running, according to the High Court claim filed in November but only recently made public. Continue reading “Article: Goldman Faces New Forex Rigging Suit From Currency Trader”
Banks Can Argue Funds Passed On UK Forex Rigging Losses
Christopher Crosby, 25 February 2021
Institutional investors suing some of the world’s largest banks for manipulating the foreign exchange market will have to prove their losses were not passed on to others after a London court ruled on Thursday that the issue has to be determined at trial.
Nigel Teare, sitting as a judge at the High Court, refused to knock down the legal defense raised by Barclays, CitiBank, HSBC and other lenders to fight claims for damages for allegedly manipulating benchmark rates in the forex market.. Continue reading “Article: Banks Can Argue Funds Passed On UK Forex Rigging Losses”
Barclays Escapes UK Municipalities’ Libor Loan Suits
Joanne Faulkner, 22 February 2021
A judge said on Monday that eight local councils in England cannot get out of Libor-linked loans they signed with Barclays before the bank’s involvement in the rate-rigging scandal was revealed because they could not prove the lender had acted dishonestly.
High Court Judge Sara Cockerill said that two claims focusing on how interest rates tied to the loans were influenced by the London Interbank Offered Rate had “no real prospect of success.” The local authorities could not prove that Barclays had knowingly made false representations when it sold the swaps between 2006 and 2008, the judge said. Continue reading “Article: Barclays Escapes UK Municipalities’ Libor Loan Suits”