25.11.2019. Hong Kong regulator charged UBS for overcharging wealth clients
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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.

21.11.2019. EU states push for money laundering supervisor after scandals
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Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Latvia are pushing for the establishment of a new supervisory authority that would take over from national oversight of money laundering at financial firms after a series of scandals with European banks.
In a joint statement is written that he 28-country EU needed a “central supervisor” to tackle the flow of dirty money within the bloc’s financial system.
Where large financial interests are at stake, there is a risk of national supervisors being influenced directly or indirectly by supervised institutions or interest groups,” the statement said.
The move comes after European banks in Malta (Pilatus Bank), Latvia and Cyprus were shuttered over money laundering activities. Banks in the Baltic and Northern Europe were also involved in suspicious transactions worth billions of euros of Russian dirty money through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, in what is seen as the worst money-laundering scandal on the continent.

28.10.2019. Corporate Income tax rates for 2019
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The worldwide average statutory corporate income tax rate, measured across 208 jurisdictions, is 23.03%.
Europe has the lowest regional average rate, at 18.38%. Africa has the highest regional average statutory rate, at 28.81%.

23.10.2019. Labor taxes in 2019
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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports data on the composition of the tax burden on labor across 36 developed countries.
The average tax burden a single average wage earner faced in the OECD was 36.1 percent of pretax earnings in 2018 before accounting for VAT and sales tax.
The average OECD tax burden on labor has remained relatively stable over the past two decades.

30.09.2019. ABN Amro, the Netherlands based bank, problems with anti-money laundering controls
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The bank joins Sweden’s Danske and Germany’s Deutsche Bank among European banks recently alleged to have failed to adequately probe suspicious transactions.
The prosecutor’s office said that the ABN Amro bank has not carried out client due diligence sufficiently, was insufficiently monitoring bank accounts and did not report unusual transactions, or reported them too late.
The bank said that it  will cooperate fully with the investigation, though declined to provide further information.