The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers(HKIB) announced that six virtual banks in Hong Kong – Airstar Bank, Fusion Bank, Livi VB, Ping An OneConnect Bank (Hong Kong),
SC Digital Solutions and WeLab Bank have become corporate members.
The HKIB now has 103 corporate members and corporate affiliates and over 6,000 individual members.
The HKIB believes that more virtual banks and fintech companies will see the importance of joining the community in the years ahead.
HMRC is doubling down on crypto tax evaders starting February 2020 as it is offering a contract worth £100,000 for software that can identify when cryptocurrency is used to avoid paying taxes.
HMRC recognizes in a statement that the payment options made available by crypto can be used for tax evasion and money laundering.
“Crypto-assets are increasingly used for a range of purposes, from international money transfers, sales of digital services, paying staff and tax evasion and money laundering”.
HMRC is seeking a tool that will “support intelligence gathering methods” for identifying and clustering cryptoasset transactions and linking to their service providers.
Specifically, HMRC is looking for a tool which, at a minimum, would help track seven digital assets – bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BTC), ether (ETH), ether classic (ETC), XRP, litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT) stablecoin and also privacy-oriented coins such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH).
HMRC’s newly updated tax guidelines toward crypto-related activities note that most crypto asset operations are “taxable economic activity.”
In the US, regulators such as the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have been working with the IRS to tackle money laundering and tax evaders as well. In 2016, an affadavit revealed that HSI created a special task force to identify unlicensed bitcoin exchangers.
The Ombudsman provides support to bank customers for the establishment and settlement of possible disagreements with Latvian banks regarding actions or provided services.
The Ombudsman of the Latvian banks association that is a neutral mediator and independent in the adoption of his or her decisions.
The Ombudsman serves to establish circumstances and to reach an agreement between customers and banks.
It is possible to turn to the Ombudsman in the case of failure to agree with your bank regarding an emerging situation, for example:
- ATM has failed to issue the requested amount of money,
- money transfer has not been performed or was transferred to another address,
- problems appeared during communication with the bank.
The Ombudsman shall review the complaint within two months from the day of submission of a complaint or the elimination of shortages.
When submitting a complaint to the Ombudsman, a fee of 20 EUR should be paid for the review of the complaint.
$8.14bn was total handed out in fines globally in 2019.
USA and UK financial regulators lead the way in anti-money laundering (AML) penalties collectively accounting for more than 30% of the total fines
USA regulators were most active, handing out 25 penalties totaling $2.29bn, than the UK with 12 fines totaling $388.4m.
The largest single monetary fine was $5.1bn in France- to Swiss bank UBS after it was found guilty of illegally soliciting clients and laundering the proceeds of tax evasion.
Both USA and UK regulators were fined Standard Chartered for poor money-laundering controls and breaching sanctions against countries including Iran.
Fines were handed down by regulators across multiple jurisdictions beyond the USA and UK: these include Belgium, Bermuda, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Tanzania.
Half of money laundering penalties given out in 2019 were to banks (28 of 58), compared to two-thirds in 2018 (20 of 29).
Historically, the majority of these fines have been given to banks, but in 2019 the proportion was less than half, demonstrating that money laundering is now recognized as a general business issue, not just one that is specific to financial services.
Hong Kong’s regulator has slapped a US$51m fine on UBS for overcharging thousands of global wealth management clients for nearly a decade in a case that exposed serious and systematic problems with the bank’s internal controls.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) found that UBS systematically overcharged private banking clients by manipulating the price on bond and structured product trades between 2008 to 2015.
Hong Kong clients of UBS’s wealth management division were forced to pay more for bonds and structured debt products after the bank added a further “spread” to the trades that clients in its flagship wealth management business had requested.
UBS also charged some clients too much in fees between 2008 and 2017.
The Swiss bank has agreed to offer a compensation of HK$200mn to customers affected by its conduct.
These 5,000 Hong Kong clients were involved in 28,700 such transactions.
A lack of supervision of staff and “failures of the first and second lines of defence functions” of UBS contributed to the conduct, the regulator said its investigation had found.
The Swiss bank also took two years to report the misconduct after discovering it.