Transparency International (TI) has published the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 (CPI). The CPI, originally launched in 1995, ranks countries according to how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. The index is compiled using a combination of polls drawing on corruption-related data and also reflects the views of observers from around the world. Countries/ territories are given a score between 0 and 100 (with 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being very clean). A total of 177 countries/territories were rated by TI. Below we draw out some of the more interesting results from the CPI generally, before focussing in more detail on the CPI’s assessment of perceived corruption in the UK and other key jurisdictions. Continue reading
Anti-money laundering and anti-bribery systems and controls at asset management firms: FCA thematic review
In October 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the much-anticipated report of its thematic review into anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls at asset management and platform firms. The report follows the FSA/FCA’s previous thematic reviews of ABC controls in commercial insurance broking (2010), ABC controls in investment banks (2012), and AML and sanctions controls in trade finance (2013). As with other thematic work, whilst the review is of a particular sector, the FCA expressly expects other regulated firms to consider the findings and examples of good and poor practice. Continue reading
The Hong Kong Government refines its key legislative proposals on the establishment of an Independent Insurance Authority after consultation
On 26 June 2013 the Government published the consultation conclusions on its key legislative proposals for the establishment of an independent Insurance Authority (IIA). The establishment of the IIA and the provision for a new statutory licensing regime for insurance intermediaries are described by the Government as “the most significant reform initiative for the insurance industry since the passage of the Insurance Companies Ordinance in 1983″.
The proposals aim to modernise the regulatory infrastructure of the insurance industry and to bring it into line with other financial regulatory regimes in Hong Kong and with international practice. The key proposals cover amongst other areas the functions, governance and regulatory powers of the IIA, a new licensing regime for insurance intermediaries and regulatory arrangements for banks’ insurance activities. The Government plans to finalise and introduce a Bill amending the Insurance Companies Ordinance (ICO) into the Legislative Council by the end of 2013 with a view to introducing the new regime in 2015. Please click here to read the full post (which includes a summary of the key proposals as they stand after the consultation), including the salient take away points.
The West Jakarta District Court ruled recently that an Indonesian law governed loan agreement between an Indonesian borrower and a foreign lender was void because it was written in English rather than Bahasa Indonesia and it was, therefore, in violation of Indonesia’s Law No. 24 of 2009 concerning Flag, Language and Symbol of State and National Anthem (“Law 24/2009”). Continue reading
In the early hours of 24 November, the P5+1 (the UK, US, Germany, France, Russia and China, facilitated by the EU) announced that they had reached a set of initial understandings with Iran. In exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear programme, the P5+1 have given undertakings to relax sanctions, including agreeing that no new nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed for six months and that certain existing sanctions (including the restrictions on the Iranian automotive sector and petrochemical exports from Iran) will be suspended, provided Iran abides by its commitments under the deal. Please click here for our full briefing.
The AMF has taken enforcement action against the author of a blog, a retired professor of financial analysis who describes himself on his blog site as a contrarian, fining him €10,000 for having disseminated misleading information about the level of debt of a bank (effectively a form of market abuse). A US blogger, who linked to the post and commented on it, has also been fined €8,000. The fines may seem small – a “shot across the bows” – but this first foray for the AMF into social media enforcement is somewhat controversial. Continue reading
The November 2013 edition of our Corporate Crime Update covers developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters across a number of jurisdictions. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the country/region. A brief overview of what is covered in each jurisdiction’s update is set out below. Continue reading
ESMA preparatory work on the Market Abuse Regulation: time to engage with the development of regulatory technical standards
ESMA has published a Discussion Paper (“DP”) as part of its preparatory work on the forthcoming Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”). ESMA has asked for responses by 27 January 2014. The DP raises 113 specific questions overall, covering the ten sections of MAR on which ESMA is intended to provide input. It is important that industry should engage at this stage of the process, before more concrete proposals are developed, to help ESMA ensure that the standards being developed are practically workable, achieving MAR’s aims without inhibiting legitimate business, or relations between listed companies and their investors.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has given the Australian securitisation industry further insight on its current thinking around the proposed prudential reform for securitisation in Australia. Continue reading
Earlier today, it was announced that yesterday’s trilogue discussions on the Omnibus II Directive (Omnibus II) had finished in agreement. The announcement puts to rest recent uncertainty about the future of the Solvency II Directive and sets in train a timetable bringing the new regime into force from the beginning of 2016. Continue reading